Information and Technology (IT) industry in Pakistan is flourishing after remaining an untapped potential for years. IT exports during July-March FY2022 surged to $1.948 billion at a growth rate of 29.26 percent in comparison to $1.5 billion during July-March FY2021. The Oxford Internet Institute’s Online Labor Index (OLI) has ranked Pakistan as the 4th most popular destination in the global online freelance sector, behind India, Bangladesh and the US.
In order to promote the said sector, government of Pakistan has provided certain platforms such as Digiskills, Pakistan Freelance Training Program and e-rozgaar to offer wide-ranging skills to the youth.
Moreover, platforms like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram have also provided sources of income to the youth by utilizing their creativity skills and creating content.
Unfortunately, poor internet services and blocking of sites without any prior information have become frequently occurring problems.
Political instability has even started to affect the online earners’ community. Last night, the government was blamed for blocking YouTube for 2 hours so that the nation cannot listen to Pakistan Tahreek-I-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan’s speech. Looking at the situation, it seems like political rivalry has become the top priority even at the expense of country’s economic deterioration.
Netizens have also raised their voice on twitter against blocking of YouTube last night.
We want to promote IT industry: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif
While: Electricity & Internet are disconnected frequently due to loadshedding, fiber optics issues
Platforms like TikTok, YouTube etc are blocked often
Today again, YouTube was blocked for 2 hours in many areas..
— Economy of Pakistan (@Pakistanomy) August 21, 2022
— Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi (@hoflolz) August 21, 2022
Few days back, whole country faced internet connectivity issues which posed serious problems for online operating businesses. Major Internet Service Providers such as Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL), Stormfiber backed by Cybernet, Ufone, and Mobilink Jazz went completely down.
Responding to the issue, PTCL tweeted, “due to heavy rains and floods, PTCL’s optical fiber network is experiencing some technical faults. As a result, PTCL users in Northern and Central regions are facing Internet outage. Our teams are working to restore the services on priority.”
However, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also shared on Twitter, “as reported by PTCL, issue has been reported in data networks between South and North which is causing internet connectivity issues. This issue is being investigated. PTA is monitoring the situation and further updates will be shared.”
Furthermore, it has been noted that internet services keep going down throughout the country, attributing to “shark attacks” on the internet cables.
Inefficient internet providing system was already a problem existing since long time and if politicians also exploit the authority to block any website without considering the expense to the users, then IT industry is surely at stake.