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Thursday , August 18 2022

Fiber-optic project 3rd phase facing ‘hurdles’

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KUWAIT CITY, Jan 29: Sources from the Ministry of Communications revealed serious challenges that are afflicting the third phase of the fiber-optic network project that targets 90 residential areas with 120,000 housing units. They indicated that the budget deficit experienced by the state is a direct cause of this disruption. The sources explained that the consultancy work on the project, which was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resumed on December 13, 2020 for a period of one year.

The ministry addressed the Ministry of Finance for the approvals to launch the project. The latter responded to it on October 24, 2021 by stating that the offering is carried out in accordance with the partnership system with the private sector in light of the directive issued by the Council of Ministers, in order to benefit from specialized expertise in the field, and to transfer risks and financial burdens from the shoulders of the state’s budget that is in deficit.

The ministry claimed that the current situation inherent in changing the course of the project from putting it through the Ministry of Communications and then through the Partnership Projects Authority, as well as the routine that threatens it, is a kind of disruption to the project. This project is one of the most important projects implemented by the ministry to develop and modernize the communications and information technology sector, which is included in the ministry’s plan for more than 15 years.

The ministry highlighted that the project, in its three phases, was announced in May 2008, but it has not been completed yet, despite the completion of projects that underwent similar circumstances and challenges in a number of Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Meanwhile, the communications authority managed to restore the affected Internet capacities from the cables, which were cut on Friday dawn, using other international tracks and cables within a short period of time, during which things were restored to normal.

According to the authority’s recent statement, the report of the company GCX, which owns the cable, stated that the double cut took place at a distance of 183 km from the city of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman towards Iran. The other cut was 50 km from Muscat towards the Emirate of Dubai. In addition, the station in Yemen was out of service as a result of military operations. The authority indicated that the company that owns the cable has confirmed that it has undertaken the repair procedures, and the time period for repair will be determined after the ship arrives at the site of the cut. By Mohammad Ghanim Al-Seyassah Staff