Lebanon's 'Revolution' finally Arrived: Faster and cheaper Internet
Slow internet will be a thing of the dark ages of Lebanon's internet troubles, come September, 2011, when the country's users will have faster and cheaper internet.
Internet users are poised to see an 80 percent decrease in prices and a 4 to 8 times increase in speeds, a decree signed by the Council of Ministers stipulated Tuesday night.
Online tech communities have hailed the move as “the light at the end of the tunnel,” and a breakthrough for the national economy, giving a much-needed boost to an ailing infrastructure.
Telecommunication Minister Nicholas Sahnaoui, who spearheaded the bill, said he expects ISPs to implement the new package by the end of September.
Questions have arisen about that timeline, however, after the Minister hinted that he would not enforce the decree until a controversial energy bill, sponsored by fellow FPM party member Energy Minister Jibran Bassil, came into effect.
The $1.2 billion electricity bill has been discussed over at least three cabinet sessions, polarizing cabinet officials as well as parliament after critics of the bill said it lacked financial oversight.
Still, many in the tech community are confident that the Internet decree will soon see the light of day. Some ISP companies have already quadrupled Internet speeds, though a reduction in bandwidth costs, which amounts to 84 percent according to the decree, has not yet materialized.