Update: Alternate Arrangments Made for Internet Connectivity Affected by Fault in International Submarine Cable
A fault in one of the international submarine cables has been reported in the sea near Karachi affecting some internet traffic in peak hours. However, alternate arrangements to provide uninterrupted internet services to the users have been made by relevant service providers through obtaining additional bandwidth and capacity to meet the requirements.
Work is underway to remove the fault which may take some time to rectify. Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has directed operators to ensure uninterrupted internet services through alternate routes.
Internet services in Pakistan are currently undergoing marginal issues as a low-load submarine cable South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) developed a fault that cut internet speed by almost one terabyte.
While the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable is currently down, industry sources have told ProPakistani that it is a low-load cable, and internet connectivity is expected to remain intact as the impact is quite small. A PTCL spokesperson said in this reference, “With reference to AAE-1 International Submarine cable cut, we have arranged alternate channels for bandwidth to meet the requirement of internet usage in Pakistan. This has resulted in improved customer experience without any major impact on services. Even more capacity will be added within a couple of days. However, customers might face slight service degradation across the country till the addition of more bandwidth.”
According to reports, repair work on the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable is expected to be finished in January 2022.
The (SEA-ME-WE 4) submarine communications cable system connects Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria, and France.
The submarine cable is approximately 18,800 km long and consists of two fiber pairs. It has an initial design capacity of 1.28Tbps that was upgraded to 4.6Tbps in 2015 and was ready for service on 13 December 2005. The project cost about US$500 million, and comprises 16 telecom operators.