By Jamal Adel.
Tripoli, 18 December 2013:
The dire state of telecommunications in the south of the country was the subject of a . . .[restrict]meeting yesterday in Sebha attended by the Deputy Telecommunication Minister, Mohammed Belrass, and representatives from local councils and telecommunications officials in the south.
Representatives from almost all the towns and villages in Fezzan were there, Belrass told the Libya Herald, as were a number of heads of departments at the Ministry of Communications in Tripoli who accompanied him.
The meeting was part of huge reform and upgrading process occurring in the telecommunication sector, the Deputy Minister said.
“We discussed the means of overcoming difficulties in telecommunications – which are basically due to the lack of training of telecommunications employees and their rehabilitation, and poor internet coverage.”
Belrass said that although the sector was almost the only one that had not totally fallen apart after the revolution, “we’re looking forward to making a real revolution in the telecommunications in Libya generally and in the south in particular”.
He referred to the landline optic cable project which was now connected to over 200 cities, towns and villages in the country and which, he said, had cost of around half a billion dollars so far.
Security, however, was a challenge and it was delaying the project. It was not fully activated in some parts of the south, such as Umm Aranib and Owainat because of security concerns.
“We talked with local councils and urged them take responsibility for providing proper protection for telecommunication centres, generators and solar panels” so that such equipment can function safely.
Internet services in the south are poor to non-existant. However, work is being done to change this. French company Alcatel-Lucent is involved in the development of ADSL internet services in a number of locations in south of the country.