New cable to boost internet, expected in two months

19 Feb 2009

Lebanon’s telecoms minister Jebran Bassil has signed a preliminary agreement with Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and Kuwait-based Mada Communication to deploy a new cable linking the country to Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Syria, which is expected to help boost available peak internet speeds for Lebanese users by a factor of 20, reports local newspaper The Daily Star. Bassil hopes that the project will be accomplished in two months, funded entirely by the private sector. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Lebanon’s state-run telco Ogero launched ADSL services in May 2007, but connection speeds remain limited to 1Mbps, with HDSL-based 2.3Mbps services available to some businesses. Ogero has a monopoly on international data gateway services, but the sector regulator, the TRA, is planning to issue new national and international broadband network operating licences later this year.