Pakistan can experience more internet outages in the coming days, says Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) report. PTA has dispelled the speculations linking internet outages to any criminal activity or deliberate attempts to sabotage the internet service in Pakistan.
PTA has attributed the frequent internet outage to floods in Sindh. A report published by PTCL claims that heavy machinery digging deep trenches to divert and drain accumulated flood water has damaged the optic fiber cables.
Ministry of IT and Telecom had asked to submit a report from PTCL and PTA on the repeated internet outage. According to a report filed by the national telecom, the last internet outage reported on August 22 and 23 was due to multiple cuts in Ghotki, Khairpur, and Sukkur districts; the most serious damage was in Ranipur tehsil of Khaipur district.
According to Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Aminul Haque, the report suggests the situation is serious. “Due to extensive flooding, locals in the area dug up trenches submerging most of the path on which the underground cables are buried,” the minister said. The ministry has directed PTCL to declare an emergency so repairs can be initiated. The authority has also been tasked with constantly monitoring the quality of service, he added.
⚠️ Confirmed: #Pakistan is again in the midst of a nation-scale internet outage, the second in 24 hours; the incident affects multiple providers including PTCL with real-time network data showing connectivity at 38% of ordinary levels 📉
— NetBlocks (@netblocks) August 23, 2022
A senior official from the ministry added that cable damages and services degradation are reported daily, the matter becomes grave when the cable fiber gets hit. “As cables were damaged in upper Sindh, the internet service in Punjab, KP and some areas of Balochistan suffered, but there was no such issue for consumers in Karachi, Hyderabad, Gwadar, and other districts of the South,” the official said.
Almost 80% of the internet traffic in the country is provided by PTCL. Each PTCL cable host up to 6.5 terabytes of data.