Internet services across Pakistan disrupted, restored

Published December 16, 2019
Pakistan faced a countrywide disruption in internet services on Oct 30 following a fault in submarine cables.  — AFP/File
Pakistan faced a countrywide disruption in internet services on Oct 30 following a fault in submarine cables. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Internet users across the country had to experience slow browsing and service degradation for several hours due to a technical fault in the international submarine cable that occurred near Doha on Sunday.

According to a statement issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), the internet services were impacted by a technical fault in the AAE-1 cable due to which the users might have faced service degradation. “The PTCL in conjunction with the International Submarine Consortium was working to fully restore internet services across the country,” the PTCL stated in its press release.

The Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) is a 25,000km consortium cable system connecting South East Asia to Europe via Egypt. It connects Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, with Malaysia and Singapore, then onwards to Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France. AAE-1 cable system deploys 100Gbps transmission technology, with a minimum design capacity of 40Tbps.

Regretting the inconvenience caused to its customers, the telecommunication company in a late-night communiqué said that the services were fully restored after the fault had been rectified and fixed. The PTCL later also thanked its users for showing patience.

Pakistan faced a countrywide disruption in internet services on Oct 30 following a fault in submarine cables. Previously an internet outage occurred in June when services were disrupted due to multiple cable cuts. Similarly, internet users had to experience slow internet browsing in 2017 owing to a fault that occurred in IMEWE near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The IMEWE submarine cable is an ultra-high capacity fibre optic undersea cable system which links India and Europe via the Middle East. The 12,091km-long cable has nine terminal stations, operated by leading telecom carriers from eight countries. The IMEWE3 provides the bulk of the country’s internet bandwidth.

Published in Dawn, December 16th, 2019

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