Egypt Returns to the Internet

Egyptian ISPs restarted internet service Wednesday morning Cairo time, a little less than six days after the Egypt’s government ordered the country’s ISPs to cut off the net.

The restoration was as abrupt and unnannounced as the shutdown on January 27, which was seen as an attempt to cut off the ability of anti-government protestors to coordinate their protests.

While it’s not clear whether the cut-off caused organizing problems for organizers and citizens, the shutdown failed to stop the movement to remove Egypt’s autocrat Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years.

Facing a movement of millions, international condemnation of the shut-off and a military unwilling to use force against the protestors, Mubarak announced Tuesday he would not seek re-election in eight months and that he would allow opposition parties to field candidates in a fall election.

Renesys, a net monitoring company, noted that Egypt, and its major websites, returned to the net at 11:29 local time Wednesday morning.

“We confirm that Facebook and Twitter are up and available inside Egypt, at least from the places we can monitor,” the company wrote in a blog post. “No traffic blocks are in place, DNS answers are clean, IP addresses match, no funny business. For now.”

Egypt, a relatively well-wired country, suffered economically from the radical attempt to stifle communication, which also took down Egypt’s stock market, which has been closed for business since the net was cut off.

Image courtesy of Arbor Networks