Ogero says DSL equipment now in place to deliver promised speeds

10 Oct 2011

Lebanese state-owned PSTN operator Ogero says it has finally received equipment it needs to deliver satisfactory ADSL broadband services across its national network, after a shortage of funding caused it to stop connecting new high speed customers. In a statement late on Thursday, as reported by local newspaper The Daily Star, Ogero said it had received the technical equipment on loan from Data Consult Company and installation work was being carried out round the clock.

On 1 October 2011 Ogero announced the launch of new internet packages, including a minimum 1Mbps ADSL service across ‘the majority’ of the country for its retail end-users and wholesale ISP customers. This followed a government decree issued in September which mandated an 80% reduction in the cost of DSL bandwidth to the consumer, an increase in retail broadband speeds by between four and eight times – up to 8Mbps – and a rise in monthly download limits. However, full national rollout of the new ADSL2+ services requires Ogero to complete equipment upgrades including finishing its fibre-optic transmission backbone to all parts of the country, which is expected by end-2012 according to the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT). Meanwhile, some private ISPs are reported by the Star to have withheld launching the new packages pending assurances from the state telco, while the new promised higher speeds have reportedly been delayed in some areas due to the incumbent’s slowness in upgrading network equipment. However, most ADSL users are already benefiting from the lower price and higher monthly download limits introduced under the MoT’s bill (though still waiting for high speeds). In another belated move that should see more users get access to faster connections, this month private sector access providers have been permitted to install equipment to connect broadband users to the backbone in 35 additional DSL exchanges (hubs, or ‘centrales’), taking the total to 70 of the 170 DSL exchanges; previously Ogero was the only company authorised to install its equipment in all but 35 locations.

In July 2011 the MoT announced that ISPs were to be granted retail and wholesale access to international internet capacity via the India-Middle East-Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable, and the promise was formalised by decree two months later.

Lebanon, Ogero Telecom