End of PTCL Monopoly in Broadband

Posted on May 23, 2009
Filed Under >Babar Bhatti, Science and Technology
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Babar Bhatti

It used to be that the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and DSL operators had to buy Internet bandwidth from PTCL. For the last 2 years this has been a matter of contention whereby ISPs wanted the option to buy from other providers (such as TWA) who have entered the telecom backbone bandwidth market.

As reported by The News:

The PTA, after a series of negotiations, has finally issued the minutes of the meeting held between the ISPAK (Internet Service Providers Association of Pakistan) and the PTCL on 5th May 2009 in which it was decided that the ISPs will be free to buy Internet bandwidth from third party operators and would be allowed to link their optical fibre cable to one PTCL exchange per city. The PTA has also decided that the PTCL will not increase charges of its leased circuits used by the DSL operators for inter-exchange bandwidth only for the next year.

The PTA has reserved a judgment on settling the DSL wholesale and retail prices of the PTCL and committed to resolve this long outstanding issue within a month. Pakistan has come a long way from the early days of Internet in 1990s with only one submarine cable connecting the country with rest of the world. The country today has three submarine cables linking Karachi with Southeast Asia, Europe and North America named as SWM3, SMW4 and TWA, first two with the PTCL and the third with a private operator. The total Internet bandwidth to the country stands at around 18 gigabytes, growing at around 45% every year for the last three years.

Photo Credits: PTCL

10 responses to “End of PTCL Monopoly in Broadband”

  1. We can see the “Usual” wheels wthin wheels like scenario developing in the IT Sector of Pakistan. And while it is good to know that there has been a consistent growth of 45% during the past 3 years. I would like to know if…


  2. Riaz Haq says:

    It is good to see that choices of ISPs and access technologies are growing for Pakistani Internet access consumers. Pakistan’s network operators are offering wide range of technologies like DSL, Cable, FTTH and WiMax. They have added 25,500 new broadband connections in the financial year 2007-08, which is around 150 percent increase compared to the previous financial year, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) statistics reported.

    At present Digital Subscriber Link (DSL) is the leading broadband service in the county with 65 percent of the market share. Major DSL providers in Pakistan are Micronet, LinkDotNet, CyberNet, MultiNet and PTCL.

    Wateen is likely to see growing WiMax competition from operators including Wi-Tribe, Mobilink and LinkDotNet in Pakistan. Wi-Tribe is jointly owned by Qatar Telecom, ATTCO group and Clearwire. Motorola has signed a multi-year WiMAX contract with Wi-Tribe. Motorola has commenced deploying Wi-Tribe

  3. ahmer says:

    I use PTCL broadband and never had amy problems. It is good service.

  4. Ali says:

    Commercial ISPs are still unable to compete with all these local neighborhood ISPs who buy commercial connections and give them out to customers via LAN. I’m currently subscribed to one of these and I only pay Rs.500 for 35Kbps actual download speed and up to 400Kbps actual upload speed (that’s kilobytes, not kilobits btw). Their customer service is pretty snappy too. Compare this to PTCL’s 512kbps (this is kilobits) connection which costs Rs.1200. I’ve heard their customer service is really crappy. Not to mention the fact that they don’t allow you to download torrents above 1GB file size while I regularly download 3-7GB torrents.

    Moving on to wireless providers like Wateen’s WiMAX, they have an incredibly low download cap. Hard as it may sound, I can actually go through 35GB of downloaded data in just a month of vacations! Plus their speed is only good as long as their tower is within visual range of your house. Same goes for Mobilink Infinity. Their upload speed is also a great deterrent for me, I regularly upload videos to YouTube and make make/seed torrent files and put stuff up on file hosting sites RapidShare, MediaFire, FileFactory etc. so I need good upload speeds, most of these ISP’s upload speeds are very low, like 20Kbps or something.

  5. Javed Durrani says:

    Opening up the monopoly is a good idea. This is the only way to increase useage by reducing costs to consumers.

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