Nouar Harzallah, the CEO of defunct Algerian internet service provider (ISP) Equitablement & Ensemble Pour une Algerie Developpee (EEPAD), has announced the re-entry of the company into the Algerian broadband market after a four-year absence. Agence Ecofin reports that the company will mark its return to the sector with the introduction of its ‘Zala’ product, which includes access to multiple services including live TV and video on demand (VOD).
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, EEPAD was the first Algerian company to be licensed as an ISP in 1999, and went on to become the first DSL and voice-over-IP (VoIP) alternative operator in the country. However, in May 2009 Algerie Telecom (AT) effectively shut down EEPAD after its alleged failure to pay DZD2.6 billion (USD35 million) in unpaid interconnection charges. EEPAD refused to disappear however, and renewed its efforts to re-launch in September 2010, when it submitted three separate proposals to the Ministry of Posts, IT and Communications (MPTIC). Local press reports claimed that among the ideas proposed by EEPAD were: a re-structured payment schedule to make good their pre-existing debt, and a new public-private partnership agreement with AT, based on a revenue sharing model