Internet issues.

Post by K.theKuwaiti

If you were wondering why you have been unable to access the internet, its due to the SMW4 (South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4) SEG-4 link between Alexandria and Marseille has being cut (not good). Calls to the helpdesk won’t resolve much, as this is something beyond the repair of our local ISPs (it is affecting the whole region).

January 30th – 2.30pm : There is no Estimated Time of Repair.
January 30th – 10:00pm:  A cable-ship has been dispatched from Italy; repair may take up to two weeks.

More about the SMW4 Link: Wikipedia / Official Website

-Posted by K
(Psst M.O.C .. It might be time to re-evaluate our backbone links.)

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44 comments, add your own...

  1. sinner says:

    fucking hell! we have quality and fasttelco at work, quality is working fine but FT is slow, very slow but united at home is down completely….im so fucked! :(

    btw what do you mean by “cut” ??

  2. Explorer says:

    I’ve heard it might take up to a week?

  3. K.theKuwaiti says:

    It could take longer depending on the extent of the damage.

  4. MX5 says:

    I just hope it gets resolved fastter than the last time which I think lasted more than a week.

  5. Mark says:

    wow this is cool. I was just about to post about the internet issues and then i realized you already posted it and on my blog! lol thanks!

  6. amer says:

    Well…a week…not good. Let’s hope it is resolved earlier.

  7. Mohammad says:

    Does this affect the blackberry service…. or am I just having a quiet day?

  8. MM says:

    For those interested:

    Cable repair

    ” Cables can be broken by fishing trawlers, anchoring, undersea avalanches and even shark bites. Breaks were common in the early cable laying era due to the use of simple materials and the laying of cables directly on the ocean floor rather than burying the cables in trenches in vulnerable areas.

    To effect repairs on deep cables, the damaged portion is brought to the surface using a grapple. Deep cables must be cut at the seabed and each end separately brought to the surface, whereupon a new section is spliced in. The repaired cable is longer than the original, so the excess is deliberately laid in a ‘U’ shape on the sea-bed. A submersible can be used to repair cables that are near the surface. ”

    Very low-tech technology I think, especially in this day and age.

    Question for K the Kuwaiti:

    Is it possible for Kuwait/the MoC to have more than one link at a time? It would be nice if they were able to have more than one source in terms of connections to the Internet world.

    Thank you.

  9. Khaled says:

    Same issues here///

  10. A E R O says:

    Why do these problems happen only in this region? How can we depend on ONE cable only? I lived in Morocco which is not as nearly as rich as Kuwait, but Internet is faster, MUCH cheaper, and more reliable. Some companies are making a killing ripping people off here.

  11. MM says:

    I was thinking the same thing Aero, how is it that we depend on one cable? I’m pretty sure the other affected countries in the region have another source and are probably switching over now.

  12. Intlxpatr says:

    Thanks for posting this. We are all suffering; it is helpful to understand what is going on.

  13. K.theKuwaiti says:

    Imagine a piece of rope as a fiber cable .. now get a pair of scissors and cut it.

    Don’t expect it to be fixed earlier .. it really depends on the availibility of cable-laying ships.

    You thought I was going to leave the IT stuff to you?


    Pretty much .. It affects anything that requires an internet connection.

    Well .. there aren’t many alternatives that are faster or more reliable than laying fiber cable. The MoC can have as many links to the backbone as they want.. you just need to put down the money to develop Kuwait as a IT hub.

    Expect problems from Karachi to Alexandria .. this is a major link.

    A E R O:
    These issues happen all the time .. its because we are relying on this specific link that we don’t have alternatives. When links go down on other networks, the effects are minimal (because there are several others).

    Your welcome .. ironic that it happens a week before InfoConnect.

  14. Equalizer says:

    As more business relly on the internet for most of their day to day business, an issue such as this poses great risk not only on a micro level but a macro level and affect the whole economy. Contingencies must be built, either to lay down another cable to the region or put more satellites at work. I can’t imagine a week with no internet.

  15. Z District says:

    My estimation is that this will take about three weeks to fix, last time this happened in the Mediterranean it took about a month and a bit to fix.. so lets hope the damage isn’t too bad or too deep!

  16. Basamigi says:

    I’m using e-go which is still alive..
    download speed is down to 10 kbps or slower..
    browsing is dull.. reminds me of the old dial up days..
    i just need to top it with irc ! lol

    at least it’s not completely down !
    Ironic it surely is, with info/connect just a few days away ..
    it might be good though, maybe it’ll make MoC realize that this is a major issue and that they have to do something about sooner rather than later..

  17. Stafa says:

    hmm, so no stock market 2morow?

  18. Noor says:

    Aero – we are not depending on only one cable, as far as I know Fasttelco depend on 2 cables, the cable that goes through the Arabian Gulf and the other one which goes through Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Mediterranean (the affected one), Europe and then to Hudson Street (which is the source of the internet)

    They also they have a satellite station which is used as a back up in such situations for corporate customers. This area is slower because of the obvious fact that we are further from the source of internet than Morroco. The damage is unlikly to be as bad as the previous one in the Mediterranean (the one caused by the earthquake in Algeria)
    All we can do is pray it gets fixed soon.

