Due to a power reconfiguration activity on a section of international submarine cable, internet users are expected to experience downgraded speeds on April 21, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority announced on Tuesday. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority further clarified that the maintenance would take place from 2:00 AM to 7:00 AM, and internet service disruptions would only be experienced during the said period.
Initially, the reconfiguration activity was supposed to be undertaken from 2:00 PM to 7:00 PM on April 21, but it was quickly rescheduled because of a PTI protest scheduled for Lahore. It is pertinent to mention that as news of PTA’s initial decision to undertake the maintenance activity around noon of the 21 April surfaced, a flurry of PTI members and supporters, who believed that this was a planned effort to disrupt the coordinated activities during the Lahore jalsa, took to Twitter to record their protest.
This is a blatant attempt by PTA to slow down internet speed on the day of PTIs Jalsa in Lahore so that the coord activities of PTI and potentially Imran Khan's speech is affected. We will not stand for it. PTA better delay its maint schedule by a day. #امپورٹڈ_حکومت_نامنظور https://t.co/YpxgScCWz3
— Omar Ayub Khan (@OmarAyubKhan) April 19, 2022
Omar Ayub, a former member of the National Assembly, took note of the issue and termed it as a “blatant attempt” to slow down internet speed so that “Imran Khan’s speech is affected.” He also called for an immediate rescheduling of the activity. Shiffa Yousafzai, a prominent journalist, also noted the rather convenient timing of the maintenance and wrote on Twitter, “Is it a coincidence” that the PTA decides to fix internet services on the same day as the PTI jalsa in Lahore.
Is it a coincidence that on the day i.e 21st April, when @PTAofficialpk decides to fix (as per PTA’s claim) internet service from 2pm till 7pm resulting internet outage, its PTI’s another power show in Lahore?
P.s the Jalsa is already expected to be huge.
— Shiffa Z. Yousafzai (@Shiffa_ZY) April 19, 2022
Another prominent journalist and editor, Moeed Pirzada, also took to Twitter and advised the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority to “resume services in time” or “it will be considered a conspiracy”.
After the outrage, PTA announced on Twitter that the maintenance would be undertaken from 2:00 to 7:00 in the morning of 21 April. In addition, it also revealed that alternate measures would be taken to provide uninterrupted internet services to users and that it would work to restore the full functionality of the internet services as quickly as possible. Finally, PTA added that “The availability of internet services will be as usual throughout the country.”
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Ever Since former Prime Minister Imran Khan was ousted by what he terms to be a “foreign conspiracy,” he has been actively protesting. Immediately after the election of the new prime minister, Khan and most of his party members submitted their resignations to the speaker of the National Assembly as they sought to disassociate themselves from what they termed to be an “imported government,” full of convicts, thugs, and thieves. Imran Khan has since held two mega protests, one in Peshawar and the other in Karachi, and now expects a massive turnover from Lahore on the 21st of April.