As a consequence of strikes begun last week by telecoms sector employees, services including mobile internet and data, fixed broadband and fixed voice have been subject to interruptions in cities across Lebanon, with some locations experiencing timed cut-offs while others have suffered prolonged, complete outages, local news outlet The961 reports. Following the start of industrial action by state-owned fixed telco Ogero’s workers union on 30 August, centres in Hamra, Sidon, Nahr, Beiteddine, Damour, and Nabatieh were the first to be reported as offline, with others soon added to the list, rendering voice and internet services unavailable, and with knock-on effects for users of the country’s two mobile networks, Touch and Alfa, as well as fixed broadband ISPs. One further report said ‘Ogero landlines and the internet service stopped in Marjayoun Caza, and Alfa and Touch coverage was almost completely suspended.’ Note that Alfa and Touch employees had already begun their own strike action the previous week.
The strikes have exacerbated existing problems with network service continuity caused by, among other factors, shortages of electricity and diesel fuel for generators. Strikers are demanding the recalculation of their salaries amid Lebanon’s crippling economic crisis.