Measures by I.R. of Iran to Prevent and Mitigate the Outbreak of COVID-19
In order to meet its responsibilities in dealing with the enormous socio-economic disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry has risen to the challenge by adopting policies, taking immediate steps and implementing effective measures to provide the people as well as public and private entities and institutions with ICT-centric tools, applications and services with a view to maintain safe distance between individuals in the society and avoid unnecessary physical presence. In doing so, the Ministry's policies, guidelines, and directives on the enhanced use of cyberspace were implemented by its affiliated entities and agencies including Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), Telecommunications Infrastructure Company (TIC), Information Technology Organization (ITO), and Postal Company as well as fixed and mobile service providers and network operators. In what follows, specific actions that have already been implemented and are currently in force are listed.
Providing Free Internet Access
- Providing each fixed internet subscriber and TD_LTE user with 100 GB free internet package (offered by internet providers) in order to encourage people to stay home and do their daily chores via Internet (such as online learning, online shopping, online entertainment).
- Providing over 600,000 professors and school teachers with 20 GB free internet package (valid for three months) in order to enable them to hold online courses for students through virtual and social networks during the suspension of educational centers and schools.
- Providing all universities and other institutions of higher education with specific domain names and IP addresses for online learning and virtual tutoring at no cost.
Facilitating E-learning and Teleworking in line with Social Commitment
- Collaboration with Ministry of Education to manage e-education from home.
- Development of teleworking systems as well as building communication infrastructure for holding e-meetings.
- Issue of a special commemorating postal stamp honoring medical staff for their heroic and exemplary sacrifices to provide COVID-19 patients with care and treatment.
Expanding the Capacity and Data Rate of Telecommunication Network
- Increasing the speed of fixed internet services up to 16 Mbps, free of charge, for users' more and better benefit (up to 10 million subscribers).
- Significant enhancement of the capacity of country-wide backbone network and gateways.
- Substantial expansion of the capacity of high-speed links to fixed and mobile network operators.
Allocating Dedicated Helplines for Health Services and Monitoring as well as Sending Free Health SMS
- Frequent sending out free SMS to all subscribers on how to encounter with COVID-19 as requested by competent organizations such as the Ministry of Health and Medical Education.
- Freeing and increasing the capacity of the dedicated helplines 4030 and 190, which have been allocated to national screening of patients for COVID-19 and also answering people's questions by health centers.
- Sending out official notices on how to encounter with COVID-19 to mobile operators.
Designing and Development of Applications Based on New Technologies in order to Monitor and Control the Spread of COVID-19
- Technological use of ICT capabilities to monitor and control COVID-19: deployment of the platforms for electronic-government to collect and analyze databases; using AI and data analysis for preparing the map for the COVID-19 spread, determining the bustling spots and crowded areas in the country, distinguishing the areas with higher risk of virus spread, analyzing the consequences of close communications with COVID-19 victims as well as taking into note their economic status.
- Development and deployment of helpful applications such as AC19 which is designed for online testing of the possibility of being affected by COVID-19, QR code designed for e-payment, MASK which is a map displaying the spread of COVID-19 and help people keep their distance from more affected areas.
Updating the Health Instructions Appropriate for Safe Distribution of Consignments and Postal Fleets all over the Country Leading to Facilitating Delivery of Electronic Purchases and Businesses Boom
- Making necessary arrangements to facilitate purchasing necessities from virtual and online stores to avoid urban commuting of citizens.
- Mobilizing executive agents of I.R Iran Post Company to support e-sales.
- Suggesting practical solutions for e-purchasing and delivery of the products by postal operators;
- Sending official notice and taking necessary measures about disinfecting consignments and postal fleets.
- Sending official notice on wearing face masks by postal distributors, post office staff, government service counter offices and rural ICT offices.
Decreasing Face to Face Visits to CRA by Launching a New Online System for Provision of CRA Services Including Renewing Licenses and ICT Permits
- Extension of all postal and communications licenses to 20 June 2020.
- Temporary removal of paper-based issuance of ICT equipment Type Approval by CRA.
- Streamlining the issuance of licenses for new services and applications that are intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19.