Lebanon got access to the internet 21 years ago. In this episode of Zaven Kouyoumdjian’s show in 1996, Zaven and his guest are discussing the beginning of the internet revolution in Lebanon. This video went viral on social media! In this episode, Zaven invited the Advisor of Information Strategies and Internet Nabil Bou Khaled to discuss the new trend in Lebanon. At that time, Bou Khaled was the Head of the IT Department at the American University of Beirut (AUB). He mentioned that there were only 5,200 internet users in 1996, 2,600 of which were from AUB. Three internet service providers were available in Lebanon. However, the packages were not cheap at all. At that time, the internet cost $45 to $75 for five hours. Each additional hour cost from $4 to $5. This explains the reason why there were few Lebanese people connected to the internet. In total, there were 100 million internet users around the world. The majority of them chose the cheapest package. The offer allows users to use email. Answering to Zaven’s questions, Bou Khaled said that the internet would replace neither newspapers nor human relations. Little did he know that the newspaper industry will die little by little, and that humans will prefer connecting to people virtually. In an interview which was held this year in October, Bou Khaled clarified that he predicted electronic newspapers, but he did not expect them to be free. Fadi Adwan, who was watching the show, sent an email that says: “I am watching you on TL.” It’s interesting to see how much things have changed!
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