Ehm, can I have a makramah please?

17 Dec, '06

In the spirit of National Day and bountiful makramahs, can Your Majesty put some pressure on Batelco and get them to suck just a little less blood from us technophiles who cannot live without the Internet?

I implore you to do something about this Your Exalted Majesty, as no one of us could do anything about the situation, you know that some of us tried but no impact was felt whatsoever. In fact, that company, which is a wholly owned Bahraini company now, doesn’t give a rodent’s behind about your country, its citizen’s nor does it care about its residents and businesses either. It is not listening and will never listen unless either a political instruction is descended upon them to open up and allow businesses and individual creativity to flourish, or allow its competitions to really get the upper hand for a few years to sell their wares fairly while throttling the ultimate throttler.

You see, Your Majesty, Moore’s law suggests that everything in technology doubles in use but halves in cost every 18 months, that period of time has now shortened to just 3 months if you look at the various technological products and services the world over. Hard disks are approaching 1TB in capacity for a very reasonable price, a price that we happily paid for 1/10th of that capacity just a couple of years ago. The same thing with Internet speeds and available bandwidth; people in the developed and some in the not-so-developed worlds are enjoying speeds of 8MB (that’s a Big B Your Majesty, not a small one) paying not more than BD30 a month. In France, the telcos there started renting MacBooks with 1Mb connections for as little as 2 Euros a day; yet in your own blessed country, Your Majesty, we are being Royally shafted – if you would pardon my French as I cannot find a more appropriate term – by Your Company, the exalted Batelco for BD60 a month for a measly 2Mb (yes, that’s a small b) with a bandwidth limitation of just 20GB.

Let me tell you Your Majesty that this is a completely unfair package, and one that would encourage people and companies to migrate to a close-by country for the competitive nature of their just opened telecoms market. Being a patriot, of course I will not do that, but help me out here Your Majesty; I just upgarded to a 2Mb connection late last month, my first billing cycle was on Dec 3rd and already we have used all the limit of 20GB (so they say) that we are back down to a crawling 64kb which is absolutely criminal in this day and age.

Your Majesty, I’m not asking you to drop my loans, those I have taken willingly and am responsible enough to pay them on time with a smile. I am not even asking for a free internet connection, as you have seen Your Majesty, I have willingly upgraded my package recently and do not have any problem – in the absence of competition – to pay through the nose to keep it maintained and I will even effect a smile, but Your Majesty it is ludicrous to expect the Internet Generation to accept limits on usage. This is like telling us that we can only breath a specific volume and just make do with one shallow breath every five minutes and make do with that existence until the next billing cycle starts again and the Batelco Gods open the connection again!

Come on Your Majesty, please and double pretty please, can you give us an Internet makramah and tell those Batelco blood suckers to remove the limits? Judging by how they prefer the Jordanian market and how low their charges are, please don’t believe them when they tell you they can’t, they can and will. All you really need to do is put some pressure on them, and I for one will not shed a single tear for seeing the back of Peter K for the very last time. He, almost exclusively, has completely shafted the reputation of your country – please pardon my French again Your Majesty, but that’s the only appropriate expression I can think of at the moment.

Thank you Your Majesty and enjoy the holidays.

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Comments (17)

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  1. Hussain says:

    I totally agree. In fact recalling what a pre-historic state we were in a year ago with maximum speeds of 512kbps/BD50. You never actually got the advertised speed even if you lived next door to your local exchange, and not to mention the abominable upload speeds.

    The decision to cut down on “bandwidth piracy” by introducing thresholds on usage just so that Mr. Batelco could make more money is preposterous and is moving us back in time. In this day and age the majority if not all people make use of the Internet…other countries are planning on making certain areas of their cities Wi-Max enabled providing free wireless Internet and just look at the state we are in!

    And what’s this we read about Batelco wanting to introduce “ADSL2” in the GDN the other day? We didn’t even get the most out of ADSL1 yet!

    We are in desperate need of a Makramah, his majesty King Hamad never lets us down.

