Palestinian power companies to offer broadband
Ministry of Telecoms awards power companies licences to offer broadband capacity to ISPs
Palestine's Ministry of Telecoms and IT (MTIT) has granted a licence to the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO) allowing it to use its fibre network for broadband.
The licence will allow JDECO to offer capacity on its dark fibre network, which connects Jerusalem, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho, to ISPs operating in the West Bank. The service is already available to ISP's, according to the MTIT.
The MTIT and Palestine's electricity regulator, the Electric Power Council, have also sent instructions to other electricity distributors to lay fibre cables along their power lines, in a bid to expand Palestine's broadband coverage and increase competition.
"This is expected to increase the bandwidth substantially and is meant to be the first step towards building fibre-to-home network - it's becoming a reality in Palestine," Dr Mashhour Abudaka, the MTIT minister, told CommsMEA.
He added that the initiative was designed to increase competition, reduce costs and "improve services which the Palestinians need now".
Palestine's incumbent operator, Paltel, is currently the only official broadband infrastructure provider in the West Bank and Gaza. Palestine's two mobile operators, Jawwal and Wataniya Palestine, have not yet been awarded 3G licences.
Both operators have long complained that Israeli telecom operators are offering 3G services in the Palestinian Territories by positioning base stations along the country's borders and in illegal settlements in the West Bank.