It’s been almost a month since I got the ADSL subscription and I thought I would share my experience with the ADSL in Syria.
After I heard the prices are dropped last month I went to get a subscription right away, and I thought I would love to have it with the new ISP Aya since it has no proxy and I can access many Internet services that I can’t access if I have choosed the Government ISP (Itisalat or sometimes 190.sy).
I called the ISP Aya, and they told me they didn’t offecially get the new prices! They told me I have to wait for about two or more weeks!
During the time I’m waiting in the second week, I discovred that the Government has new Network called PDN (Public Date Network) which is a collection of networks that provide public data services such as ADSL availble for every body, and from this new Network the ISP Aya is actually is connected!!
So Aya is just re-selling the product!
So Why would I buy the product from Aya if I can buy it directly from the source?
I went to the Itisalat ISP and asked for a subscription on the new Network, and the answer was there is no more subscriptions on the new Network left!!
Appearantly all of the old ADSL subscribers converted for free to the new Network right away after they heard the news.
So I had to stick to the old Network which has proxy and lot of filtering. And I am telling you, IT SUCKS !! It is for nothing but opening web pages, and not all of them of course, even some technical web sites are blocked.
I know there are ways to bypass the ISP proxy, but they are not effective because they are really slow, and doesn’t work always. You can bypass the ISP proxy to make eMule works, or any other sharing or Instant messaging software, but it is not going to feel like proxy free Internet connection. I think most of the Syrians Internet users knows how to bypass these stuff now, I don’t know why they still use proxy.
The reason that I subscribed even though I know it is going to be sucky, is that I heard that they are expanding the number of subscriptions in two months or so, so it would be faster to convert for free to the new Network if I already have an ADSL connection.
Later this month I heard the minister of Communications saying that there were only about 2700 subscriptions availble in all of Syria!! and they are gone. For your information there are 18000000 people in Syria!! and at least 100000 connected to the internet on the old dial-up connection.
They are saying that they are planning to expand the network, but god knows when!
There is also another new ISP in Syria calling itself ” CEC ” or ” CEC Syria “, and it is the same as Aya, taking its connection from the new PDN network, re-selling the product, but it has little extra thing which is filtering! 😀 no thanks. Maybe some people will like it to prevent their kids from visiting some web sites.
And I think the way they make money is because they get lower price from the Government for the connection, and then they just re-sell it at higher price.
So basically there is only one Internet gateway, which is the STE (Syrian Telecom). All the ISPs gets their connection from there. So I don’t think there will be real competition at all.
It is hard for us to get up with technology and all if we are focusing too much on these little stuff.
I hope things will get better, that’s all I can say.