Mapping the telecom outages in Lebanon

Report any telecommunications outage that happens in Lebanon by filling out this form. We will use this information to update the map.

Lebanon is experiencing a financial crisis that is damaging all sectors in society, including telecommunications. In addition to an increase in power cuts across the country, SMEX has recorded outages that have specifically impacted communications infrastructure, including mobile and home internet.

These outages, which have affected Alfa and touch, the two state-owned telcos, as well as OGERO, the government agency responsible for in-home internet,  are due to a lack of fuel and urgent maintenance issues.The telecommunications outages in Lebanon are not new, but unfortunately this trend is likely to increase.

The recent collapse of the Lebanese Lira against the US Dollar, which began in August 2019, and the government’s inability to manage the resulting crisis contribute to more outages happening across the country. In early 2020, when the exchange rate jumped from $1 to LL1515 to $1 to LL2000, reports warned that the deteriorating financial situation could lead to the Internet outage and electricity blackouts because it would become more expensive to import fuel and spare parts. Now, the rate has surged LL9000 for 1 USD.

SMEX has launched a map documenting the telecommunications outages that are occurring in Lebanon. So far, we have documented outages in Tyre, Halba, Jounieh, and, Hermel, in addition to the electricity cuts that have impacted cities across the country. The map will demonstrate how fuel shortages and emergency maintenance efforts are impacting connectivity in Lebanon.

Internet connection, which is already weak and expensive in Lebanon, is important for people to communicate and do businesses. With the Covid-19 crisis, connectivity is particularly essential as more individuals are depending on it for work and school. Maintaining mobile internet is particularly critical as 18 hour power cuts have become the norm across the country. Just today, Ogero, tweeted that their services might be interrupted due to electricity blackouts. Landline phones, which are linked to the DSL service provided by Ogero, have also been affected recently. The economic crisis’ impact on the telecommunications infrastructure, together with the more frequent electricity cuts, hinders people’s ability to communicate, and therefore threatens their rights to free expression and access to information.

Report any telecommunications outage that happens in Lebanon by filling out this form. We will use this information to update the map.

This page is available in a different language العربية (Arabic) هذه الصفحة متوفرة بلغة مختلفة

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Abed Kataya

Digital Content Manager at SMEX. Digital safety trainer and freelance journalist. Interested in technology, economics and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter @kataya_abd.