Internet traffic and call centre operations in Pakistan suffered a `glitch` after one of the country`s three undersea optic-fibre communications cables was damaged on Saturday.
PTCL Officials said the fault was not serious and would be rectified “within four to five hours”.
“We have been informed that there was a fault in the undersea cable near Alexandria in Egypt,” said Sikandar Naqi, a spokesman for the Pakistan Telecommunication Company.
“According to our assessment, the problem will be fixed in about four hours. We have started shifting (telecom) traffic to other backup systems. This means there is no major service disruption.”
He said there had been complaints of disruption of service but they would be addressed soon, adding that the shifting of traffic from the affected cable to other links would take “some time”.
A similar fault that developed in 2005 caused internet blackout all over the country and took more than a week to restore the internet traffic.
“In 2005, the country operated only a single undersea optic-fibre link called South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe-3 (SEA-ME-WE-3) and we had no other connection to shift our traffic to,” said another PTCL official.
“Currently, we have three such cables — SEA-ME-WE-3, SEA-ME-WE-4 and Trans-World Associates, operated by an international consortium.”
He said the fault was reported in SEA-ME-WE-4 in Egypt and PTCL had shifted its entire traffic to SEA-ME-WE-3 and TWA, allowing continued internet service and smooth telecom connectivity.
The telecom industry, which suffered a loss of more than $10 million because of the internet blackout three years ago, did not seem concerned over the recent fault in the submarine cable.
“The disruption is not as serious as it was in 2005,” said Wahajus Siraj, convenor of ISPs Association of Pakistan (Ispak).
“Since it is a weekend, the call centres are not very busy. And with three undersea links, the companies are switching over to alternative links if there is any problem.”
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