Internet services disrupted across Pakistan

Published February 18, 2021
Internet services faced disruptions across the country on Wednesday as one of its six international submarine cables developed a fault. — AFP/File
Internet services faced disruptions across the country on Wednesday as one of its six international submarine cables developed a fault. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: Internet services faced disruptions across the country on Wednesday as one of its six international submarine cables developed a fault.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) confirmed that due to a fault in an international submarine cable system near Abu Talat, Egypt, users faced some degradation in internet services.

The disruptions developed at the SMW-5 due to subsea fault in the cable system, operated by the Trans World Associates (TWA).

The TWA communicated about the service degradation in international connectivity towards Europe and said that repair work was underway through international counterparts in Egypt.

“While the work to remove the fault is continuing, the internet service providers (ISPs) are being shifted to the spare capacity maintained by the company,” said a senior executive of the Trans World Associates.

The TWA and the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Ltd (PTCL) are the two licence holders for international landing stations of submarine cables.

While the TWA operates SMW-5 and TW-1, the PTCL submarine cable network comprises SMW-3, SMW-4, I-ME-WE and AAE-1.

The TWA systems cater for around 40 per cent of internet traffic in Pakistan and the company executive acknowledged that the internet users across the country will experience downgraded speeds until the users are shifted expectedly by late Wednesday night.

The fault has occurred in the cable system coming from France and the TWA executive said ISPs were in the process of shifting the load to other submarine systems coming from Singapore.

Most of the internet outages have occurred in the country due to faults in undersea cables.

Published in Dawn, February 18th, 2021

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