Etisalat denies UAE internet connection problem

Telco giant asks customers suffering from IT issues to request help.
PAGE PROBLEM: Etisalat has denied there is a wider issue with web connections. (Getty Images)
By Ed Attwood
Thu 01 Apr 2010 02:19 PM

Despite a number of concerns raised by internet users in the UAE about an inability to load pages online, the country’s main fixed-line internet provider, Etisalat, has denied there is a wider problem.

“No – we don’t have any general issues [with the connection in the UAE currently],” Etisalat senior media relations manager Asad Salem told Arabian Business on Thursday.

“But if we are provided with the specific account numbers [of the complainants], then we can find out what the problem is.”

But concern has been expressed that Etisalat’s proxy server might be at the root of a problem.

The Etisalat website says that the proxy server conserves network bandwith and reduces response times for users.

One analyst contacted by Arabian Business said that while he had heard people say that web browsing had been slow or unsuccessful lately in the UAE, that was based on anecdotal rather than data or specific research.

“So it’s quite hard to say whether there’s a problem and, if there is, what the cause might be,” Informa Telecoms & Media senior analyst Matthew Reed commented.

“It might be that as Etisalat makes particular changes to server settings, that is affecting the availability of certain web pages.”

Reed added any problem might also be caused by international data constraints.

“Most internet traffic is international and the UAE only has a certain amount of international capacity, and it might be that demand is exceeding that capacity, with the result that internet users are finding it takes a long time to download pages or that downloads fail,” the analyst remarked.

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