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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The Farce that is Lebanese Telecom...

"No one has noticed, but the Lebanese government is writing yet another chapter in the endless mockery of our rights as private citizens and social entrepreneurial agents of progress and change. The state is extending censorship over the remainder of our liberties into the last frontier of freedom – the internet and its supposed neutrality." - Imad Atalla, for the Daily Star on June 08, 2010.

Apparently Ogero is enforcing the Telecoms Law that bans VoIP (Voice over IP), the technology that enables internet users to make voice calls for reduced rates, and sometimes for free (IP to IP).
While this is a great technology that's being used by private internauts and businesses alike, it greatly reduces revenue to the monopolies that are policing all the bandwidth into and out of our little country, that is, Ogero, MTC, Alfa, and the Ministries of Finance and Telecommunications. 
So Ogero and Lebanon are claiming authority over how much their customers need to spend in order to make a phone call; in essence, they're not allowing us to use VoIP because it's cheap, but are scrambling to funnel us into having to use their exorbitantly expensive phone services for communication.

One would think that these broad daylight thieves would get enough revenue to thrive from the RICULOUSLY low quality (understatement) service they provide for such RIDICULOUSLY OUTRAGEOUS prices! But no. IT seems that they want to plug every escape route by which we can bypass their fat bank accounts, in order to make sure that we continue to happily pay for their crappy service. 

I remember when I got my internet connection set up from Ogero a few years ago. I have a 512 Kbps ADSL connection. And I was proud of it, by the way, until I tested the connection speed at a website which compared Lebanon's average ISP speed with that of other countries. We ranked a lowly 162nd in terms of average download speed (0.63 MegaBits/s, or 78.75 KiloBytes/s, slow by any standards, and still optimistic if you ask me, I never got anything faster than 40 Kilobytes/s downloading stuff). Check it out: Speedtest World Results. And we happily pay more than they pay in Korea, which is ranked number one in the world today with 33.76 MegaBits/s, or 4.22 MegaBytes/s, or 4,220 Kilobytes /s. That's nearly 54 TIMES as fast as our shitty average!!!

What is it? It's the Lebanese Corporate mentality of maximum profit, minimum service, and monopoly. It's also the Lebanese Consumers' mentality of maximum usage and consumption no matter what, as well as the "because we're cool and we don't [want to show people we] care about money" attitude...  that got us here. This is the sole reason why we pay the highest prices in the world for some of the shittiest services in the world.


Here are the Ogero ADSL Prices by connection speed:
- 128 Kbps, 4 GB Limit, 25 $/month
- 256 Kbps, 6 GB Limit, 35 $/month
- 512 Kbps, 8 GB Limit, 45 $/month
- 1,024 Kbps, 10 GB Limit, 75 $/month
- 2,300 Kbps, 16 GB Limit, 200$/ month.

Here are the World's # 1 ISP Price:
- 100,000 Kbps, or 100 Mbps, offered for 33,000 South Korean Wons, or 26.68 US $ per month. It also gets cheaper if you subscribe for yearly contracts.
This is roughly the same price we pay for 128 Kbps in lebanon. I'll let you do the math: Try to find out how many times more expensive, and how many times slower Ogero's service is.

South Korea has THE fastest internet service in the world, for THE cheapest prices in the world according to Wikipedia: "It also has the cheapest, fastest broadband on the planet. Now there are experiments with speeds of 1 Gigabit per second. Additionally, in 2005 96.8% of South Korean mobiles had internet access."

By the way I couldn't find a data volume limit on their website: SK Broadband.

I mean it's obvious... They haven't made enough money robbing us silly with their crappy service. We need to understand that they need to block our VoIP... It's only fair, I mean come on... We're sorry Ogero, for ever doubting you.