The days of frustratingly slow internet connections in the Sultanate may thankfully be numbered. A connection of 40Mbps could be available if a new pilot project launched by the Oman Broadband Company (OBC) in conjunction with Oman Electricity Transmission Company (OETC) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) is a success.
An experiment using the existing fibre optic communications infrastructure, high voltage towers and a mobile phone station in Bawshar proved a success, and a pilot scheme is the next stage in the plan. The experiment saw the OBC decide on a path and extend fibre optic cables between the electricity transmission station, mobile phone station and Omantel Network over a distance of around 440 metres. While the experiment was conducted at a cost equivalent to RO9,000, it resulted in an internet connection of 40Mbps as opposed to the standard connection speed of only 3Mbps.
HE Said bin Hamdoun al Harthy, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Ports and Maritime Affairs, told a local newspaper that it was a great scheme and that it made sense to use the existing infrastructure of the power cables as opposed to digging and laying new cables that could be costly and very time consuming.
According to telecompaper.com, internet penetration in Oman is 67.44 per cent, so the huge projected increase in speed will no doubt come as welcome news to all those in Oman who use the web for business and pleasure.