Internet Market in Libya to be Opened for Private Companies


The spokesperson of the Libyan Transitional Government  has announced that Libya will soon allow private local companies to provide internet services to subscribers throughout the country.

This is the first initiative of its kind that the Libyan government has ever offered. During the Gaddafi era, the Internet was monitored and controlled by the state. The public company “Libya Telecom and Technology” monopolized the field, guaranteeing government control over information traffic.

Since licenses have not been allowed to private companies since the Internet first came to Libya in 1999, this recent step shows the development and the openness of Libya’s new information sector. “This is a new step for private companies to enter the local market of internet,” added Manaa.

The number of internet users in Libya reached 353,900 in 2009. However, according to the Libyan Minister of Communications, Anwar Abu Bakr Alfitouri, “Libya is still facing major challenges in developing the diverse framework required to provide its citizens e-services, such as online banking, payments, and commerce,” he explained.

The decision to open the Internet field to private companies was welcomed by commentators and observers of the Libyan government. Tahani Chrif, a political commentator said, “We hope that the private sector gets involved in the country’s economy, and that all the companies compete fairly.”