Lebanon set to embrace DSL lines by next spring

Internet service providers optimistic of deployment

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By  Published  December 3, 2006

High-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) internet services should be available in Lebanon by March next year, according to local internet service providers (ISPs).

The introduction of DSL, which has been delayed several times — mainly because of problems with the telecommunications ministry — is now on track to be launched next spring.

“A lot of people have been waiting for DSL, they have been hearing about it for so long and we’ve been promising them that there will be a service but unfortunately it is not up to the private sector to decide that, it is up to the Ministry,” Carol Hage, sales manager at ISP Terranet, told IT Weekly.

“Since last year we’ve been discussing it seriously with the Ministry and now hopefully by 2007 we can deploy and start providing the service,” she added.

DSL can be deployed quicker and to a much broader population than dial-up, Maroun Chammas, executive director of ISP IncoNet Data Management (IDM), claimed, adding that he expected it to replace dial-up. “People need high speed. Basically the customers that we have today in dial-up will be converting to DSL and we will be attracting more customers that have today a need to be connected but want to have high speed instead of dial-up slow speed,” he said.

Not being able to offer DSL has been a considerable deterrent to foreign investors looking to set up operations in the country, according to Hage.

“International companies want to open up a branch and [then] once they hear we don’t have DSL yet they make an issue out of it, it creates a problem and distrust in coming to Lebanon,” she claimed.

“Once they hear DSL is not here yet, it is one of the points that discourages people,” she continued. “Its introduction should prove a boon for the economy.

“When you are up to date with the technology all international entities will have faith in you and your business and making business,” she added.

The introduction of DSL should also speed up the availability of voice over internet protocol (VoIP), which is currently banned in the country, service providers claimed.

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