A fibre to the home pilot project has been approved by Oman’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to provide those selected with free high speed broadband internet connection, and related data rich services such as internet protocol television (IPTV) or over the top TV.

The project, reported in The Times of Oman, will see up to 400 homes in Ma’bailah North and Ma’bailah South connected with optical fibre in order to test the technical feasibility of a larger broadband delivery scheme across the Gulf Sultanate.

The country’s two telecommunication operators, Omantel and Nawras, have been charged with implementing the project, which will run for nine months and require feedback from the households involved.

Both Nawras and Omantel already offer customers broadband internet connection via their third generation (3G) mobile networks, while Omantel also offers fixed line web access with speeds currently of up to 40Mbs.

Promising far greater connection speeds, TRA considers the fibre to the home project “one of the most important projects that may contribute to the future increase of the spread of broadband services in the Sultanate,” according to the newspaper.

Ross Cormack, chief executive of Nawras, would seemingly agree. Speaking at a regional conference in May, he listed the three areas of major growth in the market as “broadband, broadband, and broadband!”

The Government of Oman has already allocated a budget to build a fibre to the home network as part of the Muscat Wastewater Project, which will be installed by Hava Water Company.