In Other Blogs: Trying To Connect To The Internet In Korangi Industrial Area

Here at the Karachi Metroblog we’ve talked fairly frequently about the elusive dream that reliable and inexpensive broadband is for most of the city’s citizens. But a measure of just how elusive mere 24×7 internet connectivity is, let alone broadband, can be seen in this post at Wired Pakistan where KO narrates how despite installing no less then 8 different types of systems, including but not limited to Dial Up, DSL, Wifi, GPRS, Wimax and others, he’s rarely a satisfied customer:

My office is in the beginning of Korangi, which is Karachi’s (and hence Pakistan’s) premiere industrial area. Email and the internet are a essential part of any business, and thus to ensure reliable internet connectivity we’ve got eight different internet links.

Eight, you might ask incredulously, but that is the sad truth. What prompted this post is that even after have eight internet links, in the recent rains all of them went down – most of them don’t work anyways, and of the one which did, the isp’s wireless tower collapsed!

The extended entry has a full review of all the 8 different facilities the author tried, including comparisons of them in terms of their charges and services, and it doesn’t paint a very bright picture let me tell you. But its an eye opening review nevertheless, in that it highlights just how far away Pakistan still is in this sphere despite the recent IT-Telecommunications industry boom. If the prime industrial area of the financial hub of the country can’t guarantee internet connectivity, then you’ve seriously got problems.

I don’t claim to be a tech geek (tech savvy, sure, but no where close to a geek), so those of you who do claim to be one, feel free to wear your thinking caps and suggest why this situation is as bad as it is, and more importantly, when, if at all in the immediate future, are things going to change.

26 Comments so far

  1. morality cop (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 6:12 am

    heard a year ago that government had hired expertise of some singaporean company to build up a setup for the broadband internet fascility, what happened to that????

    and what measure government has taken to avoid a complete internet breakdown just like one we experienced in the recent past due to the damaged undersea fiber optic cable.

    has government taken any step to ensure that we don’t have any communication breakdown in future?? in case if the cable gets damaged again what contingency plan have our T.COM experts made??


  2. Zee (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 6:42 am

    I am an active member there on Wired Pakistan. The site rocks!

    I believe that we now have additional connections. The last time, the horrible incident happened because we only had one connection SEAMEWE3 and it broke now we have an additional connection that’s called SeaMeWe4 and I think we will also have a share in SeaMeWe5. In addition to that, I guess a link was also to taken from Iran and one from India.

    I am waiting for WiMax even though the technology is yet to be tested (yes it is still in testing stages), it is being launched here on a massive scale. I don’t have high hopes from WATEEN but I do want to see the outcome as I believe PTCL will be forced to lower the rates substantially and other DSL providers will also lower the cost.


  3. ALAM (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 8:51 am

    its not about geek or anything…its about professionalism which is missing in pak. Pakistan Internet subscribers pay the most in South Asia (India, Sri Lanka included), and don’t get a reliable service in return.


  4. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 12:50 pm

    PTA has warned again PTCL NOT to advertise about their DSL services since it’s hurting other ISPs who are helpless to sell accounts in high prices.

    on a side note, i am very much satisfied with PTCL broadband.


  5. Syed Johny (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 2:02 pm

    other ISPs expensive??

    have checked out tarrif of other ISPs????

    Cyber,
    Multinet,
    Worldcall!
    all are offering low price connections as compared to PTCL broadband!!

    on the other note ! I am still waiting for Wateen to announce its service! From which I have had high hopes ! cause the technical experties are directly from Motorola!
    But Wateen people are now pissing me off!

    They started their marketing in August in ITCN !! and till now they arent even confirm when they will be launching it ! AND they havent even decided on the tariff either !!

    Their website structure is Pathetic ! which has no usefull information for existing broadband user!! nor do they have information about the approx date of launch !
    The website only tells you to pre register to receive gifts! and whats worse you dont even get any confirmation email for registration !!!

    Have emailed them ! lets see what they reply !


  6. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

    Syed,

    PTCL 1mb/s= RS.5000(unlimited transfer).
    512kb/s=Rs.2000
    256kb/s=Rs,1,200

    all have free Modem Installation and 1st three month are free.

    Who else is offering this service?


  7. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 2:26 pm

    About ISPs & the services –

    PTCL rox – at work I have PTCL

    Before PTCL i have tested Cybernet, Multinet, Gerrys’, Max com at multiple places in different exchanges –

    Multinet & PTCL are far better in terms of speed, connectivity and the SUPPORT –

    The dude in Korangi Industrial area, basic problem he have is the POOR LINE – unless there is clear carrier be it copper or fibre no service will work.

    he may try BGAN :) via inmarsat :)


  8. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

    Zainab, *WiFi* is not a kind of Internet System. WiFi is just wireless LAN like wired lan which is Dependant on Internet connections like Dialup,DSL etc.

    You can have a wireless Internet at home by using Dialup modem.

    network professionals, do I say right?


