MIDDLE EAST, 22 November 2010 – The FTTH Council Middle East will be officially created to help realise the significant growth potential of fibre-to-the-home networks in the Middle East region.

Having been incubated by the FTTH Council Europe as an ad-hoc working party since early 2009, the Middle East Group is now ready to become an independent organisation and fully-fledged Council that can respond to the specific needs of its Middle East members.

The FTTH Council Middle East will become the fourth FTTH Council, working alongside sister Councils in Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, to promote and accelerate the deployment of high-speed fibre-based access networks to consumers and businesses around the world.

The official launch of the FTTH Council Middle East will take place at the FTTH Middle East Conference 2010 in Beirut, Lebanon, on 30 November and 1 December, under the patronage of His Excellency Eng. Charbel Nahas, Minister of Post and Telecommunications for Lebanon.

“The Middle East region will achieve two important milestones this year,” said Faris Awartani, Chair of the FTTH Council Middle East Group. “The first, of course, is the launch of the FTTH Council Middle East as an independent organisation.  The second, is that a Middle East country has entered the FTTH Global Ranking, which shows that fibre to the home is already an important market in this region.”

The name of the country joining the Ranking will be revealed at the Conference in Beirut later this month during the highly anticipated presentation of the Middle East FTTH Market Panorama. The FTTH Global Ranking is a league table of nations where more than 1% of households subscribe to ultra-high speed broadband over a direct fibre connection to the home or building.

Taking place under the theme “Taking your life to new horizons”, this second edition of the FTTH Middle East Conference will provide service providers, investors, regulators and other prospective stakeholders with valuable insight into the business and technical solutions for FTTH deployment in the Middle East region.  The programme will include a mix of case studies, regulatory debate and technical best‐practice alongside a dedicated exhibition of the latest FTTH products.

This two-day event was successfully launched last year in Amman, Jordan, where it attracted more than 260 delegates from 30 countries, and created unprecedented media attention, with several TV channels covering the proceedings.

Registration is now open. Delegates are encouraged to register as early as possible to secure places at a preferential rate.

The full conference programme is available online on www.conference.ftthcouncilme.org. Photos and videos from last year’s event are also visible on this website. Online registration at a preferential rate is available on http://www.ftthcouncil.eu/middle_east_group/registration/?cid=4445

Consistent with the Council’s belief in a sustainable future, a €3 donation will be collected from each conference participant to give to a local environmental group. The recipient for this event will be Green Line, a Beirut organisation that promotes environmental awareness and sound development policies in the developing world: www.greenline.org.lb

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