Libya’s Internet connection restored


As Libyan rebels rolled into Tripoli on Sunday evening, 21 August 2011, the country’s Internet went down.

Muammar al Gaddafi, Libyan Political Leader (image source: file photo)

On Monday, 22 August 2011, as promised by rebel leaders, Internet services were restored.

The announcement was made prior to the Transitional National Council, a political body formed to represent Libya by anti-Gaddafi forces during the 2011 Libyan civil war, issued a statement that the Internet and other communication infrastructure would be restored as soon as a new government is formed.

Libyana al-Hurra, a new rebel telecom network setup by the rebels in April 2011 and a similar mobile network based in Misrata, would be linked to the Libyana Mobile Phone network in Tripoli, said Ousama Abushagur, a Libyan telecommunications engineer in the United Arab Emirates.

Abushagur was instrumental in establishing Libya’s rebel telecom network.

The rebels set up the telecom 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,” said Abushagur.

Internet and telecom services had been cut for some five hours on Sunday evening and worries abounded that it could take more time for the networks to return, but the rebel government moved swiftly to return services to the country on Monday.

Jonathan Terry