Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Internet in Libya

I had to write about this issue to let the world know what kind of suffering do we have to endure to get on line


 First things first: How do we get our Internet?
For the Arabic version, click here.
There is ONE ISP in Libya (LTT) and it's government owned. 

LTT logo


  • There are some smaller and much more expensive ''private companies'', they take the Internet from LTT!
  • And the much more expensive satellite companies (more than a year's salary just to get you going! And it's not that great!)
  • One of the two main networks in Libya provides internet (the other just stopped and no one asked why) and it's slow and expensive (one gigabyte = 150 LYD)! *Update: They added special pricing packages as of the end of February 2016, and now 500MB cost 12.5 LYD.
  • GPTC stands for the general post and communications released CDMA in 2008 which promises to deliver up to 230KB/S. And forgot to assign user names and passwords. Everyone uses the same user name and password! It was stopped long ago!
LTT provides ADSL. But since most people are living away from phone dividers it's pointless. Let alone that many people don't have land lines connected to their homes at all!

Myfi Wimax, the latest craze..
Most of the people use Wimax. Which is the newest and latest craze in Libya and everybody wants one! (even the ones who have access to ADSL!).
Many people don't know what Wimax means or what is it supposed to do! The appeal of Wimax is covering a huge space with few users. What's happening in Libya is quite the opposite. The areas that have Wimax coverage are hugely populated and the network is under a lot of stress.
The result: One of the worst Internet connections on earth!

How is it really like?

It's not uncommon for you to spend minutes refreshing the same page over and over again!
Many people try to browse without pictures at all! And others forgot how to spell Youtube!
You spend most of your day trying to connect your modem to the internet with no avail.
After many reboots you are convinced to go to sleep or forget what you wanted to search!
The company claims that the electricity situation is to blame in terms of speed and connectivity, the electric company blames something else. And it goes on!
Internet in Libya is terrible and expensive! It's like burning your money for the sake of lighting up a room!

What I think is the real reason for slow Internet

  • Some people think the Internet is not necessary. And that it's just a way to spend time watching videos and chatting. So it's useless. Sadly this mentality is the decision maker's mentality. That the Internet is a luxury not everyone should have access to it.


  • Other officials think that the Internet is a security breach and the people should be denied access for the sake of security! One of the prime examples is when the regime disconnected the Internet for 5 months during the 2011 uprising. Thinking that would stop the people organizing demonstrations and uploading videos. Taking Internet censorship to a whole new level (think North Korea with oil!).

What does the future hold?

As the world develops 5G communication. The Libyans are still fighting for Wimax modems (all made in China) on the same infrastructure made to support half the actual number of users..
We are a patient nation!
P.S: This is an opinion piece, Only what I think.

6 comments:
Write comments
  1. Great article
    We Libyans have suffered a lot from slow internet but all it requires to fix things is to put some competition in the market. That needs political stability which I'm not going to talk about here.
    Many people think that LTT is to blame for the rubbish internet service but they are wrong. The problem is much bigger than that. I'm not defending LTT and its corruption but facts are facts. Even if every single home in Libya has a fibre connection, Even if all of Libya was covered with LTE, there would still be the same problem, in fact the problem is not with the network, rather the problem is with the internet source which is the fibre cables coming from the sea and connecting Libya to the world. Simply Libya doesn't have enough bandwidth. I was told that all the bandwidth Libya has is 1.2Tb/s which is shameful for a country with a population of 6.2 million. Go to Google and search for "Submarine Cable Map" and you will see that the last cable connected to Libya was in 1999.

    As I said, the problem isn't with Libya's internal network, in fact WiMax is a great technology and is used in many 1st world countries. It is capable of delivering a speed of 70-75 Mbps to every user in Libya. The network is only as fast as it's slowest component (you can ask any network professional and they will say the same thing).

    Installing new fibre optic cables from the sea requires agreements and contracts with other companies overseas NOT on the corporate level, BUT on the government level (Ministry of Telecom). This is a result of the past regime which didn't have a friendly relation with Mediterranean European countries which brings us back to square one (The political problem).

    P.S. when you visit the site "Submarine Cable Map", compare the number of cables connecting Libya with the cables connecting other countries

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the rather useful reply Taher, it's a factor to count indeed. I'll try looking into the Submarine cable map as soon as possible and it might spur a second part of the post.
      Thank you again for stopping by, and I hope you become a regular reader of my blog. :)

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the reply
      I want to note about something that might interest you and other readers of this blog.

      An organisation that is part of the UN called The ITU (International Telecommunications Union) publishes a yearly report on the state of telecommunications throughout the world. It talks about Internet speed, availability, cost, reliability, censorship and it categorises it into fixed broadband and mobile broadband and lists every countries ranking.

      This years report was published just 2 weeks ago and can be found in the following link (252 pages)

      http://goo.gl/2NE5Vw


      I had a quick look around your blog and it's quite impressive. keep up the good work

      Delete
    3. Thank you so much MR. Taher for this lovely addition, and for taking a look through my blog. I'll look into the guide you suggested.

      Delete

Please tell me what you have in mind, I won't publish any hurtful or demeaning comments.