Internet speed is slowed due to a fault in underwater cables
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Internet speed is slowed due to a fault in underwater cables

People in several sections of the nation experienced poor internet speeds on social media sites due to a malfunction in underwater cables.

People reported experiencing issues when accessing Facebook, WhatsApp, and other websites, which were subsequently confirmed by authorities.

There were some problems on both DSL and mobile data, but just for a few minutes, Tecno Pack Electronics CEO Aamir Allawala told The Express Tribune.

Soban Hanif, a resident of Gadap Town, reported that he had poor internet speed while working.

Two maritime cable breaks were recorded earlier in AAE-1 and SEAMEWE-5 near Egypt, according to the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA). The lines have been fixed, according to the telecom authority, while another cut in IMEWE near Italy is being rectified.

 

Pakisan Telecommunication Status

In Pakistan, however, all telecommunications traffic has been restored to normal. This was not only a problem in Pakistan but also across the world.

According to NetBlocks, a worldwide internet monitor, internet access was disrupted in many nations, with a particularly significant effect in portions of Asia and Africa. “The disruptions were consistent with an international transit interruption… the situation is still ongoing.”

Multiple undersea cables have been reported as having been severed, according to Noman Ahmed Said, CEO of SI Global Solutions, who informed The Express Tribune that they are now being repaired.

The Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) undersea cable connects Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France across a distance of 25,000 kilometers.

The loss of bandwidth, which affects three main continents, is a huge problem that must be addressed promptly, he added. The SEA-ME-WE 5 (South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 5) is an optical fiber undersea communications cable system that connects Singapore and France.

The cable is roughly 20,000 kilometers long and delivers broadband connections connecting Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, with a design capacity of 24 terabits per second. Noman Ahmed expressed his thoughts.

A cut has also been detected near Egypt on the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable. The IMEWE cable near Italy was the latest to be damaged. The IMEWE (India-Middle East-Western Europe) undersea cable system connects India and Europe via the Middle East and is 12,091 kilometers long.

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PTA

The PTA has said very little about the cable damage, but the tremendous potential for ramifications remains, according to Noman Ahmed.

Soban works from home for a digital marketing firm, and his business has been affected, he added. As the concept of working from home grows in popularity, the internet is becoming increasingly crucial.

Working from home has been more common in the country since the Covid-19 outbreak, therefore the internet is becoming increasingly important. Students utilize the internet to gain their education as well, he added.

It’s critical to have backup systems in place because incidents like this, like with the examples of the aforementioned cables, occur regularly, Noman Ahmed said. Specialized teams must respond quickly to the scene, since a loss of connectivity is not sustainable nor inexpensive, especially when losses are on such a large scale.

We expect that our technical staff will be better equipped in the future to deal with such disasters and that we will have a trustworthy floating solution in place to sustain temporarily throughout the repair time to avoid any losses, he added.

Unfortunately, Pakistan has a history of faulty connections and networks, which frequently leads to the people using several networks in the hopes of keeping access, which is an additional cost, he said. Furthermore, the bandwidth given by Internet Service Providers is frequently inconsistent.

According to him, the PTA may look into bandwidth control to preserve speed, as it has done in the past in similar situations. Because bandwidth is one of the telecoms and IT sector’s most valuable resources, it must be governed by laws that the PTA can implement.

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