The first phase of Iran’s National Information Network (National Internet) was launched Aug. 28 during a ceremony attended by First Vice-President Eshaq Jahangiri, Tasnim news agency reported.
The National Information Network’s bandwidth currently stands at 4,000 gigabyte per second, according to Mahmoud Vaezi, Iran’s ICT minister.
The second phase of the project will come on stream by February 2017 and the third phase will become operational during the first half of next Iranian calendar year (to start March 2017), Vaezi said.
Since 2005 Iran has been developing its National Information Network to improve control over its content as well as speed. The project, which is separate from the World Wide Web was scheduled to be completed by the end of the fifth five-year development plan (2011-15).
This network will be separated from the rest of the internet and is specifically for domestic use.
Authorities claim the national Internet would not lead to a cut in Internet access. But critics warn it could allow the government to cut off access to foreign sites, restricting access to information and preventing users from sharing information online.