It’s happening: Ogero has announced that it will soon become unable to pay its dues to the foreign internet providers that keep Lebanon online in the World Wide Web.
Not only is the internet seriously threatened with disconnection in 2020, as implied by the backbone Lebanese company of telecommunications, but so are the cellular networks of Lebanon.
According to Almodon, Ogero has “sounded its alarms” and warned of an impending internet and cellular network crisis that will affect both the private and public sectors of Lebanon.
The rather foreseeable and inevitable outcome is the result of the worsening economic crisis.
The gradual disappearance of US dollars from the Lebanese market, which is the primary currency used by Lebanon in foreign exchange, means that local businesses and companies will not be able to conduct transactions to fulfill their contracts with the outside world.
Some of these contracts are necessary for the continuation of basic services in the country, such as the internet and cellular networks.
Therefore, because of the compounding dollar crisis, “A number of suppliers will refrain from giving Ogero the necessary equipment to carry out maintenance and install new lines for citizens,” a source from the Ministry of Telecommunications told Almodon.
It concluded: “The suppliers want the price of the equipment in dollars, and we have no ability to secure the dollar or transfer it abroad.”
This shortage of dollars -and as a result equipment- will force Ogero to limit and eventually cease its maintenance and customer service operations.
Thus, “the percentage of invoices will decrease and, with it, the revenues of the Ministry of Telecommunications will shrink, and hence the state’s money will also decline.”
The same concept is applied in the case of the internet. Staying connected to the web is the outcome of a process that costs Lebanon an annual total of around 4 million USD (paid, of course, in that currency).
In case Lebanon fails to provide the required amounts to the suppliers, this ultimately results in the country being unplugged from the global network. Sadly, this scenario doesn’t seem to be very far-fetched in our case.
Ogero’s warning is serious, and it follows a series of similar warnings that have been successively issued by many essential industries in Lebanon over the past months, including those involved in the supply of electricity, medical equipment, nutrition, and other crucial commodities and services.
If there’s any sense of responsibility left in the monopolist politicians of Lebanon, they must act quickly to pull their chaos-infested country, which they’ve been so carelessly destroying, from beneath the rubble.