KARACHI/Islamabad - The internet services, which continued to be affected for almost two days due to a submarine cable fault, have been restored, said Imran Janjua, the General Manager of Pakistan Telecommunication Limited (PTCL), in Karachi on Sunday.

The internet services were affected after a fault occurred near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in one of the international submarine cable systems, IMEWE, early on Saturday that provide internet bandwidth to Pakistan. Due to the fault consumers experienced slow internet browsing.

Another international cable system SEA-ME-WE 4 is already under repair by the international consortium.

PTCL's Chief Business Development Officer Sikandar Naqi said on Saturday that the international consortium managing the submarine cable system had already started working to resolve the situation as early as possible.

In order to minimise service impact, the PTCL had undertaken necessary measures to arrange additional/alternate bandwidth through its other cable systems and international cable business partners.

NTC SUBSCRIBERS ‘ENJOY’

UNINTERRUPTED SERVICES

National Telecommunication Corporation subscribers would continue to enjoy uninterrupted high-speed internet services despite fault in international submarine optic fiber cable.

The services of other internet service providers in the country have been hampered since Saturday due to some technical fault in international submarine optic fiber cable, connecting Pakistan with the rest of the world, said a handout from NTC issued in Islamabad.

It said that after the fault, National Telecommunication Corporation is routing traffic through alternate means of communication.

Managing Director NTC Brig (Retd) Viqar Rashid Khan said that today when most of the correspondence has been shifted on the internet - no organisation small or big can afford absence from cyber space for even small fraction of time.

For government organisations cyber absence may result in huge irreparable loss, he said.

Realising the importance of steady internet and other ICT services NTC arranged alternate means of communication, he said.

“It makes me proud that at a time when internet services are down in almost whole of the country, the NTC customers are enjoying high speed seamless internet along with other state of the art telecom facilities,” said Managing Director NTC Viqar Rashid Khan.

Specialised services mean extra costs but in order to ensure uninterrupted high quality ICT services to our valued customers we happily bear all additional expenses, he said.

MD said that during last four years, the broadband penetration of NTC for public sector has been more than doubled, through offering competitive tariff packages and deploying optical fiber based network connecting all government institutions for flawless provision of telecom ICT services.

He emphasised that NTC has a competitive edge over other private operators whereby the corporation has deployed most expensive and highly efficient security measures for safety of government data and communication.  

In line with the Government’s policy, to provide enabling environment and enhance efficiency of Government functionaries through broadband penetration, and under the able guidance of Minister of IT, Ms Anusha Rahman Khan, NTC undertook major development activities for building and upgrading state of the art optical fiber network throughout Pakistan.

He said that NTC is committed to achieve Digital Pakistan – a vision of Government of Pakistan.

National Telecommunication Corporation is providing secure and state of the art ICT services in public sector, he added.

Viqar Rashid Khan is serving as MD NTC since 2013. The government has awarded Sitara-e-Imtiaz in recognition for his services.

Meanwhile, at least eight domestic and international flights at Islamabad's Benazir Bhutto International Airport were cancelled on Sunday due to country-wide internet disruptions caused by a submarine cable fault.

Airport officials said that the reason behind the cancellation of flights was the slow internet caused by a fault in the India-Middle East-Western Europe submarine cable, due to which flight schedules and ticket booking could not be confirmed.

It is difficult to tell when the flight schedule will be back to normal, the officials said, adding that flights would resume fully when internet services are restored.

According to ProPakistani, two other submarine cables, SEA-ME-WE 4 and TW1, have been offline since last month due to similar flaws, which has resulted in a bottleneck after I-ME-WE's breakdown.

The loss of these three submarine cables leaves Pakistan relying on SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE 5 and the AAE-1 submarine cables, out of which SEA-ME-WE 3 operates in a limited capacity, while the other two were installed only recently, ProPakistani had said.