DUBAI, UAE: The number of Internet users in the Middle East since 2000 has grown by more than 2,100 percent and today more than 72 million people, or 34 percent of the population, are regularly online with an increasing number relying on the Internet for their livelihoods. However, new research from Brocade shows that there is real cause for concern among Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the region, with 71 percent of home workers reporting noticeable reduction in service performance during work hours (compared to non-work hours), thereby significantly hindering their business efficiency.
It may be therefore no surprise that only a mere 13 percent of respondents reported “complete satisfaction” with their current ISP.
With almost a quarter of employees working from home on a daily basis, lack of network performance is fast becoming a concern for businesses looking to empower a flexible workforce. As corporations steadily continue to migrate their business processes to the Internet, dependence on an uninterrupted Internet connection is proving to be a growing concern. More than 70 percent of the respondents gauged the business impact of Internet downtime to be either high or severe. Being able to provide a consistent and reliable service that can handle the additional capacity and bandwidth during such high-demand periods poses a huge challenge to service providers.
Providing his insights into the results of the survey, Sufian Dweik, regional manager of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) at Brocade said: “The option of working remotely means that an increasing number of corporate Internet users require faster connections in their homes. Almost 90 percent of respondents have subscribed to an unlimited download plan and, given that over half of the respondents estimate their average monthly usage to be more than three gigabytes, there is huge pressure on service provider networks to deliver.”