Update - March 2000 It seems that Alexandria, Egypt has now surpassed Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in the internet speed! During Eid/Hajj holidays, my surfing experience in Alexandria, Egypt was significantly better than the daily suffering in Jeddah. How long is a string? How high is up? What I mean is how fast is fast? Speed is a relative thing. Having said that, we can offer comparison with Internet access in other countries in the region. Compared to (say) the internet in Alexandria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia's internet seem to be more consistent, i.e. suffering less from ups and downs in speed. If you have a 28.8 kbps modem or higher, you can expect downloads ranging from 900 byte per second to 1.5 KB per second, with 1 KB per second being typical. The above assumption was based on Alexandria's internet access in 1998. However, in 1999, Alexandria has improved a lot and seem equal to or even better than Saudi Arabia in June 1999.It is obvious from the above that the full bandwidth of the 28.8 kbps modem connection is not utilized. What are the reasons? There can be many: proxies, telephone lines, ISP network, international line, or whatever. As of Second Quarter 1999, there are news that the Saudi Telecom Company (STC) are planning to introduce ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) for the business and public.All in all, the Middle East (with the possible exception of the United Arab Emirates) is significantly lagging behind in terms of Internet. Read more about this important subject, including what an average user pays, on our Arabs vs. the West analysis page.