TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Pakistan Internet Link Repairs to Take Three Days

Pakistan Internet Link Repairs to Take Three Days

Lisa Minter (
Wed, 29 Jun 2005 10:34:42 -0500

Pakistan's data and Internet links with the outside world will be
affected until at least the weekend as repairs are carried out on a
faulty undersea fiber-optic cable, telecommunications officials said
on Wednesday.

The cable developed a fault late on Monday, cutting the country's
international data links, including the Internet, and causing chaos
for businesses across the country. Satellite back-up systems were
brought on-stream on Wednesday, restoring some Internet access.

"Data connectivity will not be as fast as it normally is but we've
provided satellite back-up," said Mashkoor Hussain, vice president of
operations at Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd., which operates the
data link. Telephone links had not been affected, he said.

"Two satellite back-up systems have been provided from 9 a.m. (0400
GMT) to ensure that banks and other businesses like airline ticketing
can be provided with Internet data facilities as normal as possible,"
he said.

Hussain said an attempt to repair the cable -- Pakistan's sole
international cable Internet link -- early on Wednesday had failed.

A repair ship from the company that laid the cable was due to set off
from Dubai on Wednesday afternoon and it should reach the site, about
50 km (30 miles) off the coast, on Thursday afternoon. Repair work was
then expected to take 48 hours, he said.

"The repair work is major, the cable will have to be taken out and
repaired," another PTCL official said.

Hussain said the repairs would not have an impact on neighboring
countries, including India, which are also linked up to the faulty
cable. Those countries had back-up cables, he said.

Business people in Pakistan said things were a bit better but they
were still facing serious difficulties.

"The situation has slightly improved today but we're still facing a
lot of problems. Most of our work is being carried out manually," said
a foreign bank dealer.

Records of bank transactions were not being logged electronically, a
local bank dealer said.

"A large backlog has built up and it's increasing all the time. It's a
big disaster," the second dealer said.

Nasir Ali of the private Air Blue airline said his company's Web-based
booking system was working, but very slowly.

"PTCL has given us some relief but our system is still very slow," Ali
told Reuters.

The head of Pakistan's Internet Service Providers' Association,
V.A. Abdi, said the providers normally had total bandwidth of 600
megabites at their disposal but now they had just 34. Pakistan has
about 10 million Internet users, he said.

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited.

NOTE: For more telecom/internet/networking/computer news from the
daily media, check out our feature 'Telecom Digest Extra' each day at . Hundreds of new
articles daily.

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: Lisa Minter: "New Worm Lures Users With 'Breaking News'"
Go to Previous message: "Re: DSL Speed"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page