Internet restored in Tripoli as rebels take control

The country will also soon integrate the rebel mobile networks with the network in Tripoli

Internet connectivity was restored in Tripoli late Sunday local time, as rebel forces took control of many parts of the capital city of Libya.

A new mobile network set up by the rebels in the east of Libya in April, called Libyana Al Hurra, and a similar network in Misrata, will soon also be linked to the Libyana Mobile Phone network in Tripoli, said Ousama Abushagur, a Libyan telecommunications engineer in the U.A.E, who led the team that set up Libyana Al Hurra.

The rebels set up the networks after they were cut off from the centralized Libyana network in Tripoli, which required all international calls to be routed through an international gateway in Tripoli. "Everything will be reconnected and go back to normal," Abushagur said on Monday.

In Tripoli, "Internet went off & is back now", said a resident @flyingbirdies in a message on Twitter. Internet is back in Tripoli after months of no connection, said another Twitter user, @libya_win: "My cousins are speaking to me !"

Local DSL (digital subscriber line) access in Tripoli had been cut off for most people, except some officials in government offices, from February, Ahmed Shreef , a resident of Tripoli, said in an e-mail interview on Sunday.

Shreef and some others used their Internet access to update their followers on Twitter on developments in Tripoli, and to inform rebel fighters of the precise locations of troops loyal to the Muammar Gaddafi regime. Shreef did not disclose how he had got the Internet connectivity.

The upswing in the fortunes of the rebels was reflected early Monday in a congratulatory SMS (short message service) said to have been sent to users by the government-controlled Libyana Mobile Phone. "Free calls for all mobile phones, and the reception is good too," said Shreef in a Twitter message.

The website of Libyan Telecom and Technology, which controls the country's national connection to the Internet, went offline on Sunday, but reappeared Monday carrying a message for the Libyan people on its Arabic website. Renesys, a firm that studies Internet traffic flows, translated the message as congratulating Libya "on emancipation from the rule of the tyrant", in an apparent reference to Gaddafi. The English version of LTT's site does not carry the message.

Local Internet access in Tripoli was temporarily restored late Saturday local time after months of disruption, according to reports on Twitter, as the rebels were closing in on Tripoli. But it was once again blocked on Sunday, Shreef said.

A majority of the country's international routes were also down for a while early morning on Sunday, Renesys reported,

Renesys speculated in a blog post that the brief restoration of the Internet was the sign of a conflict within the local telephone company, with someone struggling to reactivate service at the neighborhood level, only to have it switched off again at the national level.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetInternet-based applications and servicesInternet service providersLibyan Telecom and Technology

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?