Lebanese Telecom Minister Boutros Harb said his government intends to deploy fiber optic networks throughout the country while inaugurating two fiber optic stations in Rabieh and Serhal hospital. He told his ministry is taking the necessary steps to spread this new service to Beirut and other regions soon.
Harb said the new fiber optics stations are part of his plan to upgrade the internet service to all of Lebanon by 2020.
“What we did today is one of the first steps in the 2020 plan which calls for installing fiber optics in all of Lebanon,” the minister told reporters after the inauguration ceremony.
The cables were stretched over an area of 8,000 meters, 4,000 of which was in Rabieh and the remaining 4,000 to Serhal hospital. The technicians and engineers will conduct tests to determine the speed of the fiber optic cables. The fiber optic cables will increase bandwidth from the current speed of 1 megabit per second to over 25 megabits per second.
“Our ambition is that each individual will have a minimum speed of 2 megabits per second and it could reach up to 85,” Harb said, adding that the new service would be available in Beirut next week.
“I have promised that in 2020, every last house in every last village and every Last Mountain and valley will enjoy Internet through fiber optics,” Harb said.
But it is not clear if the fiber optics service will become available to citizens any time soon. The Telecom Ministry plans to provide this service to government institutions, universities, and large firms in the first phase.
Harb said DSL would soon be available in Baalbek and large areas in the Bekaa, south and the north.
The growth of broadband network infrastructure has been neglected or slow in the country due to problems native to its own political system and allegations of a sector monopoly. Internet services are administered in Lebanon by the Ministry of Telecommunication. Lebanon provides three types of services: dial-up services, wireless Internet service, and ADSL.
Fiber-optic broadband is being deployed in a phased approach in Lebanon under the management of the Ministry of Post & Telecoms and Ogero who is the fixed network owner & maintainer. The broadband policy aims for the majority of the Lebanese population to have access to a full range of services (FTTH, IPTV, video conferencing) by 2020.
The Lebanese company for the development and reconstruction of the Beirut Central District is Solidere. It has deployed a Broadband Network in partnership with Orange Business Services in 2007. Orange operates this IP network using a fiber-optic backbone with a dual connection to each building in the city center. Under its unified communication network, Solidere provides IPTV services to all its residents operated and monitored from the network’s main operation center.