Lebanon Businessnews News

61 percent Internet penetration
ITU study shows country one of the
most dynamic in ICT development
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The local information & communication technology (ICT) sector’s ranking improved by nine places according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) recent report ‘Measuring the Information Society 2013’. Lebanon ranked second among the world’s top ten most dynamic countries worldwide, preceded by the UAE.

The annual report measures the cost and affordability of ICT services. Its ICT Development Index (IDI) ranks ICT performance (infrastructure and uptake) in 157 countries.

Salam Yamout, Head of the ICT Committee at the Presidency of Council of Ministers, said this is a national achievement. “This year is a landmark for the local ICT sector, and the Ministry of Telecommunication was very active in putting Lebanon on the right track.”

The country’s overall IDI value reached 5.37, ranking 52nd globally. It had the highest annual increase in IDI value (0.75 points). IDI global average is 4.35.

Lebanon was the country with the highest value change on the accessibility sub-index. It was able to translate progress in ICT accessibility and infrastructure into more intense use of services.

The broadband market saw the launching of the 3G network. New fiber-optic submarine cables provided the country with more international Internet bandwidth capacity. Wireless-broadband penetration rose from 11 to 26 percent. Fixed (wired)-broadband penetration more than doubled to 12 percent. The proportion of individuals using the Internet climbed from 52 to 61 percent. The country’s rank in terms of household access to ICT also improved from 64th to 55th.

In September 2011, the Government lowered the cost of entry-level broadband by 70 percent, bringing it below the Arab States average, according to the Lebanese Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). Local broadband prices were also ‘affordable’ and similar to the region’s high-income economies (around two percent of Gross National Income per capita).

“We will be expecting more progress in the coming years, especially with the continuing improvement of the infrastructure. This will help implementing our overall ICT vision and strategy,” said Yamout.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Oct 25, 2013