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Lebanon’s DSL hit by further delay

The introduction of high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) internet service in Lebanon has been delayed yet again, sources close to the government said this week.

The introduction of high-speed digital subscriber line (DSL) internet service in Lebanon has been delayed yet again, sources close to the government said this week.

The service, which has been held up several times already, was expected to launch this month. However, it is now understood that it will not launch until the end of May at the earliest.

The delay has caused frustration for Lebanon's internet service providers (ISPs), with customers eager to sign up for DSL services.

The latest delay was caused mainly by administrative slowness, Maroun Chammas, executive director of ISP IncoNet Data Management (IDM), claimed.

"We thought we were going to be on time but the timelines kept sliding," he told IT Weekly.

"There is some real progress in the sense that the centre exchange officers are now ready to host the equipment of the data service providers. We are waiting now for the go-ahead to install the equipment," he added.

A representative of Terranet, another ISP, said it was aware of the delay, but said he did not know when the service was now due to launch. "We hope in May or June," he said.

The Ministry of Telecommunications did not respond to a request for confirmation of the delay this week, but sources close to the ministry confirmed that the service had not yet launched.

Lebanon's communications market is set for a shake-up, with the long-awaited telco regulator - which has a mandate to open up the telecom market - set to launch within the next few weeks.

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