Iran has released 3G and 4G frequencies. It is now possible to share pictures taken by one’s phone. The Islamic Republic has eased up on its efforts to strangle the Internet, while not actually killing it. I’ve been talking about this off and on. But, Iran has added a new twist. No kill switch. Just slow.
Over the past few months, the government has allowed service providers to increase bandwidth for home connections, offering data traffic up to 10 megabits per second — still slow compared with the West, where users typically choose plans offering 20 to 30 megabits per second.
Nevertheless, while Iran’s Internet access is still slow compared with that in many countries, it does now allow users to watch and send videos, something that previously was possible only for those with nearly infinite patience and determination.
The president’s message is trust, his supporters say. Iranians are wise enough to make their own decisions, says Farshad Ghorbanpour, a political analyst close to Mr. Rouhani’s government. “Our educated people use the Internet in a healthy way,” he said, “and have the right to fast Internet like all other people in the world.”