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July 15, 2020

Cable operators hold token strike in Karachi

National

July 15, 2020

KARACHI: The All Pakistan Cable Operators and Internet Association held a second token strike on Tuesday from 7pm to 10pm; however, the internet connections weren’t suspended in the city. The association also held a meeting with the Commissioner Karachi, Iftikhar Shallwani, which was futile. Today, the commissioner will hold another meeting with the association along with the K-Electric’s representatives, in which grievances of the cable operators against the KE will be discussed. According to the association, they need time to lay their cables underground. The association said that they are providing TV channels and internet service at homes. Mostly for this purpose, the electricity poles of K-Electric (KE) are used. For this purpose, they pointed out that they have an understanding with the power utility. President of the association Khalid Arain told The News that on Tuesday, they suspended TV connections between 7pm and 10pm in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur and if the KE continued to dismantle their wires, they’ll suspend their services in more cities also. As for the internet service, he said, they didn’t discontinue it on Tuesday, however, they would do it on Wednesday morning during business hours. Arian said that they were working on a common corridor to lay their cables underground, but for that they needed time. The deputy commissioner, South, he said, is already monitoring the work. The commissioner Karachi, he said, has to ensure that the power utility will not discontinue their cable wires. "We cannot attach our wires in the air," he said adding that in the rest of the country where it rains more than Karachi, power poles are used by the cable operators, but no electrocution cases are witnessed. “They have a faulty system and they pin all the blame on us,” he said adding that if the KE resorts to some maintenance work, the representative of cable operators must also accompany them. In response to a media statement issued by the Pakistan

Telecommunications Access Providers Association (local cable operators), the KE has strongly urged cable operators to honour commitments made to the commissioner Karachi and local authorities to remove unsafe cable wires from their infrastructure. It was revealed that cable associations had made commitments to local authorities and commissioner Karachi to begin removing their wires from the KE poles and placing them underground by July 15th. It appears that they are unable to meet this commitment and have chosen to strike and inconvenience the citizens of Karachi. The KE spokesperson said: “Cable operators association needs to place their cables underground as committed. They must not put money before safety. KE has extended every assistance to help them do this.”