Lebanon’s telecoms minister Charbel Nahas announced on Saturday that new fibre-optic links will be launched in the next few weeks that will enable an increase in internet access speeds for all subscribers in the country by 10%-20% whilst improving international voice call facilities. According to local newspaper The Daily Star, the minister also announced the expansion of DSL broadband services by state-run telco Ogero to several areas including the Chouf region where he said 16,000 subscribers are now able to access DSL. He added that his ministry is working on extending DSL coverage in other areas including Metn, Baabda, Aley, West Bekaa, Nabatiyeh and Tyre, with the rollouts expected to yield 50,000 new subscribers. Nahas also gave figures and forecasts for the overall DSL market in Lebanon. ‘Out of 810,000 households subscribed in the fixed telephone service there are 705,000 who are capable of accessing DSL while 162,000 have already accessed the service,’ he said, adding, ‘The spread of the DSL internet service in Lebanon by the end of June 2010 will reach 93% [of fixed line users].’ According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Ogero’s DSL network covered 118 out of 380 of its PSTN exchanges, and over 87% of fixed lines.