Spare a thought for those of us trying to use the internet in Ethiopia.
It isn’t great at the best of times. When it went down during the rainy season I rang technical support and was told that “the firewall has flooded”. Apparently there is a single computer through which the entire nation’s traffic passes (or, that day, doesn’t pass). The authorities block some websites (including blogspot.com, nazret.com, and skype.com) though they say they don’t, and they block Skype. The bandwidth is always limited, but it is also frustrtingly unpredictable. Some days it will be OK, others terrible.
According to internet world statistics, there are just 300 broadband internet users (as of March 2008) in Ethiopia; and fewer than 300,000 internet subscribers in total.
Internet and telephone traffic between the Middle East and Europe will continue to be disrupted until Jan. 4 after a repaired submarine cable in the Mediterranean Sea suffered more damage, France Telecom SA said.
We’ve had very limited internet since December 19th, when the three underwater cables linking Egypt to Europe were cut by an ship’s anchor. Apparently it was working on December 24th and 25th (I was away from Addis) when it was damaged again by an underwater earthquake.
Let’s hope that things get better from January 4th.