Downtown, Akkar, and Dekwaneh to host ‘digital cities’
Telecoms Ministry encourages private firms to build more ICT incubators
Three ICT incubators will be established, in Downtown Beirut, Dekwaneh, and in Akkar as part of the Ministry of Telecommunications’ plan to create ‘digital cities’. These locations will host the first two digital cities out of the three the MoT has in its plans. The MoT issued a decree in early August for the establishment of areas equipped with high-tech communications facilities intended to host ICT startups or firms in early stages of development.
“The government would rather have these cities built outside Beirut for the purpose of developing the suburbs, whereas the private sector prefers building them inside Beirut for greater practicality and reach,” a senior government official said.
The digital cities, which will be developed, owned, and managed by the private sector, will benefit from broadband internet services at a very low cost. According to the decree, developers of these cities must have at least three years experience in setting up incubators. “Only three developers have these features: Berytech, Biat, and Southbic,” the official said. Biat and Southbic are two incubators located in Tripoli and Sidon respectively. Other developers, such as Seeqnce, Beirut Arab University, and the AUB are working to develop incubation programs but don't have years of experience. IDAL will give participating ICT firms tax incentives.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Aug 16, 2012