‘Alternative bandwidth channels arranged’ after fault in submarine cable: PTCL

Reports of slow internet speed from across the country had been emerging since Tuesday morning. The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in this regard has said that it has “arranged for alternative channels for bandwidth” to compensate for a fault in an international submarine cable.

“With reference to AAE-1 ( Asia-Africa-Europe-1) international submarine cable cut, we have arranged alternate channels for bandwidth to meet the requirement of internet usage in Pakistan,” the telecommunications company said in a statement.

It added that the measure had “resulted in improved customer experience, without any major impact on services [due to the cable cut]”.

The PTCL assured that the bandwidth capacity would be further increased in the next few days to address the issue.

“However, customers might face slight service degradation across the country till the addition of more bandwidth,” it added.

It is pertinent to note that the AAE-1 is a 25,000km consortium cable system connecting South East Asia to Europe via Egypt.

It connects Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, with Malaysia and Singapore, then onwards to Myanmar, India, Pakistan, Oman, the UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy and France.

The AAE-1 cable system deploys 100 gigabytes per second transmission technology, with a minimum design capacity of 40 terabytes per second.

Meanwhile, an official in the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority stated that a CMV4 cable in the AAE-1 system was cut, which had decreased the internet speed by one terabyte.

Consequently, the official said that the broadband speed would particularly be affected during peak hours.

Earlier, internet users in Pakistan had also faced disruptions in October this year when a submarine cable developed a fault near Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.

Prior to that in February, one of the country’s six international submarine cables had developed a fault near Abu Talat, Egypt, causing a degradation in internet services across Pakistan. The fault was later repaired by the Trans World Associates — one of the two licence holders for international landing stations of submarine cables.

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