KARACHI: The internet services across the country suffered disruption on Tuesday after one of the two undersea cables operated by a private telecommunication company damaged near Karachi.

The cable, TW-1, owned by the TransWorld, was cut 40-kilometre off Karachi coast under the sea on Monday. The company immediately reacted, saying it had started fixing the problem and mobilise teams of experts for the earliest resolution of the issue.

“The exact reason behind the damage is not known yet, but most probably it was hit by some ship’s anchor,” Kamran Malik, chief executive officer (CEO) of TransWorld, told Dawn. “However, our second [undersea] cable named SEAMEWE-6 is fully operational.”

He said that it could not exactly be predicted about the time required for repair and fixing the damaged cable. “It’s always a huge job, which requires a dedicated and fully equipped ship and team of experts. In the past we have seen that such a task took three to four weeks to get fixed.”

Meanwhile, a statement issued by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said that the fault was reported on Monday evening and caused an outage of international bandwidth.

“It may result in degradation of internet services for users of TransWorld bandwidth,” the statement said and added that the consortium operating the cable was arranging an ad-hoc bandwidth to minimise the impact and efforts were ongoing to ascertain the exact location of the fault as well as the expected restoration time.

The fresh incident came after October 2021 when the internet users across the country faced the same kinds of situation after a submarine cable developed a fault near Fujairah.

Before that, in Feb 2021 one of the country’s submarine cables had developed a fault near Abu Talat, Egypt, slowing down internet services across Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, February 23rd, 2022

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