Imad Kreidieh, the head of Lebanon’s state-owned national fixed line telco Ogero, has presented an updated network and internet strategy, the Daily Star reports. The national fibre-optic upgrade plan is now earmarked to finish in the fourth quarter of 2020 instead of an earlier-mooted date of Q3 2019. A tender for fibre-optic network deployment closed in January 2018, although the result has not yet been announced. Ogero ultimately aims for 85% of Lebanon’s population to have access to internet speeds above 50Mbps, more than ten times faster than many connections today. The 2017 state budget appropriated LBP150 billion (USD99 million) for fibre project investment in 2017, and envisioned the same amount of investment for 2018, followed by LBP75 billion in 2019 and a further LBP75 billion in 2020.
In other strategy updates announced by Kreidieh, Ogero’s fixed voice network equipment upgrade was pushed back a year to the end of 2018, whilst wireless internet coverage for rural areas is now slated for June 2018 instead of a previous target of December 2017. One timeframe was brought forward, however, as Ogero now expects to finish its public Wi-Fi programme by the end of 2018 – more than two years earlier than an original goal.