Sunday, June 01, 2003

Ya Allah have mercy on our souls. The old state owned Internet center in Adil district has been taken over by anarchists and they are offering internet access for FREE. You just need to dial up a number, no password, no special settings. Whoever heard of anyone doing that?
About week ago a rumor spread that the Adil center has put up a sat dish and will be using the setup the Iraqi government used to have to provide the service. [] is back. The people who used to work there opened the center 4 days ago; you can have an hour of internet for as little as 2000dinars. Take that you greedy sharks. The center is very well equipped, they put together 30 of their best computers and have a very good connection (ok so 30 computers in a city of 5 million is nothing, but it is a start). They even got military protection. The people who work there got a couple of soldiers from the nearest army checkpoint to take a look, the officer asked if it was OK for his men to check on their emails and stuff. The reaction the first couple of guys who came in was a very amazed “Wow!”.
Yesterday they put up a piece of paper that said: “we are happy to announce that you can get free internet access by dialing up this number”. A small little paper on the notice board. The telephone network is not fully operational, certain districts don’t have phones at all, but as I wrote earlier many of the exchanges that have not been destroyed or looted have been linked together. You will need to keep dialing for an hour to get thru but it works, I tried it.
Not a million bad things could have wiped the grin off my face when I read that little note.
Baghdad will also be getting its first GSM network in about two weeks. A couple of thousand lines as a first step, mainly for NGOs and Administration. I think it is going to be MCI who will set this up.
Radio SAWA should be playing the Stereo MC’s “Connected” all the time.