Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) sources have confirmed that the underground fiber optic internet communications cable has been damaged and is being repaired since Friday. The submarine cable was damaged at a distance of 175km away from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia which resulted in drop of connectivity in Pakistan as well as India. Approximately 10 to 20 percent internet and other communication services have been effected from this incident and the services have been temporarily shifted to SMEW3 and SMEW4.
PTCL customers have been in an uproar since Friday and have logged complains regarding slow browsing and problems in downloading. Some Pakistani websites and blogs claimed that they were facing trouble downloading torrents and criticized PTCL for blocking them. When we called on PTCL helpline to know about the problem, we heard the IVR inform us that due to repair process of the undersea cable, customers may have slow browsing and problematic downloading. The problem would be solved as soon as possible and that if you want to complain anything other than that, proceed only then.
We also verified if the downloading problem was related to torrents specifically and if PTCL was doing a crackdown against the pirated downloading method like they did on YouTube and were informed that it was not the case. The torrent problem was a part of the bigger picture.