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History of the Internet in Egypt

Internet started in Egypt in 1993 with a cable connection to France of a 9.6 kbps bandwidth to the Egyptian Universities Network (EUN) and the Cabinet Information & Decision Support Center (IDSC) with the National telephone organization (predecessor of Telecom Egypt) providing the infrastructure. The number of users at that time was estimated to be between 2000 and 3000.

In 1994 the Egyptian domain (.eg) was divided into 3 sub domains, .eun.eg for the Egyptian Universities Network, .sci.eg serving the Scientific research institutes and .gov.eg for Governmental bodies. the IDSC acted as Internet service provider. Digital data access was provided to the end user using digital multiplexors. Interconnectivity has been drastically improved by the setup of a number of digital multiplexors as the first digital backbone for data communication in the country. Fiber international connectivity was made available on SEMEWE-2 or satellite via Intelsat.

In 1996, the gateway speeds have been increased by nearly 20 times. The user numbers have increased to 20,000 users. IDSC/RITSEC started to provide connectivity to private service providers under the .com.eg domain, while some providers had their own international gateways. ISPs had reached 40 by the end of 1996 providing Internet services to end users in Cairo, Alexandria, Sinai and the Red sea area.

In 2000 ISDN service was introduced in Egypt. ISDN is an added feature to the existing normal telephone line. It converts the normal, Analog and slow telephone line to Digital , fast and reliable telephone line. Available speeds were 64kbps and 128kbps.

With the implementation of DSL technology in Egypt many of businesses and end users changed their subscriptions to utilize the high speed and affordable new service. Today speeds of up to 24Mbps are available to customers in their homes by many ISPs. The largest of these ISPs are TEdata and LinkdotNet which are two shareholding companies providing Internet services to subscribers in all regions in Egypt.

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