Arab Today, arab today businesses in lebanon take hit as costly internet blackout lingers
Last Updated : GMT 02:24:43
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Businesses in Lebanon take hit as costly Internet blackout lingers

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Businesses in Lebanon take hit as costly Internet blackout lingers

Beirut - Arabstoday

Lebanon’s Internet blackout continued to disrupt businesses across the country Thursday. The blackout was linked to a break in the IMEWE cable – a submarine fiber-optic cable linking Lebanon to international capacities – 50 kilometers off the coast of the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, according to the Telecoms Ministry. Seven other countries were reportedly affected by the outage. The ministry added that it was working with the authorities in Egypt and Cyprus, in coordination with Ogero, the state-run land-line operator, to rectify the situation by linking Lebanon to Cyprus’ submarine Internet cables – ALEXANDROS and CADMOS – via the existing cable infrastructure. But the ministry said this temporary solution was unlikely to restore normal Internet speed and capacity. The blackout marks the second of the week following three hours of down time Monday and comes at a time when the productivity of local industries is already being negatively affected by increased power rationing. “The Internet is a major player in business, everything is related to the Internet,” said Eddie Issa – managing director of Insight Solutions, an IT consultancy firm based in Beirut. “If people are unable to access emails, use applications, check information online or access Internet banking then businesses can’t function effectively.” Issa also pointed out that while other countries were affected by the severed IMEWE cable, their backup solutions were far more proficient than those in Lebanon. This sentiment was echoed by Telecommunications Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui, who highlighted that Lebanon was one of few nations that rely on only a single submarine cable for Internet connectivity. “The lack of a redundant route makes the country completely vulnerable to such blackouts.” Maroun Chammas, chairman of IDM, a leading private Internet provider, told The Daily Star that international Internet capacity available to Lebanon had dropped to 3 gigabytes per second, down from some 13 gb/s, before the IMEWE failure. “This is having a disastrous impact on the business and service we can offer customers.” Chammas added that negotiations, currently being undertaken by the Telecoms Ministry, could yield renting up to 8 gb/s of capacity from Cyprus. This could shore up capacity to 11 gb/s later Thursday, but Chammas suggested that an effective long-term solution to the problem could be found if the government allowed the private sector to become more involved in developing the sector. “The private sector would be even ready to invest in additional submarine cables to improve redundancy,” he said. Other companies in Lebanon have also felt the heat. “We are an online company. When the Internet goes down it badly affects us,” said Mohammad Saadi – general manager of online retailer Marka VIP. “When we can’t use the Internet, we can’t get any orders, and this is what we rely on to make a profit. In the time since the Internet cut off, we would usually have between 10 and 20 orders, instead we have had none.” Saadi expressed a sense of relief that the Lebanese market accounts for a mere 5 percent of the company’s sales and correspondingly overall losses were relatively small. Other Internet based companies are less fortunate. “We have been strongly affected,” explained Sophia Sakr of Scoop City, a website offering discounted deals throughout Lebanon. “From a basic point of view I can’t even get on the website, so customers can’t either.” Sakr said that the number of people visiting the website had been cut by half since the blackout began Wednesday evening. Speaking Thursday afternoon, she said the Internet speed remained too slow for her to access the media-heavy website, noting that the combination of Internet and electricity cuts posed somewhat of a double blow to the business. “Even in normal circumstances things can be difficult. The Internet is slow but sufficient, but when you factor power cuts into the equation it becomes difficult,” she said. “For example, there might be an electricity outage as someone is making a payment online – the bank might register it but the payment doesn’t go through our system. This causes inconvenience for everyone.” Issa argued that the current crisis merely shines a spotlight on Lebanon’s obsolete Internet infrastructure, which continues to rely centrally on HDSL and DSL networks that are unable to support the evolution of the Internet. At a time when the Lebanese government is keen to promote the virtues of Lebanon, and Beirut in particular, as a cosmopolitan business hub within the region, the inadequacy of the available Internet services stand out like a sore thumb. Issa pointed out that while the quality of the internet for the domestic market was poor, it was at least affordable. In contrast, in the commercial sector, the cost of renting an exclusive Internet connection is quite expensive. “For a company to rent a capacity of 10 megabytes per second exclusively, it will cost them around $6,000 a month. In Europe you would get 2 or 3 gb/s for the same amount of money,” says Issa. “This is extortion. In Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan they are almost handing out Internet for free.” In a 2011 survey conducted by bandwidth testing site speedtest.net, Lebanon ranked 186th out of 186 countries in terms of Internet speed below Vanuata, Gabon and Cameroon while a World Bank survey from the same year estimated that Lebanon loses 1.4 percent growth in GDP each year due to the absence of fast Internet. This loss is estimated at $420 million annually. The Daily Star

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today businesses in lebanon take hit as costly internet blackout lingers Arab Today, arab today businesses in lebanon take hit as costly internet blackout lingers

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today businesses in lebanon take hit as costly internet blackout lingers Arab Today, arab today businesses in lebanon take hit as costly internet blackout lingers

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid

GMT 06:49 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Israeli court convicts Palestinians of 2016

GMT 04:39 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Israeli court convicts Palestinians of 2016
Arab Today, arab today Iran's Facebook shuts down

GMT 23:50 2017 Monday ,16 October

Iran's Facebook shuts down
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman
Arab Today, arab today Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Anoshka happy for reactions to her talk show

GMT 12:33 2017 Friday ,13 October

Anoshka happy for reactions to her talk show
Arab Today, arab today India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 18:49 2017 Monday ,16 October

India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 10:55 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Safaa Sultan happy for “Love School”

GMT 10:37 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Cara Delevingne accuses Weinstein

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 12:02 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Conservation cutbacks put Brazil's

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 12:25 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Squeeze on UK health gives advanced

GMT 07:02 2017 Sunday ,15 October

German minister sparks uproar

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 03:59 2017 Sunday ,15 October

US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday