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30 August, 2005

Back to subnormality

Etisalat is allegedly back to "normal" (at least as far as champion rally drivers define normal):

Abdullah Hashim, senior manager for development and marketing at eCompany, Etisalat's internet subsidiary, said if users were experiencing delays, they were likely to be caused by factors other than the problems of this month.

"Internet traffic is completely back to normal because it's been fixed since Sunday night. Maybe these people have slow connections it's for some other reason," he said.

Djinn? Elves?



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have high-speed cable at home, and swear that dial-up is quicker than my ADSL over the past couple of weeks.

30 August, 2005 22:17  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes same feeling here.

a colleague of mine said that adsl is going to get faster and cheaper soon.. i dono how much truth is in that.

30 August, 2005 22:21  
Blogger samuraisam said...

Reply from bytes=32 time=294ms TTL=243
Reply from bytes=32 time=306ms TTL=243
Reply from bytes=32 time=290ms TTL=243
Reply from bytes=32 time=295ms TTL=243

as usual etisalat is lying. Even though ping timings have dropped significantly (they were at ~350 to before the cable cut, and now they're @ ~300), they're still deprioritising traffic such as bit torrent et al.

bah, i dont care anymore! i leave for australia in about 2 hours, and as soon as i get there im going to goto just for the hell of it.

30 August, 2005 22:26  
Blogger BrainSyke said...

LOL @ saumraisam. Enjoy the flight!

31 August, 2005 00:04  
Blogger redstar said...

This guy is in serious need of replacing. How can he stand up and insult all of his users and get away with it? The mind boggles. Roll on competition.

31 August, 2005 00:43  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, he should get the boot. He is questioning the intelligence of people who have been using computers even before this part of the world said COMP... WHAT??!!

31 August, 2005 08:24  
Blogger black feline said...

this is disneyland after all..what's the fuss? in the mean time do something constructive...such as going for a long walk...that's perfectly normal

31 August, 2005 10:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well I would certainly not be impressed if I were paying for such lame it is the DMC connection works nicely form work :)

so what is the best option for home use as far as speed, proxies, etc.?

31 August, 2005 12:49  
Blogger Poshboy said...

Going for a walk in this heat is perfectly normal? I only exit the from the air conditioning to have a cigarette as it is a non smoking office!!!

Have not checked yet but are the HSBC servers now working properly as well?

31 August, 2005 14:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dang! just pinged my and the time is still ~300ms. What are these idiots doing?

Meanwhile, we're still paying...

31 August, 2005 14:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, they're not exactly lying. I believe the cables have been prepared. However, Etisalat/eCompany have their own serious issues here that _are_ under their control. Well, they are not entirely in control of anything it seems, but it is their sole responsibility.

Internet connectivity has been dodgy for a long time and it hasn't only been those total breakdowns only. The exponential increase in demand and equally excessive amount of incompetency, lack of planning and system administration results in a not-so-impressive performance.

I would like to see Etisalat come clean and explain why their proxy is sometimes transparent and sometimes not for instance. Say you want to visit It will occasionally work. Once you put in the it will magically work. Hrmm.. But see, the proxy is a _transparent_ proxy. What that means is, whether you put it in your network configuration or not, you will have to pass through it before going off to any web traffic.

So.. this means something is seriously wrong with their configuration.

Of course no one really knows what other prioritization they give to different Internet activities and you are only left to guessing. They obviously give http traffic the highest priority, letting everything else slide. For instance, I would compare this with ADSL services in Jordan and Bahrain. If you were to start an ssh (Secure Shell) session (which uses port 22), they work perfectly fine with limited latency. Try that from here.. and you will find that there is a significant enough latency to make your experience half tolerable.

In other words, Etisalat may be providing cheaper service (they are not the most expensive in the region, try Kuwait and see how much _they_ charge).. but they are not really providing you with what they are advertising. They are providing something close to the speed you have signed up for as long as it's web related. Anything else and you're on your own.

This will be the most technical post I'll make. I'm done.

31 August, 2005 17:49  
Blogger black feline said...

yawn.....zzzzzzzzzzz...u are right..its too long...bottom line..buyers beware.

31 August, 2005 18:01  
Blogger Keef said...


You a rocket scientist or what? Get yerself hired by Etisalat as a consultant. Do it now and sort out all this poo!

31 August, 2005 19:33  
Blogger secretdubai said...

Yes - super post Mohamed.

My suspicion is that the proxy servers just cannot cope with the capacity in terms of the work they have to do:

1. Check a site against a (multimillion-long) list of banned sites
2. Check every keyword in the URL dynamically against all known banned keywords (eg the Bond film Octop*ssy, l*sbian, etc)
3. Check keywords for "permitted" such as "breast cancer" etc
4. Check the URL and img name of every single image in the parent html document

I don't know how many servers you would need to handle these commands for current UAE internet traffic, but whatever they have got it is clearly not enough.

31 August, 2005 20:22  
Blogger samuraisam said...

in response to my letter to gulf news (the unblock the internet petition, and the URL wasnt even fucking published, and they said i was from fucking al ain?)

No need for proxy
Etisalat should remove the internet proxy. It should stop blocking the internet for private users and make it an optional service for any users with young children, or those that are offended by free information.

The proxy (blocking service) not only slows down internet browsing greatly, the listings used are inefficient.

Also an appeal to stop blocking VoIP services. Perhaps Etisalat should enforce the proxy on public access terminals only.
From A Reader
Al Ain
Name withheld by request

The management of Etisalat replies:
The decision to use a proxy filter to block websites is not an individual decision of the corporation but we are complying with the requests of the authorities in compliance with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the UAE.

If you think a site should be blocked/unblocked, please contact us on and we will promptly investigate it and take action.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the UAE has stated that all use of Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony in the UAE is illegal. The TRA has instructed Etisalat to block all access to VoIP telephony.

of course, as per fucking usual, they completely ignore any criticism of their shitty service.

01 September, 2005 19:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you are in any of the Emirates Living Camps (Springs, Meadows, Lakes ...) you don't go through Etisalat, and have no proxies. Works reasonably well, although never up to the capacity.

As usual, marketing is done, you shell out, and that's it. Service? What is that?

02 September, 2005 11:13  
Blogger tov said...

This is a serious issue and really needs to be addressed. What drives me crazy is that they seriously think they are the best internet provider in the Middle East.

The only thing that will get them working on solving this problem is bad publicity. We all need to work hard to make sure word gets around of what a terrible job they're doing.

I can't wait until this sector is demonopolised. I'll be the first one moving to a different internet provider.

03 September, 2005 10:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Network Error (tcp_error)

A communication error occurred: ""
The Web Server may be down, too busy, or experiencing other problems preventing it from responding to requests. You may wish to try again at a later time.

For assistance, contact Customer Support.

hey-I like your insight and chosen topics. Took me a while to reply. Kept getting the above message. Glad things are BETTER now!

05 September, 2005 21:22  

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