Blue Iraq: Local Experts in Global Communications

R.A. Hettinga rah at
Thu Jan 13 13:39:39 PST 2005

I expect a few cypherpunks will know the founder of blueiraq...

(who wonders who's running ;-))

Blue Iraq

Local Experts in Global Communications
about Blue Iraq | Products and Services | Technology and Networks | Iraq
FAQ |  Support | Contact Us

Iraq FAQ



Technology and Internet in Iraq:
 Frequently Asked Questions

We have found that there are a few common questions about Internet access
and general IT in Iraq. By answering these questions here, we can try to
improve understanding inside and outside Iraq of the unique environment
which exists here.
 What kind of Internet connection does Iraq have?
Iraq does not have "one main Internet connection". As of 2003, Iraq has had
no landline or microwave relay connections to the outside world. All
international communications, and most domestic communications, have been
via satellite. Domestic wireline or wireless networks rely on satellite
access for international connectivity. Many businesses use small satellite
terminals (VSATs) to communicate directly with the outside world.
 Who uses Internet service in Iraq?
The US Department of Defense, DoD and Redevelopment Contractors, Western
expatriates, and the Iraqi Government are major users of Internet and
international communications services in Iraq. Additionally, many NGOs,
universities, and Iraqi businesses are establishing internet connectivity.
One of the major purchasers of Internet service in the domestic Iraqi
market is for small, entrepreneurial Internet Cafes.
Why is service in Iraq more expensive than in other parts of the world?
Satellite capacity is usually more expensive than terrestrial connectivity,
due to the high costs of satellites and limited RF capacity available on a
given transponder. However, satellites also have very high reliability, and
are the only practical means of deploying communications rapidly over a
large territory without building extensive (and vulnerable) fixed
infrastructure. Modern shared IP-optimized Ku-band VSAT systems can be very
affordably priced compared to older satellite communications systems.

 Communications companies operating in Iraq also face higher operating
costs than similar communications companies operating elsewhere in the
world, due to security concerns and lack of infrastructure.
 Can I use Voice over IP (VoIP) over satellite?
Generally VoIP will require special settings to work reliably over
satellite. We currently only support our iDirect network and dedicated
satellite capacity for VoIP applications, and all supported VoIP
communications must go through our VoIP gateway to ensure traffic
prioritization and quality of service.
Your competitors offer some systems which are cheaper, and can use Iraqis
to do the installation. Why should I use Blue Iraq?
Our prices are actually lower than most other satellite systems, based on
service capacity and performance -- unlike a lot of companies, we specify
our systems based on observed performance in Iraq, not a fanciful design

 Due to the security situation, it is very difficult for Iraqis to get onto
US bases to do installations. We do use trained Iraqis for off-base
installs in some cases. However, in many cases, we have found that having
US engineers do the world results in the most effective solution with the
highest overall quality. An inexpensive system which does not work reliably
is no bargain.
Why should I purchase a system from an Iraq-focused network operating
company, vs. one of the satellite owners or major networks?
One word: presence. Blue Iraq has trained personnel on the ground in Iraq
who are familiar with the environment. Many other vendors have never set
foot in Iraq, and rely on local contract installation companies to do
installations. Non-Iraq based companies also do not have personnel in Iraq
do provide after-sale support if anything goes wrong. In a place like Iraq,
many things can go wrong.
Isn't it too dangerous to operate a business in Iraq? The news shows
bombings and kidnappings every day?
Iraq can be a very dangerous place. However, we take all reasonable
precautions to minimize this risk. Our personnel travel with appropriate
levels of security, and will refuse to go to sites which are not adequately
secured. We primarily operate in conjunction with the US military, and rely
on US military helicopter transport between secure bases. All personnel
have appropriate protective gear and training.
Why does the military use commercial internet services? Doesn't it have
enough satellite capacity of its own?
The US military makes extensive use of commercial products and systems for
a wide variey of non-tactical purposes, as commercial systems often provide
the cheapest, best, and most cost-effective solution to a given problem.
Commercial satellite networks are extensively used for Morale, Welfare, and
Recreation (MWR) purposes, administrative and support systems, and more.
Do you do business in the Iraqi economy, or only on DOD bases?
Our primary customers are located on DOD bases: the DOD, its personnel, and
contractors. However, we do business with the local Iraqi economy via Iraqi
resellers and installers.
How can I get Internet service as an individual in Iraq?
Please evaluate our products and services. Due to capital costs of our VSAT
systems, our mobile Inmarsart R-BGAN system may be desirable for low-volume
individual users. Alternately, you could try finding others with whom to
share a VSAT system and split the cost.
How can I get Internet service for my unit or company?
Please evaluate our products and services, with particular attention to our
VSAT systems. Please  contact us with any additional questions.
Can you set up service outside Iraq?
We can interface with corporate or military networks anywhere in the world.
We can also provide satellite communications or other IT systems outside
Iraq, but our focus is on the DOD, Iraq and its neighbors, Afghanistan, and
the Islamic world in general.
How do I register an Iraq Domain Name (.iq)?
At present, .iq domain names are unavailable. We suggest using,,, or other similar names.
 When do you think the occupation/insurgency/etc. will end?
We can't predict the future. However, even if Iraq became a peaceful nation
today, it would be many years before infrastructure had been rebuilt to the
level required for a fully functional economy.
Can I invest in Blue Iraq? What is your stock ticker symbol? What is the
minimum investment?
Blue Iraq is not currently a publicly traded company, nor is it listed on
any stock exchange. We are currently raising our first round of funds from
angel investors within the technology industry, and those familiar with
Iraq. If you are an SEC-qualified investor interested in investing at least
USD 100 000, please contact our investor relations department at
ir at

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

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