Economic Growth and Social Development for Lebanon
[Arabic, English and French version available for download in PDF format in the document area at the bottom of page]
(Launched in May 2008)
We, the undersigned, hereby make this deed publicly known with the aim of reclaiming Lebanon’s position as a regional leader in the provision of products and services. Lebanese citizens, businesses, and civil society have a right to broadband connectivity, which we consider to be an enabler of economic growth and social development.
1. True Broadband
We demand affordable and reliable Broadband telecommunications services. By 2011, citizens and businesses should have access to 100Mb/s in all major population centers. Higher bandwidth services of up to 1 Gb/s should also be made available in Lebanon. “Broadband” should no longer be used loosely to refer to speeds of less than 1 Mb/s. Broadband prices in Lebanon should be comparable to the lowest prices available in the most competitive markets around the world.
2. Broadband For All
We demand that all Lebanese citizens should have access to Broadband services. Lebanon’s competitive advantage is its people, with their unique combination of talent, skills, hard work, global outlook, and entrepreneurship. We demand universal broadband, which will unleash an untapped potential for innovation and creativity and will bring the promise of a prosperous future to all Lebanese, regardless of economic condition or place of residence.
3. Broadband for Economic and Social Development
We demand that Broadband telecommunications be given its proper role as an enabler of sustainable economic and social development. Telecommunications should not be perceived principally as a source of revenues to the treasury and the industry should not be overtaxed. Broadband creates new business opportunities, opens new markets, and attracts new investments. Broadband reduces costs and improves productivity and thus enhances the competitiveness of Lebanese businesses. We strongly beleive that Broadband will help create growth, prosperity, and development.
4. Privacy and Security
We demand that safeguards and enforcement mechanisms be put in place to protect the privacy of personal information while ensuring, at all times, the free flow of information.
5. Simple, Fair and Competitive Market
We demand the immediate opening of the Lebanese telecommunications market to competition at all levels of the network – international, national transmission, metropolitan, and access (last mile). We demand that this be done on the basis of rules and regulations that are simple, fair, and publicly available. These regulations must favor competition and penalize anti-competitive behavior.
6. Access to Public Infrastructure
We demand that all licensed service providers be given equal access to public property and the existing public infrastructure that has been already paid for by public funds, i.e., by Lebanese citizens. This will significantly reduce the Broadband “time to market,” minimize public nuisance and disruption to public transportation due to construction, and will provide more affordable Broadband services.
7. No Restrictions on Content
We demand that citizens should be able to choose the services they wish and should have access to unrestricted information. Online content – ranging from government, media, culture, health, business, learning, entertainment, sciences, and inclusion – needs to be made accessible to all.
8. Support and Develop Local Content
We demand a concerted public-private partnership to support and develop local content. We call for the development of a local content industry, which allows the Lebanese to be producers and not only consumers in the global knowledge economy. We also call for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.
9. No Restrictions on Applications and Services
We demand that neither conditions nor restrictions be placed on providers in order to enable the most diverse provision of applications and services. Data convergence allows a wide array of new applications to be offered on the network, and we ask that digital content not be segregated into data, voice, and image.
10. The Development of Online Public Services
We demand that the Government develops public services to be delivered over broadband and for the availability of public information online.
Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group
(Launched in October 2008)
The Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group is an informal and independent forum for people and organizations across the broadband value-chain to discuss and propose solutions for the issues related to the development and usage of broadband connectivity across the whole country and within the framework of the national interest.
It focuses on strategic, short to medium-term challenges with the ultimate national aim of achieving economic growth and social development for the country. These issues have been identified in the Broadband Manifesto, which received wide endorsement from the Lebanese society.
The Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group’s 2-year goals are to:
The initial membership of the Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group consists of the 6,436 organizations and individuals that have endorsed the Broadband Manifesto.
Membership is opened to all organizations from all sectors (public, private, and civil society). If your organization is interested please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Members can opt out of the group by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.
Steering Committee and Spokesperson:
The Steering Committee will be working to achieve the objectives of the Broadband Manifesto within the framework of the Scope of Work defined in this document.
Membership in the Steering committee is currently open to Broadband Stakeholders of the private sector only. In time, the Steering Committee will evolve to become more representative of society at large, including membership from government, NGOs, academia, research, etc.
The ten (10) Members of the Steering Committee Oct 2008 – Oct 2009 are:
The bodies represented in the Steering Committee of the Lebanese Broadband Stakeholders Group are: