Pakistan to Face More Internet Outages Soon

Internet outages are apparently here to stay. Pakistan is expected to go through more outages over the upcoming days due to damage caused by floodwater amid heavy rain. The floods have caused cable cuts and damage to fiber optic cables in the upper Sindh area.

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) shared a technical report with the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom on Wednesday which shares deeper insight on the matter. It says that repeated internet outages are mainly caused by flood relief efforts in the Sukkur division where fiber-optic cables were being damaged mainly by heavy machinery used to clear water in the area.

The Ministry also sought technical reports from the telecom regulator Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) after taking notice of the repeated internet outages. PTA reported that these internet cuts were not caused by any criminal activity or sabotage, but because of digging trenches at various places to divert excess water.

According to the reports, the last few disruptions earlier this week were caused by multiple cuts in Ghotki, Khairpur, and Sukkur districts while the most serious damage was reported in tehsil Ranipur of Khairpur district.

Syed Aminul Haque, the Minister for IT and Telecom said that the situation was serious and we should expect to see more incidents in the future.

Due to extensive flooding, most of the pathways of underground cables have been submerged, as relief workers or locals were trying to divert floodwater by digging trenches on roads and footpaths. The ministry has directed PTCL to declare an emergency so that repair work could be initiated when any such incident is reported in the system, while PTA is constantly monitoring the quality of service.

PTCL’s network cables have a total capacity of 6.5 terabytes, but only 70% of it is used so that traffic can be shifted to other cables in case of emergencies.

Source: Dawn

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