Kurdish company works to turn Iraq into global internet cable hub

10/26/2022 5:04:10 PM
  Data cables connected to a server are seen in Stuttgart, Germany, in a December 14, 2009.
 photo: AP
The company's strategic project is a potential replacement for Egypt's global internet transit network, which also reduces internet traffic.

The Initiative: Sulaimani-based IQ internet service provider has announced "The Silk Route Transit (SRT)." The transit is "a strategic fiber optic project in Iraq and the region," per the company’s website. IQ explained that the company works "to make Iraq a transit hub, linking Iraq’s neighboring countries to the worldwide global fiber optic network."

"[to] act as the path of least resistance between Europe and Asia, fulfilling a long dream of ours to cement Iraq as a major network hub in the region," read the company statement. In an op-ed to Telecom Review, "The Silk Road Reborn," IQ CEO Asoz Rashid argues their project could serve as an alternative transit route to Egypt’s Telecom Egypt-run transit network. The idea is to restore Iraq’s ancient silk road role, as it played as a chokepoint between Asia, Africa, and Europe.

"This will enable users to have high-quality and low latency-based experiences for all streaming and gaming applications, it will enable users to have high-quality and low latency-based experiences for all streaming and gaming applications as well as other heavy-loaded tasks where fast and reliable connectivity is necessary," reads a statement on the IQ website.

Why Does It Matter? IQ is implementing a strategic fiber optic project in Iraq, connecting Iraq and all neighboring countries, Europe and Asia with fiber optics. According to an IQ statement, "the Silk Road will affect the speed and elimination of internet delays and interruptions in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the region will also help reduce the complexity and congestion of data traffic and internet lines to about 70 milliseconds."

An IQ source told KurdSat, "the project helps reduce internet traffic between the continents, and customers will be offered to choose between ours and Egypt’s transit routes."

The SRT infrastructure is divided into six territories, the major countries of the Middle East, and, through them, the rest of the world.

The venture will connect Iraq to the digital world, bringing it to the level of countries with advanced Internet systems.

People connected to the internet in the Kurdistan region complain about their internet services. Internet users usually have to subscribe to multiple service providers as different providers only work on different devices and locations, as most rely on mobile carriers for outdoor connection.

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