ISLAMABAD: A large number of internet users, mainly in Karachi, fa­­ced outages on Thursday evening as the submarine cable system SEAMEWE-5, extending from Singapore to France and Italy, was damaged.

A statement issued by Transworld Home, the company operating the cable, said that a nationwide disruption was caused due to a ‘fibre cut in terrestrial network’.

A senior official of IT and telecommunication ministry told Dawn that the disruption had occurred in the cable network of Transworld Associates, one of the three submarine cable operators in Pakistan.

The cable system, which was damaged at the junction of Suez Canal and Mediterranean Sea near Egypt, caused disruptions in other countries as well.

A senior Transworld Associates official said the cable was largely undersea, but a patch of around 480km was on land in Egypt to avoid disturbance due to the movement of ships in the Suez Canal.

The official added that repair works on land were easier as compared to tracing and fixing the damage under the sea.

The South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 5 (SEAMEWE-5) submarine cable system, commissioned in 2016, is nearly 20,000 kilometres long, extending from Marseille in France to Singapore.

Currently, there are seven submarine internet cable systems connecting to Pakistan, of which four are operated by Pakistan Telecom­mu­nication Company Limited, two by Transworld Associates and a new cable system that recently came online, owned by a Chinese company.

Published in Dawn, August 12th, 2022

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