View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Internet Slows in UAE

Zawya’s Molouk Y. Ba-Isa reports 21 December 2008:

"The Internet has not been available [in Saudi Arabia] since Friday afternoon for all business and home users," "Saudi Telecom Co. (STC) is currently working to restore service. Furthermore, information technology analysts are working with STC to establish a temporary, limited Internet service."

Anyone who has been online in the past couple of days can confirm that the recent cut in undersea cables in the Mediterranean has once again stymied the digital flow to Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries. And involved companies are saying not to expect any improvement on their part before Thursday, and that connectivity may be hampered for the rest of the month.

According to a statement from France Telecom, undersea cables running between Sicily and Tunisia were cut, possibly due to seismic activity. In January this same line of cables was accidentally severed off the coast near Egypt. It was blamed on a vessel's propellers severing the cables.

In Saudi Arabia….Internet traffic is being diverted east. The loss of the cable connection has meant fewer channels for data to flow, thus noticeably hampering connections. Customers are reporting long load times for Web pages and frequent time outs -- when Web pages try to load for a number of minutes and then either load, partially load or go to an error page.

The entire Middle East and parts of East Africa is being affected. The call center business in Egypt and India is in crisis….

A cable repair ship has been directed to the sites to fix the cables.

Spokespersons for both France Telecom and Reliance GlobalCom advised that the connectivity situation may not improve before Thursday and may not return to normal until the end of the month.

Source and to read the entire article:
Internet Woes May Last Through December, Zawya, 21 December 2008

If you live in the UAE what is your current experience of Internet connectivity and speed?

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: “It was blamed on a vessel's propellers severing the cables.”