Egypt on Wednesday finally recovered its Internet access after the Mubarak regime forced a blackout in a failed attempt to quash dissent. Both network activity tracking as well as various reports from locals have confirmed that at least some landline carriers have brought back their Internet access. Smartphone service, including 3G data and BlackBerry access, also now appears to be back in full.
Some still mention individual service blocks on some services, such as Twitter. They may be holdovers from Mubarak’s earlier censorship attempts.
The reasons for the restoration aren’t clear, although it’s suspected that Mubarak is counting on bringing back Internet access, along with his promise not to run for an expected rigged reelection or to nominate his son, as bargaining chips to end protests. At least some have still declined to stop protesting unless Mubarak is taken out of office immediately.
Blackouts began on Friday when the regime tried to disrupt coordination for protests. At one stage, all cellular service was also cut off, forcing many to use foreign-provided dial-up access over landlines and a special Google voicemail service to send out Twitter updates.