Internet speeds have been slow and connections unreliable in Azerbaijan because local internet service providers (ISPs) haven’t been paying their bills. According to a statementfrom Delta Telecom, which provides all internet for Azerbaijan through secondary ISPs, those local providers owe Delta Telecom over 3 million manats (about $1.8 million).
According to their statement, Delta Telecom has limited the service provided to local ISPs such as the state-owned Qlobal Netvorks, CNC AZ, and Data Plus, in an attempt to force those companies to pay their debts. Delta Telecom also states that the company is suing the indebted firms in court, and a total shutdown of service for them is also “on the agenda.”
Internet connectivity problems are experienced in Azerbaijan on a regular basis. On 17 November 2015, a fire at Delta Telecom’s data processing center resulted in an internet outage in most of Azerbaijan.
In May 2017, access to WhatsApp, Facebook, and Skype was restricted. At the time, Osman Gunduz, the president of the Azerbaijani Internet Forum, suggested that the measure was intended to make it impossible for terrorists to communicate with each other while Azerbaijan hosted the Islamic Solidarity Games. “But the ban on the use of messengers flagrantly violates the citizens’ right to receiving information. On the other hand, this kind of ban damages Azerbaijan’s international image, as well as the future profits of the Azerbaijani regional data processing center and of Delta Telecom, which could ensure an inflow of foreign currency into Azerbaijan,” Gunduz said.
There was an internet outage on 29 September 2017 because the networks of several transit operators in Europe were overloaded.
According to their website, Delta Telecom services 78% of all ISPs in the Caucasus, including all ISPs in Azerbaijan, as well as providing satellite and other forms of telecommunications.