PTCL to sign SLA with ISPs today -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PTCL to sign SLA with ISPs today

KARACHI- The Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) is scheduled to ink a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the country’s 72 Internet Service Providers (ISP) on August 13, 2003.

According to the SLA, the ISPs would be able to file compensation charges against the PTCL in case of service failure, an official said on August 12, 2003.

A senior PTCL official said; that the federal minister for IT and telecommunications would be the chief guest of the ceremony to be held at the PTCL head office.

“We principally decided about this (SLA) in June this year and sent the final copy of the agreement to our technical committee which has now approved it,” said the official.

“According to the agreement the PTCL would provide 99 per cent availability on the domestic network and 95 per cent on the copper loop,” he said quoting the SLA.

The state-owned telecom in June this year had already brought down the bandwidth rates but the cut appeared to fall short of ISPs’ expectations, who say they would be unable to pass it on to their subscribers.

The PTCL has brought down the rate for two megabits bandwidth to $5,400 per month from $6,000 per month, for eight megabits to $19,000 from $21,600 per month and for 34 megabits to $71,300 from $76,000 per month.

However, the state-owned telecom claims that the SLA would be the first of its kind, the company would be signing with any customer.

“Yeah, the PTCL is entering for the first time in such type of agreement with anyone,” informed the PTCL official.

The country’s ISPs lodged a strong protest with the ministry of IT and telecom after experiencing nagging Denial of Service (DoS) attacks for over a month, from April to May 2003, which they claimed caused a loss of over Rs1million.

The SLA privileges the ISPs to seek compensation from the PTCL if they don’t receive quality service or experience failure in the same.

However, the SLA signing doesn’t appear to bear any benefit for the country’s Internet browsers, as the PTCL says it is not authorised to allow or curb the ISPs from passing it on to their subscribers.

The PTCL official showed helplessness when asked: “Has the PTCL asked the ISPs to pass on the benefit from SLA signing to their general subscribers?”

“It is up to them (ISPs). We have nothing to do with that. It may be a job for Pakistan Telecommunication Authority,” he replied.

However, the SLA signing news has brought some relief to the ISPs, who are expecting proper and uninterrupted operation once the agreement is signed.

“It’s really a good news for all of us (ISPs). It took us three years to fight for this case,” said Wahaj-us-Sairaj of the ISPs Association of Pakistan (ISPAK).

“This would no doubt revolutionise the Internet industry in Pakistan as this is the first ever SLA that PTCL would be signing with any of its customer during the last 50 years,” he added.

He said that the SLA would also be benefiting millions of Internet browsers across the country.

“Definitely, we (ISPs) and ultimately the Internet browsers would be the beneficiary of the whole progress,” Sairaj added.
Source: The News
Date:8/13/2003