Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Internet Disruptions in Pakistan May Continue for 2 to 3 Months, PTA

Pakistani internet users faced another day of disruption on January 20, compounding the recent challenges with online connectivity. The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) explained the blackout by citing ongoing system upgrades, assuring the public that it was a technical necessity. However, the provided timeline of “2 to 3 months” raised concerns among citizens.

During a press conference, Director General Ahmed Shamim Pirzada, accompanied by Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi and FIA Cybercrime Director of Operations Waqaruddin Syed, faced a skeptical audience. The timing of the outage, coinciding with an announced online event by a specific political party, led to suspicions of intentional disruption.

This skepticism was fueled by a familiar pattern of disruptions on December 17 and January 7, contributing to the perception of deliberate throttling. Minister Solangi reiterated the technical glitch explanation but acknowledged the possibility of further interruptions.

Despite attempts to reassure the public, the tepid response did little to alleviate concerns, especially given the suspiciously timed blackouts. The PTA’s mention of a “technical fault” after the January 20 disruption only intensified public doubt.

Pakistan’s tech-savvy population expressed visible frustration at the perceived lack of transparency and the extended timeframe for resolving the issue. The incident has sparked widespread discussions about the importance of reliable and transparent communication from regulatory authorities during such disruptions.

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