Let me first say a few things about the Internet before actually getting into the topic of ISPs and the internet in Saudi Arabia. Internet’s predecessor was called ARPANET and was used widely by institutions and military in the USA throughout the 1980s. It was only in the late 1980s that ARPANET was upgraded had come to be known as the Internet. Since then, it started becoming more popular inside the USA. Once its popularity gained a lot inside the country, other countries started coming in to adopt the same technology in their countries. If you ask me what the best thing that happened to the world in the previous decade, I would tell that the Internet and the innovation to the speed of the internet was the best thing that happened to this world in the previous decade. Developing countries are also more inclined towards the internet these days to get their things done on a day to day basis.
Although some countries adopted the internet as soon as it was made available to them, some did not. Some countries like Saudi Arabia and some other countries that felt insecure about how the internet could defame their country’s ideologies did not implement the internet in their countries even though it was made available. Sooner than later, the internet became a necessity. It was then Saudi Arabia had internet access in its government and educational institutions. The necessity was still not fulfilled. In the year 1999, it was pronounced by the government that public access to the internet would be available through Internet Service Provider in Saudi Arabia.
The growth of internet users in Saudi Arabia has been steady since then. From an article that I read recently, it says that Saudi Arabia had 200 thousand internet users in the year 2000, one year after the internet became public. And by the year 2005, it had about 2.54 million users and the growth was 1170%. The number of Internet users in 2013 was recorded as 16.4 million as per the government records of Saudi Arabia.
Internet Infrastructures like internet gateways are provided by companies or establishments and these entities are called Data Service providers. The big data providers in Saudi Arabia are STC, Zain, and Mobily. Our Internet Service Providers are also usually data service providers, but in some cases, DSPs give the bandwidth to an organization that is solely an ISP. An ISP is an entity that usually buys the internet bandwidth from a DSP and provides the internet service to an individual or a company.
Even after the internet became accessible to the public it is seen that the traffic is routed to proxy servers where they are filtered and censored before it reaches the user. The government of Saudi Arabia has a stronghold over what people in its country search and view. All this said and done, the business of an Internet Service Provider in Saudi Arabia only seems to grow, as we can see from the statistics of the 13 years since the internet becoming accessible to the public in the country. For more information please visit here https://top.net.sa/internet-service/