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Cable damage slows internet speed across Pakistan – Journal


ISLAMABAD: Internet speed will experience a drop of up to 25% during its peak hours of use due to disruptions in one of the six cable systems providing Internet and broadband services to the country, said Tuesday from sources in the sector.

The sources said that a small internet cable system was badly damaged, possibly by the activity of some ships, which caused the internet supply in the country to drop by more than 10%.

Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL), which operates the cable, said an international submarine cable system, named AAE-1, had been cut and the company had put in place alternative channels for bandwidth. in order to meet the needs of Internet use in the country.

“More capacity will be added in a few days,” said a spokesperson for PTCL, adding that customers could face a slight degradation in service across the country until more bandwidth is added.

While PTCL claimed that the impact on service for the customer was not severe, ISPs have received complaints about slow download and connectivity issues.

PTCL and PTA say alternative arrangements have been made to meet peak hour requirements

“The peak hours in the internet business are 6 pm to 11 pm, and complaints started after 7 pm today,” said Nayatel CEO Wahaj Siraj.

There are currently six international submarine cable systems connecting Pakistan, including SMW3, SMW4, SMW5, IMEWE, AAE-1 and TW1. PTCL holds the landing rights for the SMW3, SMW4, AAE-1 and IMEWE cable systems. AAE-1 lands on Clifton Beach near Captain Farhan Ali Shaheed Park, while SMW3, SMW4 and IMEWE land on Hawksbay Beach.

The other two submarine cable systems are operated by Transworld Associates Private Limited and its TW1 and SMW5 land on Hawksbay beach and terminate at Transworld cable landing station in Karachi.

According to the sources, about five terabytes (or about 5,000 gigabytes) per second land in the country and AAE-1 was a small cable with a maximum capacity of around 600 gigabytes.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) regulates the activity of submarine Internet cables like other IT and telecommunications functions.

In a statement on Tuesday, the PTA admitted that a failure of one of the international submarine cables had been reported in the sea near Karachi, affecting some internet traffic at peak times. “However, alternative arrangements to provide uninterrupted Internet services to users have been made by the relevant service providers by obtaining additional bandwidth and capacity to meet the requirements,” said the PTA.

The regulator also said it had asked operators to ensure uninterrupted internet services through alternative arrangements.

Posted in Dawn, le 22 December 2021