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Tuesday January 31, 2023

Electricity breakdown: Mobile, internet services down in Pakistan

In the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi, mobile services have been affected by the power breakdown

By Web Desk
January 23, 2023
A representational image of a mobile phone. — Unsplash
A representational image of a mobile phone. — Unsplash

Following a massive countrywide power outage, the internet and mobile services have been affected in several parts of the country, leaving several people without any means of communication.

The problem came to light after the countrywide power supply affected the electricity supplied to the towers of telecom companies, as they have run out of stored fuel to temporarily run the towers and ensure a smooth flow of services.

The situation has caused difficulties for telecom companies to provide services to their consumers nationwide.

“Mobile network installations are being run on backup power since morning, which cannot work for a long time,” people in the telecom industry said.

They added that early restoration of power from the national grid is essential to continue services.

Taking to Twitter, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) updated consumers about the issues and directed companies to "inform their respective subscribers accordingly and to make optimal efforts for refuelling of the generators on a maximum number of sites".

"PTA is working with operators to provide uninterrupted services across the country," the authority wrote in its tweet.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Limited also tweeted that consumers "may face degradation in PTCL services" due to the national-level power outage.

"Once the power is restored, you will be able to enjoy uninterrupted PTCL services again," the company tweeted.

Meanwhile, NetBlocks — a global internet monitor — confirmed that their network data showed a significant decline in internet access in Pakistan which was attributed to the power outage across the country.It added an update and informed about regional metrics showing "telecommunications in most regions of #Pakistan have been impacted by the nation-scale power outage, with authorities reportedly working to repair the breakdown — the second in a year trigged by fluctuations in the energy grid".

Earlier in the day, the Ministry of Energy tweeted about the power breakdown and assured the nation about work was being swiftly done to restore electricity across the board.

Later, Power Minister Khurram Dastgir said that the "government is hoping to restore electricity in the country by 10 pm", as the country plunged into darkness for the second time in four months.

"Target is to restore power by 22:00 (10 pm) local time but trying to restore much before that," the minister told a British wire agency, but later in a press conference said that the complete restoration would be done by tonight, without specifying the time.