The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced on Thursday that it had discovered a fault in the SMW4 international submarine cable, which is operated by the Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) in the Indian Ocean, which could result in some internet users experiencing slower speeds during peak hours.
Alternative steps, including increased ad hoc bandwidth in the system, have been adopted on a priority basis to provide uninterrupted internet services to subscribers, according to a statement from the telecoms authority.
It went on to say that work is underway to fully restore internet services as soon as possible. “The PTA is keeping an eye on the situation and will keep you updated,” it said.
The South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4, SMW4) is an approximately 18,800 km submarine cable connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria and France.
It provides the primary Internet backbone between South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe. A breakdown in one of the international underwater cables near Karachi hindered internet speeds across Pakistan in December.
However, relevant service providers made alternate arrangements to provide uninterrupted internet services to users by procuring additional bandwidth and capacity to satisfy the requirements.