Beirut Will Have Super Fast Internet On April 9th, 11th and 13th; Other Regions Starting April 15th

Make sure you download this blog’s iOS app to stay up to date! (Link). 

Let me start by saying this: Imad Kreidieh is the example of a Lebanese official that we need more of in every form of governance. Not only has he put his predecessor to shame in the 8 weeks he’s been heading Ogero, but he has also done so to every single Lebanese politician with how he has been clear, thorough and keen on making sure transparency is key in everything he does.

As such, Mr. Kreidieh held a Facebook live Q&A which you can watch in its entirety here:

 

In the parts that are relevant to us as consumers without all kinds of tech backgrounds, the highlights are as follows:

  • New plans with faster speeds and bigger quotas as well as reduced pricing should be available in the next 2-3 weeks pending a decree from the Ministry of Telecommunications.
  • Internet will not be as fast as it can be until infrastructure is changed, notably that of exchange sites (or centrals). The project regarding this will have its tender on April 19th with implementation following soon after. Drastic improvements should start being available in the Fall of 2017.
  • Unlimited internet might come back to Ogero users.
  • New ministry decree will slash the one month wait period between switching ISPs (Switching from Ogero to someone else or vice versa).

As for things that we will get to experience sooner rather than a later, Mr. Kreidieh announced opening up all of the possible internet speed in Beirut on three separate days, which will be April 9th (this Sunday), April 11th (next Tuesday) and April 13th (next Thursday).

Each day will see a different part of the Greater Beirut area receive as fast internet as possible, depending on how much your line can handle.

The regions are divided as such:

  • On April 9th: Badaro – Mazra3a – Elissar – Mrayjeh – Jdeideh -Hazmieh – Ras Beirut – Riyad el Solh.
  • On April 11th: Furn el Chebbek, Bir Hassan, Hadath, Amrousiye, Adlieh, Hamra, Choueifat, Nahr.
  • On April 13th: Dawra, Sin El Fil, Chiyah, Achrafieh, Mina el Hosn, Ras el Nab3, Dekwaneh.

Of course, since Lebanon isn’t only Beirut as one of the people asking Kreidieh said, other regions in the country will have on Sunday starting April 15th to benefit from the same event whereby internet speed will be uncapped with each user getting as fast a service as possible depending on how far they are from the exchange.

Faster speeds will be available from 8AM till 8PM and feedback is requested either on Twitter at @ikreidieh, or by emailing ogero on thepeople@ogero.gov.lb or at Ogero’s Facebook account, which you can access here.

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April Fools’ Lebanon Style: We Were Promised Better Internet, We Got No Internet Instead

Make sure you download this blog’s iOS app to stay up to date! (Link). 

If you’ve ever wondered how a whole country can be without continuous internet for hours on end, including any form of mobile internet on our smartphones, look no further than the glorious Switzerland of the Middle East, the Democratic Republic of Lebanon, circa April 2017.

Leading up to this stupendous first day of April were promises of better internet by the end of March. Some people had already noticed their modems syncing at speeds that were, previously, only a far-fetched dream in the country.

As it stands, they’re no longer a dream on April 1st, but probably an immense fantasy more grand than Harry Potter.

Even as they were adamant to deny the existence of any problem, as they usually do, even our mobile carriers had to admit that this whole business of you frantically trying to refresh anything on your phone to try and see what is up with your connectivity is not on you.

My bitching didn’t even help fix things and I wasn’t alone in my problems:

It turns out that Ogero, the supplier of all internet in the country, was doing some heavy testing which resulted in the entire country being taken off the grid, as per the tweets of Imad Kreidieh, head of Ogero:

Truth be told, Imad Kreidieh has been doing a tremendous job as the head of Ogero so far. If there’s anything good to come out of this, it’s how he has handled it: he didn’t blame others for the problems of the institution he’s running, he was clear about what was being done, and later on he tweeted the following:

I’m very genuinely taken aback by how professional Mr. Kreidieh is. Is he really a Lebanese person in a position of power? Maybe this is the actual April Fools’ prank being played on us? Tawa Nicolas, the creator of this blog’s iOS app, WHICH YOU CAN DOWNLOAD HERE, said it best:

It’s not all bad though. I mean, think about all those MBs you’ve saved everyone! Here’s hoping that on April 1st, 2018 we would actually have a country whose internet speed is not apparently:

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?

The Church Explosion Derivation

On Sunday morning, an explosion rocked the Syriac church of Saydit Al Najat (Our Lady of Salvation) in Zahle. Every Lebanese official denounced the explosion, naturally, as a barbaric act, against the “example” of coexistence that is Lebanon, bla bla bla.

Now let us start our derivation of who is responsible for this attack.

Naturally, it can’t be a non-Lebanese because most Lebanese barely know of the existence of the targeted sect, let alone those who are foreigners and don’t know Lebanon has Maronites or any other major Christian sect to begin with.

Now that the non-Lebanese people have been taken out of the equation, this leaves us with those who hold the beloved and cherished citizenship. Of those, say 50% are Muslims and 50% are Christians. Now since we’d like to be optimistic, let us assume that our fellow Muslims would not do such a thing because it would break this example of coexistence.

Of the remaining 50% of Christians, no one would act except upon an act issued by their correspondent political leader. You have a bunch of irrelevant leaders who can’t get their followers to hurt a fly and then you have the big quartet.

Michel Aoun was probably still sleeping, long dreaming about him being Lebanon’s president, a dream that doesn’t seem to let him go. Add to that the fact that his supporters don’t know what a bomb is and you rule him out of the equation as well.

Sleiman Frangieh’s followers know very well what a bomb is. But Zahle is just too far away from his radar that you can’t make him a serious contender for the top prize. Add to it him being clueless most of the time and you definitely take his name off the list.

Amin Gemayel was still probably mourning his son. Or in the midst of the conversation that started on Friday evening. Either way, I don’t see him as someone who would issue the bombing as well.

Samir Geagea, however, *evil smile*, this man can definitely blow up a church. I mean, out of the whole bunch of politicians today, he is the only criminal, right? And he has blown up a church before. Granted, he was exonerated, but he did blow it up, no? His party is also made up of a bunch of high school dropouts who don’t know how to write their names, so naturally, they know how to handle bombs. Also, as a wise person from Bsharri would say: If Geagea thinks a church needs to be blown up, then the church needs to be blown up.

Meanwhile, the seven Estonians are still missing. Telecom minister Charbel Nahas is still in his cat-fight with Ogero CEO, Abdel Menhem, and the country is more prosperous than ever. Some Lebanese stupidheads took the headlines with their pro-Syria protests… why would anyone care about a silly Church getting blown up?

PS: In case you didn’t notice, let me hashtag it for you: #sarcasm.