    Grab your praying mats, rosaries or essence sticks and lets pray for world peace and fast internet once again lol

  19. saleh says:

    i have watniya router hspda router and i cant get anything i
    it is slow as hell
    download speed is 3.45kb/sec
    it is slow can open some websites not all it is slow alot these days for the past month it is not reluabel it is the worst internet i have used
    back in the states the intenrt is cheap and faster
    download speed is 1000kb/sec
    so that is that

  20. zee says:

    Remember that bullshit about the internet being able to survive a nuclear attack?

  21. sfsa78 says:

    Look people.. kuwait isp’s are still depending on a connection from dubai, which gets its connection from the west… thats one reason why its so darn expensive in kuwait due to there being a “middleman” (dubai). My predictions on this whole issue is that dubai, since it is ever more depending on this internet (internet city..etc..) will see the benefits of being more indapendant will have their “own” internet, which wiil supply kuwait without a”middle man” thus internet will be cheaper for us in near future!!

  22. Damon Dash says:

    but i use qualitynet dsl and it’s working, not as fast as usual but it is, how come? which cable does qualitynet use?

  23. Spooner says:

    long live the snail speed internet.

  24. Explorer says:

    Fastelco is back to its regular speed, I am getting 500 kbps on on a 512 kb connection

  25. MX5 says:

    Looks like it will take about two weeks to get repaired

  26. Rakan says:

    The best possible solution right now is to switch to quality net or connect via satallite dish (shownet).

    I can’t see any other way than to just wait it out.

  27. Explorer says:

    There are a few satellite channels that are also down..

  28. sinner says:

    bleh! I didn’t know even in the year 2008 we are STILL relying cables, I thought we had some hi fi satellite feed.

    btw, by “cut” I thought it was something political.

  29. cajie says:

    Have they done something drastic overnight?

    I was downloading some drivers and I am getting my normal speeds of 200kbps.

  30. Tan Go says:

    KEMS Spped Test gives 22.0 KB/Sec on 256 connection

  31. Tazman says:

    You can not use the test as a guide, since its within the local Internet.

    It seems that speed is affected on addresses that finalize in the western world… (obvious I guess)….

  32. MX5 says:

    Cajie, the reason you got your normal speed is properly because there is less internet usage at night, the big bandwidth user, such as Companies/Ministries are not working at night so there is more bandwidth available to normal users.

  33. cajie says:

    I was downloading at 9AM, which is the peak time when everyone comes to the office and fires up their browser.

  34. Panga says:

    At least now we can understand what does “redundant” links means, of which these local ISPs always talk about.

    Qualitynet uses three different routes – through Saudi Arabia to Teleglobe, through FOG (Fiber Optic Gulf) to FLAG (Fiber Link Around the Globe) and Satellite back-ups. I’m sure Fasttelco must be having similar sources of redundancy, as many people using Qualitynet and Fasttelco are happier than UCC clients.

    MTC EGO also uses Qualitynet Internet service, that’s why they’re working fine. Whereas Wataniya is relying on UCC and UCC relies on KUIX (Kuwait Internet Exchange – it belongs to MoC), which is completely down, hence, no wonder why there’s no connection.

    One should also understand how the Internet peering works in Kuwait. We have multiple links going out from Kuwait through Saudi and through FOG. One of the main peers in this region is EMIX (Emirate Exchange, UAE) and Teleglobe terminates in Saudi. So Kuwait will have to rely on these two fiber links unless there’s a third fiber connectivity alternative.

    For people favoring Satellite uplink/ downlink, please understand a fact that satellite can give limited downlink with huge latency, and no way it can be compare with an STM link.

    The estimated time to repair these links might will take from 10 – 12 days, let’s say 2 weeks and hope that services are reinstated earlier.

  35. Pink Moon says:

    Why aren’t blackberry’s working?

  36. Panga says:

    I’ve just heard that Qualitynet’s services are restored up to 80%???

  37. Damon Dash says:

    yeah, quality speed today are almost like before the crisis, browsing is lot faster today

  38. SoS says:

    On UCC here, I normally get 55 – 6- KB on my 512 but now it averages between 15 -20 compared to a 4 KB a while ago, some improvement.

  39. Vamp says:


  40. mishari26 says:


    Yes Qualitynet is back at around 80%, we’ve been rerouted to Singapore and across the Pacific around the other side of the world, this is a temporary emergency reroute by Teleglobe.

    expected effect:
    – browsing almost back to normal
    – latency sensitive apps still suffering between 450-650 ms and more when congested in peak afternoon times.

    And there’s more than 1 cable, there’s actually 3:
    SEMEWE3 and FLAG

  41. AbdulKareem says:

    Qualitynet is no where near 80% capacity. At times, there is 25% packetloss when running a traceroute to any given website, and a delay of 1200MiliSeconds (the satelite backup, which blows). More like 10% capacity, since those same IP’s i’m tracing have a 120Milisecond reach time.

    Just hope this gets fixed ASAP, sick of these silly problems only happening In the Middle East and taking FOREVER to fix.

  42. Qarlock says:

    I’m really pissed now ..When they fix the damn porblem?
    Can’t play online with this ..Srsyl.,!!!

  43. John Stephens says:

    Noor its the Persian Gulf. What the hell is “Arabian Gulf”?

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