Second Internet provider for Mogadishu

The NationLink Telecommunications Company of Somalia has established a second Internet company in Mogadishu, a senior manager of the company told IRIN.

Telecom Somalia, better known as Olympic Telecommunications, was the first company to restore Internet services to Mogadishu after a gap of two months during which residents had no access. It was established on 23 January.

The difference between the two companies is that NationLink provides a local dial-up, whereas Telecom Somalia's service is routed through Norway, according to Ahmad Dini, the general manager of NationLink. Dini said NationLink customers would be able to "sign up for a 24-hour unlimited Internet access, if they wish to do so". According to Dini, this option has never been available before.

Internet services were cut off in Mogadishu last November after the closure of the Al-Barakaat company, which was providing the service in conjunction with NationLink and Telecom Somalia. The Al-Barakaat group is one of 62 organisations and individuals which the US authorities accused of having links with terrorism, and whose assets were seized worldwide on 7 November. Al-Barakaat has consistently denied the charge, accusing the US government of reacting to "rumours and lies".

Dini said NationLink was now providing the Somali people with all facets of telecommunications services. "We are now able to provide our customers with land-line services, GSM mobile, and now Internet," he said, adding that the service would cost users US $3 per hour.