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.

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Lebanese Restaurants: What Will Your Price Limit Be?

I decided to go out with a few friends tonight for dinner. Pretty mundane stuff, right? Well, with med schools and all such dinners have become quite rare so I tend to jump on them whenever I can.

We went to a place we were all familiar with: nothing too fancy, supposedly, and prices that were acceptable, supposedly.
We were given the menus. I looked at my go-to item and it seems since I visited that place last back in September, prices had taken a hike.

That same hike also happened last year across many of the country’s restaurants. And then the year before that. And the year before that. And we can go on for several years more but the sentence would become too wordy and tedious.

As we made our way back home, my friends and I wondered: when will Lebanese restaurants realize that it’s unacceptable to have these yearly price hikes that come in like clockwork when there are very few reasons (read none at all) to warrant them?

Lebanese restaurants don’t exist in vacuum. They exist in a country where salaries have not increased since last year and where the economic situation has become very tough for many people who used to frequent such places.

Have they seen their business take a dip over the past year? I doubt. And I doubt they’ll be affected this year as well. But we’re fast reaching the point where burger joints will stamp the word gourmet next to their names and cater only to select clientele because, you know, Lebanese love their exclusivity.

I’m not saying restaurants shouldn’t open a charity-esque business or not work for profit because that defeats the purpose of their existence.  I’m just saying there comes a time when the price of a French fries platter that doesn’t contain that much fries almost hitting $5 is way too much.