[broadbandworld forum] Lebanon's Minister for Telecoms, Charbel Nahhas, has announced a plan to install fibre-optic networks and advanced broadband services across the country within the next 18 months, according to reports in local newspaper The Daily Star.
Mr. Nahhas is quoted as saying that the project will cost US$ 60mn and will involve the installation of 710km of phone wires as well as 2,750km of fibre-optic cables. The deadline for completion of this phase is said to be 16 months from now, and the Ministry for Telecommunications will launch a tender before the end of the month (July 2010).
A second phase of the project will see DWDM equipment installed in the new network. This second phase is expected to cost US$ 20mn, with the tender to be launched in September 2010.
A third phase of the project will see 100 active cabinets set up to link subscribers to the network, delivering speeds of up to 15 Mbps, at a cost of US$ 2.5mn. Finally, the fourth phase of the project will see 1,000 active cabinets set up, covering 75% of the population and costing US$ 25mn.
Mr. Nahhas is also quoted as saying that the Lebanese government is keen to liberalise the country's broadband sector and expand the use of Internet and other related services in the country: “This new technology which transfers data in the speed of light will open new doors for the use of the Internet in houses, offices and companies," he said. "It will also open the door widely [for] economic development in every part of the country."
Finally, the minister is also quoted as saying that the project could facilitate the deployment of IPTV services in the country.
Lebanese government unveils national broadband plan