Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cyber Stone Age



Waiting, waiting, waiting...

Claims that we're a major international commercial centre, business friendly, a great place to set up a business fly in the face of the Cyber Stone Age internet we have to struggle with.

The speed is no better than the old dial-up I had back in Oz fifteen years or more ago. That's a lifetime in the cyberworld - think of the development over that period. But not here.

It comes into sharp focus when you get back from somewhere like Singapore.

Using the computer there last week I was connected to websites within a couple of seconds. Click and the new screen opens in a couple of seconds.

I come back to Dubai and I sit looking at a slowly, very slowly, loading screen. Thirty to sixty seconds is normal.

Bottom left corner is mocking me with "Connecting to http://..." then after more time "Waiting for http://..." then even more time "Start downloading from site http://..."

And they're the same websites which open instantly in Singapore.

There are regular complaints about the high prices we have to pay for internet access, but to me that's not the main problem. The main problem is the lack of speed
.
It's hugely wasteful of time, reduces productivity which means increased costs. How many hours are lost here, I wonder, by people just sitting waiting for the computer to move on so that they can get on with their work.

We're paying high prices for a terrible product. If they gave it to us free it would still be a poor product.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the screenshot, are you using Internet Explorer? Seriously, a bad choice for a browser, it is the slowest browser available in the market. Switch to Google Chrome and notice the speed difference. It could also be that the website you were trying to access was experiencing heavy traffic.

Anonymous said...

What do you expect with a monopoly and the current gulf attitude to business? Not to mention the fact that all internet traffic has to go through that retarded firewall.

Only way to change this is to open up the market. And the only way for that to realistically happen is stop censorship. Well I suppose with climate change hell could freeze over.....

Anonymous said...

Agreed - present speed/rate is ridiculous even for a customer service-proof duopoly regime, but there may be some good news for Dubious subscribers on the horizon. They are introducing a new service called 'Realbroadband' which starts at AED 229 per month for 8mb - not overly competitive by global standards, but better than previously available here. Speeds should be better, although "roll out of solution' was due by September - I signed up in Aug, and am still waiting. Zippy

Anonymous said...

The problem is caused by a lack of competition in the local ISP Market.

Ian said...

I think you might need to upgrade your internet connection. Du recently launched Real Broadband, which offers 16 mbps for less than the price of 2 mbps previously. You can go as high as 24 mbps if you really want.

Speed really is not an issue here.

Perhaps the website you were accessing was busy. Perhaps you were accessing it a different time in Singapore, which might have coincided with a very busy time down-under. I just tried it and it loaded completely within about 5 seconds.

Naseem said...

you are complaining for no reason!!!! if internet is slow then its 1) that particular website is experiencing connection problem at the moment 2) Your Internet Package is crap (upgrade to a better package) 3) your laptop/desktop is crippled with programs and/or spyware that are connected in the background to the internet and eating your internet bandwidth (this is 90% of the time).

my GF used to have 256KBps connection which is the slowest package and its more than enough to open all website and play online games without problems and video chat on skype.

dont blame Etisalat if the connection is slow.. you GET what you PAY for.. yes I agree the prices are higher (thanks to Monopoly) but technically speaking dont blame the service...

If your laptop is running a browser... and Windows upgrading in the background.. and adobe flash also upgrading.. and how knows some other spyware too.. you will daily experience dead slow connections.

the slowest package in Etisalat is enough to load any website in few seconds... no one pay attention to the fact its your laptop or sometimes the website it self is who slowing your browsing experience.

FYI... I dont work for Etisalat :D I live in Saudi...

slower_than_molasses_in_winter said...

Perhaps these dudes are on some other network…

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=685827

Seabee said...

Ian,Naseem I'm comparing apples with apples because I was using the same laptop and accessing the same sites at the same sort of time in Singapore and getting into them ten times, or more, faster than I do here.

(The screenshot's not from my laptop).

Doug said...

Much as I can't stand either telco in the UAE, I have to say it might not entirely be their fault.

Asia, Europe and North America simply have a far greater number of lines connecting each other which means each of those continents has far greater bandwidth. The connection between the Middle East and the rest of the work is a lot flakier (to the point a well placed anchor can cut off an entire region).

While it's criminal what the UAE charges for broadband, the fact is without some major pan-Arab initiative to improve the overall connection to the rest of the world, low speeds will be a fact of life.

And you can bet this won’t happen. For many Arab governments, the idea of actually permitting residents cheaper and faster access to the rest of the world where they’ll start getting all sorts of ideas and thoughts of their own is a terrifying prospect. For every Jordan or Lebanon there’s a Syria or Saudi Arabia.

Naseem said...

@Seabee:
no its not apples to apples!!! there are many many many things stand in between even if you use the same laptop and the same exact websites...

For a start, are you comparing the exact speeds??? the 1Mbps DSL has the same performance anywhere in the world!!! for example if in UAE for USD100 you get 4Mbps connection and in Singapore for USD100 you may get 20Mbps connection.. then offcorse the internet will be faster...

but that is not Apples to Apples comparison!!!! the only comparision in this case is that Internet speeds anywhere outside UAE is cheaper.. its 3x cheaper from UAE in Saudi and prehaps 10x cheaper in Singapore or Europe

and if you are really aware of the speeds being identical in your comparison then my first initial issues in my first post will be effective..

a user like you is most unlikly aware whats happening in your laptop background eating your bandwidth during specific times...

well I say this because I am an IT manager for a big firm and I know exactly how things work..

I have a branch in Saudi Arabia that has 180 users connected over a *home* DSL at 1Mbps speed, probably slower than your internet at home yet all users hardly experience slow connectivity... this is because we have state of art technology to control flow of internet traffic to get its maximum benefits..

what I am trying to say... an internet page took so long to open/load has nothing to do with Eitsalat...

and for sure the internet is far better abroad coz as i said in my earlier post thanks to monopoly in UAE which sux

my two fils.

Seabee said...

Naseem, I think you're saying exactly what I'm saying. I'm comparing speeds and the speed is slower here.

samuraisam said...

Etisalat pushes shitty routers on all of its customers that cause many, many, many problems just like what you're experiencing.

That same box 90% of the UAE has, I have an entire computer that does the same job.

You are using a 'problem browser' and I'd recommend changing to Google Chrome as it is a far superior browser.

Then, depending on whether you're Etisalat/Du you need to adjust your internet settings to directly connect to the DNS servers and not to your routers. And if you're on Etisalat's network you NEED to have the proxy MANUALLY set in the browser otherwise you will get those exact same problems time and again.

Website in Australia in particular are notoriously slow from the UAE because we are far away; Singapore and Australia are located quite close together but they still experience high pings (sometimes above 200msec)

UAE to Australia pings are usually above 500 msec. That's a whole half a second for your request to get there and a whole half a second to get back.

For what its worth I can load the Sydney Morning Herald site fairly rapidly and don't get it timing out.

I am fairly confident that if you're on Etisalat the issues you're having are because you don't have the proxy set in your browser manually.

slower_than_molasses_in_winter said...

Naseem and others! How about this

http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=686942? Reckon it has anything to do with etisalat or du?