Plans to boost Internet
speed to 50 Mbps underway
Lebanon’s share in the submarine cable Alexandros will be increased from 310 to 1,920 gigabytes per second (GB/s), said the Ministry of Telecom (MoT). The plans will complement the start of the fiber optic project due to begin in the coming weeks. The $300 million fiber optic project will help boost Internet speed to at least 50 megabits per second across the country.
Last week, the MoT signed a memorandum of understanding with the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) regarding the increased share.
The telecom cable links Lebanon to France through Cyprus.
Lebanon’s available capacity will be increased tenfold from 60 to 600 GB/s at no cost to the Lebanese State, according to the MoT. The cost of expanding the capacity of the relevant equipment, amounting to $700,000, will be assumed by Cyta, it said.
The capacity of Cadmus, the undersea cable which links Lebanon to Cyprus, has recently become 500 GB/s. The new capacity will be put into service before the end of 2017. The Lebanese government will pay half the cost of this project, or $350,000, while Cyta will pay the other half, the MoT said. Cadmos will be replaced in 2019 by a new cable called Europa which will also be installed in partnership with Cyprus.
According to a source at the MoT, boosting the capacity of the cables that link Lebanon to the world is necessary in order to speeding up the Internet locally, because users need to connect to international servers. Expanding the bandwidth locally is not enough if it is not accompanied by a similar expansion of the international cables.
Gabriel Deek, Chairman of the Internet Society, Lebanon Chapter, said that expanding the capacity of the cables that link Lebanon to the world will boost Internet speed, but that the new speed is unusable before the fiber optic project is completed. “The project will take time as it will involve linking around 7,500 telecom cabinets to the fiber optic network,” Deek said.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Sep 14, 2017