5 February 2021
NTRA, HBRC Sign Protocol to Put Egyptian Fiber Optic Network Code into Force


The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and the Housing and Building National Research Center (HBRC) have signed a protocol of cooperation to put the Egyptian code for design and construction of fiber optic networks in buildings and facilities, into force, as of April 1.

The protocol is within the framework of the productive cooperation between the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities to include using fiber optic cables within construction requirements, and update the Egyptian building code to include a code for telecommunication networks, with the aim to cover citizens' needs of high-speed Internet.

The protocol was signed by NTRA Executive President Hossam El-Gamal, and HBRC Chairman Khalid Elzahaby.

The protocol comes as part of the state’s plan to achieve the digital transformation. MCIT and NTRA, through Telecom Egypt, are implementing a plan to develop the telecommunication infrastructure to meet the technical requirements for providing excellent digital services to citizens.

The plan entails replacing copper cables with fiber optic ones, and laying them in buildings and facilities, which requires having building and technical requirements to ensure that buildings can accommodate such cables, and that the performance of the cables meets the required efficiency and speed. This confirms the significance of applying the Egyptian code for design and construction of fiber optic networks in buildings and facilities, that was issued pursuant to the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities’ Decree No. (818) of 2020.

The protocol aims to develop mechanisms for applying the Egyptian code for fiber optic networks, and procedures for ensuring meeting the building and standard requirements contained therein, as well as conducting trial runs and developing standards for receiving such networks.

Under the protocol, a technical committee will be formed, including experts from both sides and relevant authorities, that will work to make sure that engineering and construction designs for buildings and facilities meet the code requirements. The committee will also list the technical and construction requirements that must be met to obtain license; the testing requirements and mechanisms necessary for receiving works and operating licenses, and guidelines to ensure that the license issuing authority and applicants are aware of the code requirements.

The protocol, in addition, provides for mandating the halls of the cities affiliated to the New Urban Communities Authority, and the heads of the districts affiliated to the Ministry of Local Development, taking into consideration the recommendations and mechanisms that the committee issued regarding the code.
In 2019, MCIT and the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities agreed on including using fiber optic cables in new homes and buildings nationwide, within the building requirements. They also agreed on updating the Egyptian building code to include a code for telecommunication networks, that will contain standard specifications for telecommunication infrastructure.

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