Forget more internet access, TRA gives you more speed
Although the TRA has new promises of faster internet, Kipp's not bringing out the confetti just yet, at least until attitudes toward the internet access change.
November 16, 2011 4:39 by Eva Fernandes
Back in the late ‘90’s, internet here in the UAE was a slow and unreliable thing. The crackle and crank of the lethargic dial up connection was anything but encouraging, only for your connection to be broken by a rather persistent caller (before second lines were available).
But since then, the internet has successively gotten better. Broadband internet rates maybe a bit on the expensive side, but both Etisalat and du provide considerably fast and reliable internet speeds.
A business plan premium package from du for instance offers broadband from 1mbps to almost 1 gbps. From our experience, we don’t have too many complaints about the internet at work-but Kevin Hackett, one of Kipp’s Facebook fans told us he thought internet here in the UAE: “It’s like dial-up was 15 years ago in the UK.”
Well our grumpy Facebook acquaintance should take some pleasure in the recent news that the TRA in the UAE are considering an internet exchange so as to avoid the delay of rerouting internet through Europe or Asia (which currently what happens).
Mohamed Al Ghanim, the director general of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, told The National that rerouting may take only “a fraction of a second, but it makes a big difference.”
Though nothing is final, the internet exchange should be finalised by the end of this year and launched sometime next year.
Aside from past experience that sometimes months can turn into years when it comes to rolling out ambitious plans here in the region, our lack of enthusiasm stems is more from questioning what the fast internet would be for if not for the various web-based products that the TRA blocks themselves. Facetime or Skype, anyone? Although we’re sure that this is already something more than a few of our enterprising readers have already found their way around. (see our recent post on smalltime internet shops threatening UAE telco operators.)
Surely our counterparts in Lebanon, which is said to enjoy one of the slowest internet speeds (or should we say crawl) in all of the Middle East, would benefit greatly from a regional internet exchange, but as long Facetime, Skype and other VOIP services are blocked Kipp’s not going to uncork any bubbly fruit drinks just yet.