Multiple Submarine Cables Go Offline, Leaving Pakistan with Crawling Internet

At least three submarine cables, connecting Pakistan with rest of the world, have gone offline due to faults, we have checked with sources.

According to details shared with ProPakistani, IMEWE cable went down earlier today due to a hardware fault near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

It must be mentioned that IMEWE submarine cable carries significant amount of Pakistani bandwidth and its down-time is going to hit local ISPs with very serious challenges.

Update: Internet in Pakistan Fully Restored After Submarine Cable is Fixed in Record Time

While SEAMEWE 4 and TW1 submarine cables were already offline — since last month — due to faults of similar nature. They are still being repaired.

With today’s fault in IMEWE, Pakistan’s majority of back-haul bandwidth is currently unavailable and all sorts of internet in the country is currently operating under severe capacity.

This means that entire Pakistan is currently relying on SEMEWE 3, SEAMEWE 5 and AAE1 submarine cables, out of which SEAMEWE3 operates with very limited capacity.

Not to mention, remaining two submarine cables (SEAMEWE5 and AAE1) went into operations very recently; and Pakistan could very well go into dark, if both of these cables were not operational at this point in time.

All major ISPs, including PTCL have issued an advisory to their customers about degraded internet speeds. No ETA has been communicated on the resolution of the faults as of yet.

This is a wake up call for Ministry of IT and Telecom and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, as the imagination of entire Pakistan going offline is just inches away.

Update (Aug 6th, 2017 – 1:30PM)

We are getting confirmations that fault in IMEWE has been identified and maintenance teams are on the way to rectify the cuts.

While no ETA has been communicated as of yet, experts say that issue will be resolved in less than 12 hours from now.

Update (Aug 6th – 4:ooPM)

Internet in Pakistan Fully Restored After Submarine Cable is Fixed in Record Time


  • For alternate route, fiber connectivity with China need to be established as soon as possible

    Anybody knows about the ETA?
    When PAK-China fiber will become operational ?

      • Abid please reply me it seems you have knowledge about it. 220km hmm what is the eta? And i have heard this cable has more bandwidth than all six cables combined imewe cables. And whem will it become operational and will a common pakistani see some benefit with this cable or just corporate people?

        • from my limited knowledge, the optical fibre cable that is being laid under CPEC will be operational by the end of 2018. It will not greatly benefit Pakistani Internet customers because of two reasons;

          1) It is being designed and laid as a terrestrial fibre backhaul link.
          2) Much of its capacity will be used to provide 3G/4G services to GB and AJK via SCO.

          This cable does not have more bandwidth that all six cables combined. That is another cable by the name of AAE-1

          Overall, by the connectivity that AAE-1 and SEA-ME-WE-5 have started providing, End User will definitely benefit from it. We are already seeing upgrades in Internet Packages of various ISPs.

          • Hmmm thanx for the reply i have read an article stating that china fibre was forced by pakistan army because our bandwidth from sea cables was sent to india and indian raw was monitoring our isps. the international consortium has many indian companies operating as sister companies. So to negate that influence china europe route will now be used. And you talked about we seeing upgrades can you give some examples of that. And when all six are made operational what will be the end result,.

            • Well, it wasn’t really forced like it sounds. A fibre based terrestrial backhaul is the need of time with projections showing massive increase in our required bandwidth for international connectivity.

              It is not just India, its global, every major country tries to monitor and it’s not like we don’t do it at all.

              You may have seen several private Fibre based ISPs. StormFibre, Fibrelink to name a few. Nayatel upgraded its packages and also going to start its operations in Peshawar — hiring in process.

              WiTribe laid out LTE-A (4.5G) Network capable of delivering upto 150Mbps to customer.

              The end result would be cheaper and faster internet access to common user.

              • I contacted all these companies today because i am stuck with no internet. After a lot of research they are confined to less than 10 km of coverage area. And in 10 years they have not expanded anything. Iam not optimistic about these fiber companies because there budget is too low to expand in a rapid pace. Zong is owned by cm mobile which is a telecom giant so don’t expect these companies to expand coverage in the near future. We need a corporate tech giant to lay fiber all over pakistan.

