Masud Reza's Blog on the Internet

December 2007

Rioting Causes Major Telecom Disruption Across Pakistan

With a few telephone exchanges burned in the Sindh Province, PTCL ITI backbone has been out of order. PTCL’s ITI connectivity to the Internet Backbone is in excess of 6 Gbps. From Islamabad at least, both DWDM rings are down at the moment. Reportedly, SDH equipment inside the telephone exchanges has been damaged (burned!). This has also affected operations of some GSM mobile companies. This means that most of the Service Providers and Businesses running off the ITI backbone are down!

The first DWDM path was lost last night and the second in the afternoon today. We quickly shifted the entire traffic to TWA1 which rose from almost 80Mbps to a whopping 130Mbps the moment we did it. It’s a Friday otherwise one single STM-1 cannot take the load of our entire Autonomous System.

There are lessons to be learned here for the network designer (!). PTCL Telephone exchanges stand out among buildings. Banks, Telephone Exchanges, Shops and the like are the first target of an unruly mob. TWA1 or other small operators are not that evident. No one knows the whereabout of their landing stations, Points-of-Presence etc. So, during rioting, they do not make identifiable targets.

I do not expect this internet outage to go away before for another 72 hours. And I’m an optimist.

Let’s hope that ITI is back in operation soon and God save our Country!

Update PTCL ITI is back in operation since 1600 GMT December 29, 2007 after outage of 30+ hours!

Islamabad: Blue Area, Capital’s Business District puts on a gloomy look with every single shop and office closed