  2. Demanding partnership not collaboration. says:

    I have another idea,

    why not the king, gives a makrumma to stop the sectarianism within his government? or at lease donates some of his money to the Just Bahraini campaign?!

    just an idea

  3. mahmood says:

    Yeah okay, I’ll go with those, but fix the internet first!

  4. Kebab Warrior says:

    One of the by-products of Batelco’s silly policy is that it completely inhibits the growth of any Internet based industry, which has been the case in other countries that opened up without placing limits on bandwidth usage. I mean, why would any Bahrain based wannabe entrepreneur even think of starting a Bahraini version of Amazon, iTunes, Google if he/she is worried about not crossing the bandwidth limits. Now if Batelco answers this argument by saying that said entrepreneur should register a business account my response would be ‘bollocks’. No teenager or a university dropout is going to register a business account (BIll Gates, Steve Jobs, Linus Torvalds were not businessmen when they started out), and so for the sake of igniting new tech oriented business in Bahrain… Batelco, wake up and don’t all the juicy business go to Dubai.

  5. Henry says:

    What happened to all the new start up company’s they only seam to offer calling cards why haven’t they broken it to the home market

  6. me says:

    unlimited internet .. becomes only hope 😡

  7. crimper says:

    Amen bro!!! I have this shite arse 2mb 60 bd a month garbage when you test the speed outside bahrain it is no faster than 400 or 500 this is criminal, all I can say is we are real slaves and fools here in Bahrain; my sis has 10 times as fast in seattle unlimited downloads and pays 10 dollars a month, we certainly are lambs to the slaughter. In america it is commonly belived that the jewish race is the most greedy breed living, well all I can say is they have nothing on the people in power running batelco . Akbar haramia!!!!

  8. Redbelt says:

    Kebab warrior you are absolutly right. But your talking about a country that doesn’t allow you to work from home. Should you start a business in Bahrain, you need to have a dedicated business address and pay rent & utilities on it. Driving cost of minor services or home made goods way up.

    Also Mahmood, I am full behind you on this. In case this doesn’t work, Call me and I’ll direct you to my secret free WiFi Gahwa! 🙂

  9. Thogba says:

    Let the King and his government fix our roads first. If they succeed, then they might be able to fix the internet.

    Honestly, the country is badly ruined..fix what and do what!

  10. Ibn says:

    What are the typical speeds at universities over there? I cant imagine they would be anywhere near the 56Kbps.


  11. gomal says:

    i agree with Thogba, the roads r a mess were r those pumping trucks 😕

  12. mahmood says:

    They’re probably on a shared 2Mb line charged the “educational rate” that means a contention of 1000:1 probably, so don’t be surprised that there speeds are even lower then 56k, and then add on top of that the rules, regulations and filters the university places on the lines and you get the picture.

    I don’t know this on first hand bases, but am guestimating, I would dearly love to hear from some uni students in Bahrain about this situation.

  13. Hussain says:

    Speaking of messed up roads, some streets here near Jid Ali are a bit drier now, but only after being damaged with pits, holes, and cracks (where the hell did they come from?)…crummy material they use: not only do the roads lack a proper sewerage system, they’re “hyper-phobic” too! Fix our communication and transport systems!

  14. Hussain says:

    …sorry I meant hydro-phobic 😀

  15. mahmood says:

    Fix our communication and transport systems!

    Without which there could be no sustained development, no matter how much you try with everything else.

  16. Kebab Warrior says:

    Redbelt, I know the problem of starting business here is sooooo complicated, but, hey, aren’t we talking about the new economy? I’m positive that the authorities will come round to accepting the new paradigms required for this new economy but for that to happen… we need some movement from the ISP to encourage and sustain growth of new business. Authorities will only step in when they see something happening and will, undoubtedly, provide due encouragement. However, I expect Batelco to do its part in encouraging the growth of this trend, but I doubt if Batelco will do anything… as long as they provide that silly bullshit of a rationale for not providing unlimited Internet, one can’t expect anything great from them. Gosh… that felt great.

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