                • Of course, deployment of pure fibre lines to each and every Internet consumer is a very costly and difficult task. No matter how ‘giant’ a corporation is, it takes alot of time and financial+human resources to deploy end to end fibre.

                  You know how big Google is. Yet its Google Fibre is crawling in terms of expansion, mostly due to legal issues and lack of available resources.

                  Our private ISPs will take 10-15 years to have a reach somewhere equal to PTCL (landline network)

    • Haha dont forget we live in pakistan and Ministers here are only to earn money AND the most important thing #FUCKPTCL

      • And also it is PTCL WHICH MANAGE TO RESTORE the link in record time definitely with help of international partners. Before making any view FIRST compare size of PTCL SERVICES BOTH IN CONSUMER AND CORPORATE. YES TAY HAVE COMPLAINTS BUT AVERAGE OF COMPLAINTS BY TOTAL customers IS VERY LOW.
        MANAGING SUCH HUGE NETWORK IS NOT SO EASY.

        # PTCL
        # PTCL RESTORE

      • Bhai, my facts are pretty much correct. TW1 is up as my Internet Traffic is going through TW1. Only SEA-WE-ME-4 is under repair, (now) along with I-ME-WE. One of the two might be up by 3AM 06-08-2017

    • Abid two were just made operational by ptcl 1 month ago i think tw1 is one of them. If it was not done we would be in blackout right now. When these six cables will become operational what effects are you going to see?

      • TW1 is neither owned nor operated by PTCL, Transworld Associates operates/manages it from Pakistan’s end.

        PTCL operates/manages Landing Points of SEA-ME-WE-3 & 4 Cables, AAE-1 and I-ME-WE. The AAE-1 is the latest one. Which has more capacity (40 Tbps) than all the current (active cables) combined.

        One More is under construction by the name of SRG-1 that links Gawadar, Karachi and Muscat with the design capacity of 20Tbps.

        Word of “blackout” is misunderstood here. Pakistan doesn’t solely rely on Submarine cables. There is a Satellite Backhaul Network to which traffic is shifted when cables are down and hence users experience slow speeds/high pings.

        AAE-1 40Tbps (active)
        SRG-1 20Tbps (underconstruction)
        TW-1 1.28Tbps (active)
        SEA-ME-WE-3 4.60Tbps (active)
        SEA-ME-WE-4 4.60Tbps (fault)
        SEA-ME-WE-5 24Tbps (active)
        I-ME-WE 3.84Tbps (fault)

        There is an 8th Cable, that Pakistan may get by the name of A1 (Africa 1) with speculated design capacity of 30Tbps.

        All in all, Pakistan by the end of 2018 is expected to have a link capacity of 128.32Tbps

    • Sharks are opportunistic feeders, but most sharks primarily feed on smaller fish and invertebrates. Some of the larger shark species prey on seals, sea lions, and other marine mammals. Sharks have been known to attack humans when they are confused or curious.

  • Please dont forget SMW5 second cable by Transworld was down when we were doing testing. This cable is quite vulnerable also. If it goes down we will only be left with AAE1 which PTCL has not even made fully operational. Pakistan will return to the dark ages. Forget NayaPakistan or even AajKaPakistan. This government under leadership of Minister of IT honourable Anusha Rehman will take us back to PuranaPakistan of 1990s– Pre Internet days are here to come!

    • What IT minister got to do with privately owned undersea cables?
      If tomorrow govt starts a project of laying state owned undersea fiber optic cables, Iman Kanjar will be the first person to give dharna against that.

        • Imran’s Marital/girlfriends track record:
          first wife: Jewish woman
          second girlfriend: illegitimate daughter Tyrian White
          Third Wife: Wh*ore of BBC. Divorced after a year.

          And I am sure there must be many more women with which fake pathan of Mianwali had affairs.

