The State Council (Shoura) ruled in favor of an objection and suspended a license awarded by Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) to GlobalCom Data Services (GDS) and Connect. A ministerial decision in 2017 allowed the two companies to deploy private fiber optics networks in specified dense geographic locations as a part of the ‘Fiber-to-the-home' (FTTH) project.
Jamal Jarrah, Minister of Telecommunications said that MoT will abide by the initial verdict and temporarily suspend the license until the Shoura releases its final ruling.
The objection was filed by the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers.
In 2017 the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) approved GDS and Connect to deploy private fiber optics networks, but they have to deploy a free network for OGERO simultaneously.
Nassif Bechara, Chief Executive Officer of Connect said that the license for Data Service Providers (DSP) allows them to use the public infrastructure to reach their end-users. Connect will act once the final Shoura verdict is announced, and might appeal the decision. Bechara said that Connect might ask for compensation as the cost of Phase I has reached $30 million.
GDS started its pilot fiber optics project in the Hamra and Verdun regions, and was ready to connect the network to offices and apartments. Connect also started deployment in Ashrafieh last month.
Reported by Samer Rasbey