Telecom Operators Association Urges PTA Transparency

    The Telecom Operators Association (TOA), (Telecom Industry) has called upon the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to provide a clear explanation for the nationwide internet outage on Sunday. Expressing concern, TOA emphasized that such measures of access censorship could seriously impede the government’s ICT-related growth aspirations.

    In a letter addressed to PTA Chairman Major General (R) Hafeez Ur Rehman, TOA highlighted the incident where users in Pakistan faced difficulties accessing various social media platforms, including Instagram, X, YouTube, and Facebook, along with a noticeable degradation in internet speed. This marks the second such outage in recent times, following a similar setback on December 17, 2023.

    Telecom Operators Association, in its letter, underscored the telecom sector’s alignment with the government’s initiatives to position Pakistan as a crucial ICT hub. The industry sees itself as a vital partner in this endeavor, contributing to IT exports, attracting foreign investment, and propelling the nation’s digital journey.

    The association voiced strong concerns that access censorship measures, as witnessed during the recent outage, could undermine the government’s ICT growth ambitions and negatively impact Pakistan’s international image. TOA argued that obstructing access to digital platforms is counterproductive in the modern era and can have long-term detrimental effects.

    During the outage, telecom operators’ websites and helplines were inundated with customer queries, leading to consumer dissatisfaction. The letter emphasized the critical role of digital connectivity, stating that disruptions severely impact lives, undermine businesses, and compromise national productivity and the country’s image.

    TOA urged PTA to thoroughly investigate the events leading to the outage, ensuring preventive measures for the future. The association called for a detailed clarification statement from the regulator, shedding light on the incident and outlining plans to avoid its recurrence.

    As stakeholders await PTA’s response, the incident raises broader questions about the balance between regulatory control and ensuring uninterrupted digital access in the evolving landscape of information and communication technologies.

    Also Read: Telecommunication Appellate Tribunal to Ensures Swift Resolution

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