Egyptians leverage dial up connections to circumvent Internet ban

Dial-up service may sound old fashioned given the bevy of broadband choices consumers have these days, but for Egyptians it's becoming a welcome entry to the Internet, which the government ordered to be shut down late last week.

Paris-based French Data Network, which was founded in 1992 to create a diverse set of Internet options, is offering about 30 dial-up services to Egyptian users.

The Egyptian government forced the nation's wireline and wireless ISPs to shut down Internet service--an apparent move to silence political opposition to President Hosni Mubarak's nearly 30-year reign. According to Internet watchdog Renesys, the Egyptian government was successful in terminating some 3500 border gateway protocol routes.

As a result of the forced shut down, over 90 percent of Egypt's Internet networks are currently down.

"This is definitely an open attack from a state against the Internet," FDN said in a statement on its website. "FDN has decided to open a small window on the network."

In another interesting twist of government versus Internet users, Reuters reports that the Chinese government is blocking the word "Egypt" from micro-blog searches. The country's leaders are worried that similar political reform protests will emerge on China's Internet.      

For more:
- Bloomberg has this article
- Reuters has this article on China's  ban

Related articles:
Egypt initiates online blackout; Synacor forms TV Everywhere division
Middle East undersea cable cuts strike again

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