Bahrain to establish a national broadband network

Bahrain government keen to develop ultra-fast broadband network
Mohamed Bubashait confirmed that the government plans to explore models for a national broadband network.
Mohamed Bubashait confirmed that the government plans to explore models for a national broadband network.

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Bahrain is planning to develop a national broadband network, according to the country’s telecoms regulator.

Mohamed Bubashait, general director of Bahrain TRA, told CommsMEA that the government had provided the general directions and guidelines for constructing a national broadband network in Bahrain.

He added that the government wanted to avoid inefficient duplication of fixed infrastructure and that there “will be a discussion and an open dialogue” with the incumbent operator regarding the existing infrastructure in the ground and the deployment of fibre-based access network.

“We still have not decided on which scenario we will implement because this will be subject to a detailed study based on the guidelines set by the government for the development of the NBN,” Bubashait said. “The study should yield various scenarios. Definitely Batelco and other key stakeholders will be key members in this study.

“There isn’t really a one-size-fits-all model. We have been to many European countries including the UK and each country has its own special experience when it comes to constructing national broadband networks,” he adds.

In its Third National Telecommunications Plan, which was released earlier this week, the TRA said that the, “Government has concluded that Bahrain will be severely disadvantaged if […] it is not provided with a secure ultra fast broadband fibre optic infrastructure”.

National broadband networks have emerged as a key pillar of the telecommunications plans in a number of countries including Australia, Singapore, and Qatar.

They can bring the advantage of avoiding duplication of investment and boosting competition by ensuring no single operator dominates over a vital piece of infrastructure. But there are many different models for organising and deploying national broadband networks.

Qatar has already established a national broadband company to develop a fibre-optic network. The country is planning to invest more than half a billion dollars upgrading its broadband network over the next few years as it looks to boost capacity for new telecom operators.

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