Damage from internet outage

A story running on NewKerala estimates some figures on the impact of the internet outage in the range of 40-60 million dollars (revised to 1.5 million dollars). There are 40 call centres with 3000-3500 people in their employ. One of the call centres claimed they had complete outage for 3 days and 10% bandwidth on the fourth day. The best bit:

The paper quoted Wahaj-us-Siraj, an IT and Telecom expert, as saying: “It has been a criminal negligence on part of the PTCL as well as the government. They knew about the likelihood of such a fault in the cable that was the sole provider for the entire country’s linkage to the outside world.”

A class action lawsuit seems to be in order here.

The current status is that the repair work has started. The repair is being performed by a Etisalat which won the PTCL bid (overbid actually by more than $1 billion, coming out ~80% on top of next highest bidder) for a 26% profit sharing stake and 58% voting rights just 9 days before the outage. Wierd coincidence. Could Etisalat have something to gain from this outage? Doesn’t a bid topping the competitor by more than 1 billion dollars seem conspicuous?

Update (5 Jul, 2005): Dawn reports that the actual repairs have not yet started. Currently the repair crew aboard Niva are still trying to localize the faults (initially localized to a 5 kilometre using sonic testing and electroding). India, Djibouti, Oman and the United Arab Emirates will be affected by the repairs and have agreed to a 2 hour downtime during repairs.

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9 Responses to “Damage from internet outage”

  1. halai says:

    in my opinion, for such ain my opinion, for such a profitable company, they got ptcl at a steal price. the other bidders were fools for not realizing the actual worth.

  2. chowkidar says:

    RE: in my opinion, for such aonce you factor in political stability and security the price may not seem like a steal anymore. also, given the recent competition from cellular carriers (which can more easily penetrate the rural areas) the projected growth might not be realized.

    Offering free connections might be one way to grow and I am no industry expert, but the outlook seems overly optimistic to me. This is exactly the kind of investor faith ptcl wanted to instill right around the time of it’s privatization. The obvious question is, if they really have that much potential then what were they waiting for all these years?

  3. chowkidar says:

    electroding and sonic testingelectroding attempts to detect low frequency electric fields from submarine cable. Sonic testing I believe bounces off sound waves to pick up on stuff.

  4. chowkidar says:

    Map of SEA-ME-WE3 cable networkMap of SEA-ME-WE3 cable network shows exactly how the 39,000 kilometres of cable is laid out. Streches from Spain to Japan to Australlia!

  5. KO says:

    The PTCL chairman saidThe PTCL chairman said repairs will 5 more days: (As of July 6, 2005). To those interested in how the the Pakistani govt. works, on July 5th, the PTCL chairman in one interview said it will take another week, while at literally the same time IT&T Minister Awais Leghari claimed that fault would be fixed in 24 hours.

    Also see: Internet Links in Pakistan (an overview of Pakistan’s internet connections)
    Mother Earth Board :: excellent article on submarine cables.

  6. haq says:

    RE: The PTCL chairman saidCan someone verify what these guys are saying? http://www.itnews.com.au/newsstory.aspx?CIaNID=19302

    They say that it might take all of July to fix it. Last I heard they were planning to actually pull up the cable from the seabed and on to ship for repairs and cutting and rejoining sections of it. Seemed pretty complex.

  7. haq says:

    damageThis guy[dailytimes.com.pk] rants about the outage and says that the PTCL can’t be sued because of laws designed to favour the Government.

  8. haq says:

    RE: damageAlso, PTCL’s service contract explicitly protects them incase of any damages to the SEAMEWE-3 cable.