PTA guarantees uninterrupted internet on election day

The negative impact of internet outages extends beyond telecoms to the broader economy, particularly affecting the IT freelance sector

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has officially dispelled rumors of an internet shutdown on the upcoming election day, ensuring that services will remain active throughout February 8, as reported by Business Recorder.

This assurance is a relief to many, given the country’s history of frequent internet disruptions for various reasons, including security concerns.

A PTA representative told that the authority’s commitment to maintaining seamless internet connectivity on this crucial day, allowing for uninterrupted communication and access to information for the electorate and the general populace.

The economic stakes of internet availability are high. Past shutdowns have proven costly, with telecom operators facing losses of Rs820 million in a single day. A broader perspective reveals that a day without internet inflicts a loss of Rs940 million on telecom companies, alongside a significant Rs329 million hit to government tax revenues. These losses are not trivial, considering the telecom sector’s revenue from cellular services was reported at Rs572 billion last year.

The government, acknowledging the critical role of the internet in modern life and the economy, has voiced its commitment to keeping digital platforms accessible. The Information Technology Minister has pledged that social media sites and apps will remain open, recognizing their importance for business and personal communication.

The negative impact of internet outages extends beyond telecoms to the broader economy, particularly affecting the IT freelance sector, which loses nearly $2 million each day the internet is down. Software companies not only face financial losses but also risk damaging their reputation with international clients. The disruption also hits hard for thousands working in the gig economy, such as ride-hailing and delivery services, further aggravating the unemployment issue in a country where the rate stood at 9.6% in 2022-23.

By ensuring internet services remain uninterrupted on election day, the PTA aims to support the democratic process, safeguard economic interests, and maintain Pakistan’s connectivity and reputation on the global stage.

Monitoring Desk
Monitoring Desk
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