Submarine Cable Cut Disrupts Internet Services in Pakistan [Update]

Update: “A submarine cable fault was reported yesterday near Fujairah, UAE due to which some users may have faced degradation in services. The faulty cable segment has been repaired and work is underway to make the services fully functional”, PTA has tweeted.

“PTA is monitoring the situation and will continue to update on it”, the statement further read.

Internet services are expected to face disruptions across Pakistan as one of the six international submarine cables, the AAE-1, has reportedly been cut.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL), in conjunction with the International Submarine Consortium, is working to fully restore normalcy across the country.

“We regret the inconvenience caused to our customers and will notify you as soon as the services are fully restored. Thank you for your patience”, said a PTCL spokesperson in a statement. The telecom regulator did not mention the timeline for the restoration of services.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has also provided updates on the matter, saying that “in the wake of a fault in one of the international cables landing in Pakistan, alternate arrangements to provide uninterrupted Internet services to the users have been made by relevant service providers through obtaining additional bandwidth”. “Work is underway to rectify the fault. However, it may take some time until the fault is removed completely”, said the Authority.

In the meantime, internet providers are informing their customers about the prevalent issue. Until the issue is completely taken care of, internet users across the country are expected to experience lower speeds. Officials do not have any ETA about the submarine cable’s resumption and it could literally take days, possibly weeks, before being fully restored.

For those who do not know, the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) is a 25,000km submarine cable from South East Asia to Europe across Egypt, connecting Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, India, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Greece, Italy, and France.

The AAE-1 cable caters to the majority of internet traffic coming in and out of Pakistan and its disruption may cause lower internet speeds and frequent outages.

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