PTA Makes Arrangements to Provide Internet Service While Restoring Fault in Submarine Cable

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has announced that in wake of a fault in one of the international submarine cables landing in Pakistan, the concerned service providers have resorted to alternate measures including obtaining additional bandwidth to provide uninterrupted internet services to users.


Internet Disruption to Continue as Downed Submarine Cable Might Take Weeks to Restore

Earlier this week, TransWorld Associates (TWA) — a communications company in Pakistan — announced that a fault had developed at the SEA-ME-WE-5 cable near Abu Talat, Egypt, that connects Pakistan internationally, resulting in the degradation of internet services.

PTA affirmed that the rectification of the fault is underway but that it will take some time to completely remove the fault and restore the internet service.

A press statement by the regulatory authority read: “PTA is monitoring the situation and will continue to update on it”.


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SEA-ME-WE-5 carries the majority of internet traffic of the country, and its design capacity of 24 Tbps meets almost half of Pakistan’s international bandwidth needs by connecting the country to the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Europe.

  • The last para – where you’ve mentioned it meets almost half of the country’s demand – is misleading.
    1. The country doesn’t use the full 24Tbps and isn’t dependent on one cable only. I don’t know how, but I do know that Jazz – which is solely using Transworld – isn’t as badly affected as the general situation is claimed to be. That said, I haven’t investigated whether they’re also using PIE (because they used to – until they stopped). Point being = capacity does NOT equal usage. An arbitrary example: you can have two school buses: one with 14 seats and another with 40, but if only 14 students were previously using the services (7 on each), they’re now using one bus instead of two. You could stretch those 14 to 20 before it becomes uncomfortable for everyone (which is what appears to be the case now).

    2. Here’s the breakdown of the cables and capacity as of now (not usage, but capacity) (this also excludes the PEACE cable):

    PTCL: 53.04 Tb/s (around 59% capacity)
    SMW3 – 4.6 Tb/s
    SMW4 – 4.6 Tb/s
    IMEWE – 3.84 Tb/s
    AAE1 – 40 Tb/s

    TW: 37.88 Tb/s (around 41% capacity)
    TW1 – 1.28 Tb/s
    SMW5 – 36.6 Tb/s

    So – not half. Not 24 Tb/s (which was its initial capacity). Not the majority of the traffic either. The info above was taken from different sources online (including the cable’s own websites). For future reference, you may want to corroborate these numbers before publishing them.

    • Does anyone know when China Fiber under SCO became operational, and what is its Tbps capacity?

      Also I never hear about other country traffic being affected whenever fiber cuts are in the news. Why?

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