Pakistan Loses Internet, Chaos Ensues - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
News

Pakistan Loses Internet, Chaos Ensues

While Pakistan must wait several days for its primary link to the Internet to be restored, commercial activities, particularly banking, are "a big disaster" without connections to the Web.

While Pakistan must wait several days for its primary link to the Internet to be restored, commercial activities, particularly banking, are "a big disaster" without connections to the Web, according to news reports from the region.

On Monday, the undersea fiber optic cable that connects Pakistan to the rest of the world was damaged -- reasons yet unknown -- and the country's 10 million Internet users were without access to servers outside their borders. The damaged cable was 21 miles out to sea, off Pakistan's main port, Karachi.

This is the second time in the last three months that Internet service to and from Pakistan has been disrupted. In April, a similar problem resulted in a shorter outage.

Although a repair ship was dispatched from the United Arab Emirates, it didn't arrive on the site until Thursday. The Emirates Telecommunications Co., which owns the ship, said repairs would take at least 48 hours, since the cable would have to hauled to the surface.

Pakistan is connected to the rest of the Internet through this one cable.

But it's not the only country in the area affected. While the cable is being fixed, Internet users in India, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Djibouti will also experience disruptions for several hours as all data in the cable is shut down. The cable is owned by a consortium of 90 countries, and has end points in 36, including Pakistan.

Internet users and businesses, meanwhile, scrambled to deal with the sudden Internet-less environment.

"Most of our work is being carried out manually," a foreign bank dealer told Reuters on Wednesday, as banking transactions aren't being logged electronically as they would normally. "A large backlog has built up, and it's increasing all the time. It's a big disaster," said the banker.

Other reports told of brokerage houses seeing a 60 percent dip in trading.

In the meantime, Pakistan Telecommunication Co. Ltd., which operates the data link between the country and the rest of the Internet, had brought up two satellite-based systems. The stopgap, however, was providing only about a third of the normal bandwidth that the country enjoys.

To prevent any future disruption, the president of Pakistan Telecommunication, Junaid I. Khan, said Wednesday that a backup cable would be laid by October, and if the government gives approval, a third line would be laid to India, to connect Pakistan with its often-rival's Internet backbone.

Telephone links within Pakistan, and between Pakistan and the rest of the world, were not affected by the data cable outage.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
News
Think Like a Chief Innovation Officer and Get Work Done
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  10/13/2020
Slideshows
10 Trends Accelerating Edge Computing
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  10/8/2020
News
Northwestern Mutual CIO: Riding Out the Pandemic
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  10/7/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Video
Current Issue
[Special Report] Edge Computing: An IT Platform for the New Enterprise
Edge computing is poised to make a major splash within the next generation of corporate IT architectures. Here's what you need to know!
White Papers
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll