These Are Lebanon’s Upcoming New DSL Plans

Yesterday, head of Ogero Imad Kreidieh announced on his Twitter page (link) the upcoming DSL plans which are still awaiting our government to ratify in order for them to be operational. We’ve actually been waiting for over 40 days as Mr. Kreidieh had previously imagined the plans to be functional starting April 1st.

However, as it is with Lebanese governance, anything that could serve to improve our quality of life in such a way got delayed, as our politicians bicker over that new electoral law which they won’t be able to come up with. At this point, figuring out the existence of parallel worlds is easier.

In a series of tweets, Imad Kreidieh said that most of the new plans won’t feature any speed limits which means you get the speed that your line can handle.

This is a double-edged sword: while it’s good to know that some of us might be getting more than the 2Mbps we currently get, any future problems we might face could then be blamed on the quality of our copper lines.

However, as I’ve asked Mr. Kreidieh on Twitter back when the “Unleash The Speed” campaign was underway in different areas of Beirut, the speed that your line got on that day is the speed you’d get under normal conditions once the new plans are implemented. I personally got 12Mbps back then and would be happy to get that much on a daily basis.

Because of our dying infrastructure, however, the speed that you’ll get is highly dependent on how far you are from the exchange site. A few weeks ago, LBC did a report on the issue from which the following figure was obtained:

Hopefully our government will ratify the new plans soon. Here they are:

  • 2 Mbps, Unlimited: 60,000LL.
  • 4 Mbps, 40GB: 24,000LL.
  • Open speed, 50GB: 30,000LL.
  • Open speed, 100GB: 45,000LL.
  • Open speed, 150GB: 60,000LL.
  • Open speed 200GB: 75,000LL.
  • HDSL 100 gb: 100,000LL.

Extra consumption will also be made cheaper: the first 50GB are priced at 1,500LL each, with each GB after those priced at 1,000LL.

I think the new plans are fair. They’re much better than what we previously had, but a far cry from what we truly need. For instance, I have no idea if the new quotas will be enough with the new speeds we’d be getting. Can you imagine how many GBs you’d race through when YouTube decides to automatically load in HD?

I hope that these plans are, therefore, a stepping stone and that we won’t need to wait another 3 years before they get updated again.

Is All of Lebanon’s Internet Resting on the IMEWE Cable?

Two whole-country blackouts in one week. Both lasted for a few hours during which the entirety of Lebanon was disconnected from the grid, adding to its disconnections in electricity and water – because we are not allowed to have a 24/7 sector that runs smoothly in the country.

It could be that we decided to feel compassion to the people of Virginia in the US, bracing themselves through massive storms. We can’t let them be the only people on the globe who are suffering through internet disconnections?

Let’s hope the Americans can be appreciative.

But sarcasm aside, how come all of Lebanon’s internet rests on the state of one cable: IMEWE, the one we got connected to not long ago?

Don’t we have other cables, such as Cadmus, that also connect Lebanon to the grid? Where are those cables when something happens to IMEWE?

Don’t we have a backup plan in case anything happens to IMEWE? Can’t we revert to the old bandwidth that was enough to sustain connectivity although not speed (dismal as the current one may be) in case something happens to this cable?

And regarding IMEWE, how come a cable that cost millions upon millions of dollars is having this many problems? Two blackouts this week alone with the total number of blackouts increasing the further you go back in your observation. And why are the problems only centered in Lebanon? Alexandria, for instance, another location that gets bandwidth from the cable is not suffering from the blackouts we are having.

They want to let you think Lebanese internet has gotten better. But what good is an extra Mbps in speed when you can’t even use it for hours and hours? What good is the internet that comes from a cable that’s looking to be more fragile than an osteoporotic woman’s bones?

With this many recurrent problems with the IMEWE cable, perhaps the ministry of telecommunications should look into the main problem leading to the blackouts and not patch it up in a few hours so it happens again a few days later.

In all my years as an internet user, all of which have been in Lebanon, there has never been as many internet blackouts as we’ve had since our internet got “better.”


Unlimited Night Internet Now Available in Lebanon

I just received a text from IDM notifying me that my DSL will become unlimited from 11 pm to 7 am every day. The decree, which minister Nicolas Sehnaoui announced was in works more than a month ago, was published in the Official Gazette last Thursday.

Ogero customers were immediately able to benefit from the service. Some said the website still showed that they were charged for the quota they used at that time. Minister Sehnaoui subsequently replied to some users on Twitter that they won’t be charged and that the website will be updated soon.

I asked minister Sehnaoui when other ISPs would offer this service and this was his reply to me.

It seems Private ISPs got their bandwidth quite fast. I’m not sure about other ISPs but I think they most probably have it as well. Here’s the text I got from IDM.

Instead of my account info showing me the typical: Your line didn’t pass the feasibility test for unlimited nights, I currently get the following:

I really hope the speed doesn’t become unusable at 11 pm. But yes, this was much needed. I can finally get those 80 app updates waiting for me out of the way. Infinity Blade 2 is just such a nuisance, don’t you think?