PTCL gives up SingTel, strikes deal with BT -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTCL gives up SingTel, strikes deal with BT

KARACHI- The Pakistan Telecommunications Company (PTCL) has struck a deal with the British Telecom for uplink services of fibre link bandwidth following expiry of its highly expensive contract with Singapore Telecom on July 31.

The BT has started services for PTCL, providing uplink facility for bandwidth from August 1, company sources confirmed on Monday.

“The agreement has been signed for a year. We issued tender and BT offered lowest rates for the services,” said Zahir Muhammad Khan, Member Operations PTCL.

“The SingTel (Singapore Telecom) was charging over $200,000 per year while they (BT) would charge just $50,000 for the same,” Khan said.

The PTCL was paying $200,000 per year to SingTel for STM-1 connectivity, which was more than the prevailing market prices. The agreement with BT has been signed for a year while that of SingTel was signed for two years.

“The agreement (with BT) would end in July 2004. Then we would decide for future,” Khan said.

The PTCL, country’s only Internet backbone provider, went through worst crisis from February to May this year when it experienced prolonged disruption in Internet services due to Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.

The state-owned telecom then approached Singaporean company for paying compensation for the damages but “the SingTel categorically refused to pay damages which the Internet service providers (ISP) had demanded that PTCL pay them,” said the sources.

Almost all the 72 ISPs of the country had demanded compensation for damages they suffered from Denial of Service attacks (DoS), caused by disruption in service for over a month.

“The SingTel took the stand that the DoS attacks in Pakistan were not due to it but were caused by cable faults in the domestic infrastructure,” sources said.

“However, the PTCL has agreed on its own to compensate ISPs after denial by the SingTel despite SLA (Service Level Agreement) between the two companies,” said the sources. The SLA allows a subscriber to demand compensation in case of disruption or bad quality of services.

But Zahir Khan insists the company did not renew contract with SingTel due to expensive services nor for bad service. “The only reason is that BT offered lowest rates. They are offering the same services in $50,000 per year, which the SingTel was providing us for $200,000. There is no question of service quality,” he said.

PTCL earns $600,000 revenue per month from the country’s ISPs, which subscribe to its bandwidth.
Source: The News
Date:8/5/2003