Internet Traffic Normalized on SEA-ME-WE-4

Pakistan internet traffic has been restored on major submarine cable South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) after facing intermittent congestion on the networks of different service providers in the past fortnight.

Officials of the cable system providers said the overall internet and telephony traffic has been switched completely over on SEA-ME-WE 4 again as technical problem was rectified on radio link near Egypt.

The internet services in different cities of Pakistan have been normalized on the networks of all internet service providers (ISPs) connected with two undersea cable-Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) and Transworld.

The services earlier faced constant interruption on the networks of different ISPs multiple times in last two weeks. The download and browsing speed slowed down while services were reportedly complete blackout on some networks during the same period.

As per report, the first outage occurred on March 17 from 1:57am to 11:13am, the second outage on March 20 from 4:29pm to 12:46am, the third on March 23 from 8:57pm to 10:40pm and the fourth on March 24 from 4:24pm to 4:56pm.

Meanwhile, the two backbone providers have shifted their internet traffic to SEA-ME-WE 3 in order to avoid congestion on their routes.

The traffic was diverted on alternative route several times to provide uninterrupted service to ISPs, Taimur Amjad, Deputy Director Transworld Associates said.

The problem was propped up uncertainly, therefore, it took a little time to fix it, he said and added the system swap is a challenging process as the volume of internet traffic has been increased in the last couple of years.

PTCL’s official said the ISPs having facility of bandwidth switching provided services with little interruption, whereas small operators faced problem on their networks.

He said the services are ensured to defense, logistics and media of the country in case of emergency. After that, commercial and domestic sectors are provided uninterrupted service in big cities by ISPs and cable system providers.

According to the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Pakistan (ISPAK), there are 50 ISPs providing internet services to 10 million commercial and domestic users.

PTCL is operating three cable systems SEA-ME-WE 3, SEA-ME-WE-4 and IMEWE whereas Transworld is functioning one cable system that is TWI.