The story behind the internet download caps

Post by Mark

I had a meeting earlier today with a person that wants to remain anonymous. The person I met is connected to one of the local ISP’s and wanted to meet me so he can set some things straight regarding the internet caps.

First just a brief intro on how ISP’s get their internet. They have two ways generally, one is via satellite and the other by cable. Satellite is too costly and has limited bandwidth so most ISP’s go with cable. Now all communication coming in or out of Kuwait needs to go through the Ministry of Communications. They act like border immigration and this rule applies to both internet providers as well as telecommunication companies. The MOC charges the ISP’s for the various kind of lines that passes through them. You can check the documents at the end of post for details on this. Since 2007 the Ministry hasn’t decreased their prices and they also haven’t been investing in their infrastructure.

Now ISP’s have cables from their main headquarters to the MOC, and then from there they head to different countries. An example of a route might be ISP-HQ to MOC to Dubai to UK. Now the problem from what I understood is that because the Ministry of Communication hasn’t upgraded their infrastructure the ISP’s can’t get more lines and bandwidth into Kuwait. At the same time the amount of internet users in Kuwait is increasing. So if back in 2007 there were lets say a thousand people using 1 cable, the same cable today is providing to 1500. This is just an example and the numbers I mentioned are not accurate but just to help you visualize the problem.

So high demand and limited supply and add to that the price war that was taking place between the ISP’s and they all got to the point where they had a lot more subscribers than they and the MOC could supply bandwidth. The situation became critical and so for the first time ever, the ISP’s united and decided to increase and unify their prices during the last expo since the demand was was more than the supply. The ISP’s were hoping the increase in prices might also spark an outcry from the consumers which would in return put pressure on the MOC but that didn’t happen.

Since nothing changed after the expo and the ISP’s were still lacking bandwidth, they didn’t have a choice other than to set limits. The ISP’s came together for a second time and decided to place download caps on all their users and here we are today. The good news is that the caps resulted in an outcry that triggered the MOC to take action. I’ve also been told that both parties are currently in talks and it looks like everything is going to get fixed soon.

I’ve attached a few documents below related to everything I spoke about above. If anyone has any questions you can post them below and I’ll try to either to get you an answer. Here are the [Files]

If there is anyone from the MOC reading this, please contact me so I could get your side of the story.


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Hitler getting upset over internet cap in Kuwait

Post by Mark

One of the forum users put the video above together. Super funny. [YouTube]

Thanks بو _ جاسم


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Lita’s has a website

Post by Mark

Lita’s, the small Mexican restaurant I posted about last week now has a website with their full menu (but with no prices) posted online. I haven’t passed by the place yet since I just got back from Lebanon, but based on the feedback tons of people have been leaving behind in the previous post I can’t wait to pass by and try it. Here is the [Link]


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The ISPs and Ministry of Communication

Post by Mark

Marzouq over at Z District has just posted a full account on the current internet situation in Kuwait. It’s a pretty long post but a very informative one. You can read it [Here]


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No more caps?

Post by Mark

According to an article on KuwaitNews.com, the ministry after receiving many complaints from internet subscribers has sent an official letter to the internet providers telling them to remove the bandwidth limits or else they would have to take appropriate measure. I hope this is true and if it is then it’s great news. Here is the link to the article, it’s in Arabic. [Link]

Thanks BerserkKW


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More support against the internet download cap

Post by Mark

The download cap issue was raised again by another member or parliament this time by MP Faisal Al-Mislem. According to an article in Al Watan, Al-Mislem met the minister of communication and discussed the case with him. He told the minister how Internet subscribers had subscribed to unlimited internet only to later be told that their connection is now limited. According to Al-Mislem as long as subscribers have a valid subscription then the internet providers don’t have a right to suspend or slowdown the service.

Here is the article on Al-Watan [English] [Arabic]

Thanks Salem and unim


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Bulletin Board System

Post by Mark

This is a completely random post but does anyone remember the old Bulletin Board Systems (BBS) we had in Kuwait before the internet took off? I am talking about the mid 90’s. I remember there was one I was a member of where the owner had a computer shop in the the mezzanine floor of Behbehani Building in Kuwait CIty. I think I was part of 2 or 3 different BBS’s not really sure since my memory isn’t that great. I originally had a 2400 modem but used to get kicked out of BBS’s until I splurged on a 28.8k Modem. If anyone here knows someone who used to run a BBS or if you participated in one please leave a comment below.

For those of you who don’t know what a BBS is, basically that was our internet before the internet. You can read more on it [Here]


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MP Al Saadoon fights on behalf of internet users in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Finally some good news regarding the internet caps situation in Kuwait right now. Yesterday member of parliament Ahmed Al-Saadoon spoke about the current internet cap situation and urged the minister of communications to put an end to the new internet laws. I really hope they do. [YouTube]

Thanks Othman


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Break the monopoly

Post by Mark

There is a petition currently circulating twitter asking the Ministry of Communications to break the ISP monopoly. Not sure if it is going to do any good but its worth a shot and just takes a minute to sign. Here is the [Link]

Update: While on the subject, check out this post on Z District on a conversation that took place on the KEMS Facebook page [Link]


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Fair Access Policy – The numbers

Post by Mark

Qualitynet and KEMS have both published their bandwidth limits. Strangely they both have the exact same limits which are the following:

Speed – Daily Download Limit
512 Kbps – 1GB
1 Mbps – 1.7GB
1.5 Mbps – 1.9GB
2 Mbps – 2.9GB
3 Mbps – 3.8GB
4 Mbps – 4.7GB
5 Mbps – 5.4GB
6 Mbps – 6GB
7 Mbps – 6.8GB
8 Mbps – 7.9GB

If you have the Qualitynet Nitro package your download limit is slightly higher. United Networks haven’t published their limits yet but I am assuming it would be similar to Qualitynet and KEMS. Fasttelco also haven’t published their numbers although I heard that they will not be instating limits but instead punish only heavy abusers. But, unless they publish some kind of numbers, a heavy abuser might be someone that downloads 2GB a day or 20, we wouldn’t know.

Thanks Dylan

Update: I think the current system in place is unfair. My line can only handle 2 Mbps which means I am stuck with a 2.9GB daily limit and no option to increase it. I know the Ministry of Communications wants to reduce the internet prices which is great but placing download limits is not the way to go about it.


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