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Ogero shows off superfast internet in Bshamoun
Ogero shows off superfast internet in Bshamoun
BEIRUT: Ogero boss Imad Kreidieh showcased the company’s expanding fiber-optic network from Bshamoun Thursday.

Fittingly, the demonstration and Q&A was broadcast via a live Facebook video feed – a feat unthinkable a few years ago.
Holding up a cellphone, a resident of Bshamoun showed off a download speed of 70.7 megabits per second – closer to what is normally found in Europe or China rather than Lebanon, where broadband speeds typically hover around 5 Mbps.
“Ogero has fulfilled the dream that no one thought possible,” a beaming Ziad Kreidbeh told viewers.
The head of the state-run internet company told his Facebook audience that the project to bring Lebanon’s internet up to international speeds is six months ahead of schedule. By the end of the year, several more locations will have access to the technology, including several areas of the capital such as Hamra, Ashrafieh and Mar Elias.

Kreidieh said he had picked Bshamoun as a testing site for a particular reason. “It was chosen because of the ease and because of the difficulty of the area – because there are residents who live far away from the central exchange. We wanted to test all possible cases, and the experiment was successful,” Kreidieh said.

“The streaming is very good here, even better than in Beirut,” he added.
Kreidbeh, the Bshamoun resident, lives 8 kilometers away from the nearest central exchange. For most residents of Lebanon, distance to an exchange is crucial to speed because of signal decay over copper wires.
Ogero’s $300 million “Fiber to the X” plan solves this problem in part by setting up a network of “active cabinets” – miniexchanges – on curbs closer to end users.

Kreidieh said there were 36 active cabinets in Bshamoun, benefiting up to 10,000 people. “We want to provide services to the country and reach where developed countries are today,” Kreidieh said.
Ogero began building the “Fiber to the X” project earlier this year.
The goal is to provide 85 percent of Lebanese residents with speeds of 50 Mbps or more.
The work of deploying lightning-fast fiber-optic connections across the country was divided among three companies, each with different geographic responsibilities, according to a report from Lebanon Opportunities magazine.
According to the report, BMB Group is working in the Chouf, Aley and Nabatieh; Serta Channels in Beirut, Metn, Kesrouan, Jbeil, south Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley; and PowerTech in north Lebanon.

During the Facebook stream, Kreidieh promised several areas of the country will be connected by the end of the year. In addition to Hamra, Ashrafieh and Mar Elias, Ras Beirut, Nabatieh, Khaldeh, Halba, Bohsas, Broummana, Baabdat and Deir al-Qamar will see fiber-optic connections, he said.
He said 2019 will see connections to Beiteddine, Mukhtara, Batroun, Tripoli, Mina, Jeita, Barja, Jbeil, Zouk Mikael, Hazmieh, Adlieh, Sidon, Akkar al-Atiqa, Bint Jbeil, Qobeiyat, Marjayoun, Baalbeck, Zahle, Chtoura, Bir Hasan, Mina al-Hosn, Jal al-Dib, Jdeideh, Sin al-Fil and Tyre.
By the end of this year, some 125,000 residents will have access to faster internet, he said, a number that will rise to 467,980 by the end of 2019.
“In 36 months, hopefully everyone will be connected [to the fiber-optic network],” he said.