Why One Egyptian ISP is Still Online (Updated)
For all intents and purposes, Egypt is currently cut off from the Internet. Even today, though, the Noor Group’s DSL service in Egypt remains available (though it experienced some downtime earlier today). Why is Noor, which has about an 8% market share in Egypt, allowed to continue to operate while the rest of the country’s ISPs went dark days ago?
While it would be nice to be able to write a story about how one ISP defied the government’s orders in Egypt to provide its users with an essential service, the reality seems to be far more mundane.
[notification type=”standard”] Update (Monday 3:00pm PT): According to the latest reports, the Noor networks is now also offline and the government plans to shut down all mobile phone networks as well. [/notification]
According to France’s Le Monde, Noor provides essential services to the Egyptian stock exchange in Cairo. Thanks to this, the stock exchange’s site is one of the few Egyptian sites still available online. In addition, Le Monde also writes, Noor provides services to large multi-national corporations, including Coca-Cola, Pfizer and Exxon Mobile. Domestically, Noor also provides network services to Egypt Air. Because of this, Noor is likely considered to be an important economic asset and will probably continue operating throughout this crisis. We have to wonder, though, why the company wasn’t able to keep these business services up and running and cut its regular subscribers off at the same time.
Noor’s own website makes absolutely no mention of the current unrest in the country. Instead, the site’s news ticker proudly announces the network’s support for IPv6 and the availability of Linux hosting services.