October 18, 2006 -- Internet service providers (ISPs) in Iran have started implementing a government order to reduce the speed of Internet access to homes and cafes.
Iran's official IRNA news agency reported today that the Telecommunications Ministry has forbidden ISPs from providing online connections faster than 128 kilobytes per second and offering broadband packages.
The British daily "The Guardian" said the move is likely to make it more difficult to download Western music and films, which authorities blame for having a bad influence on Iranian youth.
The daily says the ban will also impede efforts by opponents of the Iranian regime to upload information on to the Internet.
Commenting on the new regulation, Iran's "Etemad-e Melli" (National Trust) reformist daily says it believes the limitations are part of a new clampdown on the media.
Iranian authorities have closed down dozens of reformist newspapers in recent years.
(IRNA, "The Guardian," Reuters)
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