March 27,2005:Pakistan’s internet connections were cut off for three hours on March 25 evening, disrupting business activity and causing financial losses worth $1 million. The interruption of international telecommunication traffic affected businesses, banks, software companies, internet service providers and call centres, not to mention the country’s credibility in this age of cutthroat global business activity.
The reason for the breakdown was excavations by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, whose services had been engaged by a factory, close to the area where the main internet cable is located in the Gulbai (SITE) area. The KWSB workers beat up the lone guard who tried to warn them and carried on digging. PTCL has registered a case against the Board; however this cannot make up for the damage caused and also obscures PTCL’s own responsibility to ensure the security of its installations.
Two years ago in a similar incident, a trailer damaged the relevant power cable, leading the concerned ministry to issue instructions that optic fibre and power cable should be buttressed with concrete slabs. The Internet Service Providers Association alleges that PTCL has not done this, despite the presence of a cost analysis of the proposal prepared on the orders of Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication.PTCL must ensure that similar avoidable errors are not repeated, and explain why action was not taken to strenghten the safety of its installations.
Source: The News