            • I don’t dance in PTI’s processions nor my sisters. Imran Kanjar can only eff up sisters of liberals who do “hallelujah” in his processions.

              • Khan bhai, Talal toh acha banda hai, shia katmal safavid ke asliyat be in ko pata hai. Similarly Imran toh pervert, womanizer hai. Imran Khan ne adultery ke hai. Adultery ke kia saza hai ISLAM mein ap ko pata hai Khan bhai?

      • IT Minister got to do with private cable? Listen to your lack of logic. It is the IT ministers job yes her job to make sure Pakistan is not disconnected from the internet. Do you know 2 cables have been down for the last 1 month and the repair ship wasn’t able to sail because the Ministry of IT was unable to coordinate with ministry of defence to get permsion for the ship to sail into Pakistani territorial waters?
        Get your facts straight. I am not a pti supporter but I definitely condemn putting a Minister who has no IT background as the Minister. She has made no statement or helped the situation in anyway. Three cables out of 6 are now down and if 1 more cable goes down God forbid in next few days whole country will be down.
        Then not only private companies but whole government machinery and public companies will be affected.

        Totally incompetent Government if they have appointed a non IT qualified person as the Minister. It shows.

      • Lemme explain Sir.

        Last night I was Watching A Certain Show Through Online Streaming. At around 3 a.m Internet Went Down. For 1 Hour, I tried to do everything in My Power To Restore it but To no avail. Hence I went to sleep. Morning Me vi Yehi Raha. So I checked ProPakistani to see if Something Had happened ? Found Nothing So I went to bazaar and bought A new ” Phone ko lagane wali 7 meter taar bhaiye”. After my this battle, Came home, Plugged in the Cable I had bought. NO AVAIL. Again check you guys, No news. Fir I called Ptcl and found about what had happened. So this article was published “42 min” ago but the outage happened almost 14 hours ago :D

        Len Aamir bhaiye apko meri routine bhi pata chal gayi aur hamara masla bhi hall ho gaya :D

      • One more thing – Can you write an article about Quantum Computer or Future of Electric Cars In Pakistan ? :D Just a request.

  • Pakistan has only 6 submarine cables which is very low compared to other asian countries. Out of 6 3 are not working. Feel very very proud to be Pakistani

  • itnaa late btya ap nain ..kia ho gia hu gia hye propakistani ko…suboh se 5 bar site visit ki k shayad koe khabar hu magr ap ka tu weakened hye shayad

  • Telenor is working fine but PTCL is almost dead. Government and all stakeholders must now seriously consider some alternative media for internet connectivity to Pakistan as this issue is now going to become so common with time.

  • it seems u said and IT Minister if any will leave ayashi and concentrate on faults of internet , this is govt that was about to close face book as there every move become viral in seconds , most of them dont use even internet

  • Yeh pichley mahinay aae1 ka dhandhora peat raha thay , ka pakistan ki sari cables se ziada capacity hai aur functional ho gai hai , ab kia hua?

  • Some people saying “Telenor” working fine. I hope they meant their Telenor 4G devices are working fine. Because I am trying to connect to Telenor 4G from my mobile and internet is not even connecting.

  • itnaa late btya ap nain ..kia ho gia hu gia hye propakistani ko…suboh se 5 bar site visit ki k shayad koe khabar hu magr ap ka tu weakened hye shayad….urdupoint nain aj en se pehly khabar di…mujhy lagta urdupoint wali khabreein propakistani dainy laga hye aur en wali wo

  • I am using Fiberlink and didnot face a single minute disconnection Today. Getting full 12 MB speed in the mornng and gettin 24 Mb in the night.

    • Tahir Ali
      Internet speed is back to normal fiberlink and every other services are back to normal few hours before there was no browsing even whatsapp msgs were not working but seems like zong 4g was not effected much

    • Fiberlink became stable around 4am any1 using stromfiber ? Heard much about it mostly their speed is stable all day 24/7 they dont give extra speed at night nor they downgrade at peak hour like everyother ISP’s in karachi need suggestion if any1 is using StromFiber(Cyberner) ?


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