If you haven’t noticed, Lebanon’s internet is still one of the world’s worst, and once again, telecom minister Nicolas Sehnaoui is blaming former prime minister Saad Hariri’s ally for the slowdown.
In a live press conference today, Sehnaoui accused Telecom Ministry General Manager Abdel Moneim Youssef–a Hariri appointee– of refusing to approve requests for bandwidth from Lebanese ISPs.
He said no bandwidth requests had been approved since January, with some 1,000 requests pending.  
A very similar scenario was repeated a few months ago and many times before that. 
While Sehnaoui has been speaking to the press, Hariri ally Youssef refuses to answer his phone–even to MPs inside his coalition. 
Sehnaoui and others say Youssef cannot be fired because he is “protected’ by Hariri and his partisans. 
Is this true and isn’t it about time Saad Hariri spoke up about the situation? 
Why should he sit in silence as the Lebanese people and businesses suffer from the world’s least reliable internet? 
I have asked this question before, but have received no response whatsoever. 
Does Mr. Hariri simply not care about our internet speed? If so, we should all remember this silence come election time. 
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Habib Battah
Habib Battah is an investigative journalist and founder of the news site beirutreport.com. Battah has covered Lebanon and the Middle East for over 15 years and teaches journalism and media studies at the American University of Beirut. He is a contributor to Monocle, The Guardian, BBC World, Al Jazeera and others, a former fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University and two-time recipient of the Samir Kassir Press Freedom Award. Battah's investigative work was recently recognized for outstanding local reporting by the Columbia University Oakes Award for Environmental Reporting. Battah earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.A. in Near East Studies and Journalism from New York University.

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