  9. Tariq Khanani (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 4:35 pm

    @Adnan
    u r right. WiFi just provides a platform for resource sharing which in this case will be internet facility.


  10. Mohsin (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

    Maxcom offers,
    1 Mbits/s (Unlimited) for Rs. 5000
    512 Kb/s (Unlimited) for Rs. 3000
    256 Kb/s (Unlimited) for Rs. 1800
    128 Kb/s (Unlimited) for Rs. 1250

    plus free installation and modem and by unlimited i mean really “unlimited” no hidden caps or restrictions, plus excellent tech support.What else do u want?

    the biggest problem in Pakistan for poor connectivity is the local media of ptcl (copper) and the PTCL’s monopolistic policies.


  11. Zainub (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

    Thanks for everyone’s comments, and Adnan, yes, I know what Wifi is, what I meant was in that the author of the post I was talking about tried eight different types of services offered by various ISPs and one of them was wireless LAN. I my self use wireless router to access my Cyber DSL connection.


  12. IRFAN (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 5:48 pm

    Its not the knowledge which is the key to success. Its how one applies it. Which in islam is called hikmat, meaning wisdom. for a good decision, one just needs to know what is correct and in correct along with necessary wisdom is the key.

    I remember when in karachi new fiber glass optic lines were installed in around 1990. what my neighbour did, was quite unbelieveable.
    the street had 2 parallel lines. next to each other. one newer fiber optic lines which are faster, low noise and more durable. and the other on the older copper line poles.

    He got a new line on fiber optic. But Paid the lineman and got our home line off the older copper pole to the newer assuming and applying old is gold theory.

    Many a times we just make decision not knowing what we are doing.

    Now to the topic, this is engineering i.e., man made products, the uplink is expected to break once a while as far as underwater ocean cable incident is concerned. every thing breaks but to assume the product or technology is bad is not right. thats why we have system maintenance concepts.

    wait my dear friends wait have patience. we are still in the making of this technology, that is internet connection. In west they are still arguing what is the next most appropriate infrastructure for internet connection. the internet connection to public is not complete yet.

    for now one needs to concentrate what is A problem where you want this connection, ie. here Korongi industrial area. if noise is the problem on land line, may be the nearest neighbourhood phone box is not close enough for DSL, even in usa there are millions of area which cannot get DSL as the neighbourhood phone box is not close enough to the house. and the neighbour next door has it fine and his line is with in the dsl line range.
    same goes for cable lines.
    and millions of house donot have electricity line to them and no water line and no paved roads and no cable tv lines as these neighbourhoods are very far apart and is not feasible for any business to provide this service.

    to see your option try to look at the following conections
    just paying the line man wont get the job done,
    or buying more connection with the same problem will not help, identifying the problem is the most important issue here.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broadband_Internet_access


  13. Zee (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

    PTCL has NOOOOO customer support. It sucks like it usually sucks LOL

    MAXCOM is the BESTTTTTTT by far but I believe that in general, all DSL subscribers are paying more than they should.


  14. ahmed q (unregistered) on October 7th, 2007 @ 11:47 pm

    MAXCOMM sucks big time.

    I have been their customer for a month, and then decided to disconnect


  15. Tarique Rehman (unregistered) on October 8th, 2007 @ 2:04 am

    We are facing same connectivity problems in SITE, Pakistan’s oldest Industrial Area…


  16. Syed Johny (unregistered) on October 8th, 2007 @ 3:29 am

    @ Adnan !

    First free months as far as i know is unlimited downloading ! and after three months ! the user will also be charged per MB usage of Data (sent and received)!

    correct me IF I am wrong!

    Multinet has its own infrastrucure indepndant from PTCL ! Unlike others ! Multi net offers !
    256K (limited ) for 1000Rs
    128K (Unlimited) for 1500Rs

    @ Mohsin ! MAxcom is giving shared connection on 1:5 ratio!


  17. HITMAN (unregistered) on October 8th, 2007 @ 9:27 am

    I m using DANCOM’s DSL & pretty satisfied with their service & support. 256K @ 1000 Rs. per month with 2 GB limit. I don’t know if this is their standard rate for 256K but since I m an AKD customer so had the privilege of free installation & the said rate.


  18. Adnan Siddiqi (unregistered) on October 8th, 2007 @ 10:49 am


    correct me IF I am wrong!

    correct. They will charge 0.50 paisas/MB for additional usage.


  19. Syed Johny (unregistered) on October 9th, 2007 @ 5:16 am

    that is then expensive than other ISPs!!
    how can you term it economical! :)


  20. KhiTorPit (unregistered) on October 9th, 2007 @ 9:10 am

    Cheer up guys, its not just Pak, the developed nations are also having problem.

    “The downloading speeds for broadband in Canada are also much slower than in the leading nations. The fastest download speed offered by the largest cable operator in Canada last year was 10 megabits per second. This compares with 30 mb/s in Japan, 26 in Norway and 25 in Sweden. The fastest download speed offered by a telecommunications company was 18 mb/s in Canada, compared to 100 mb/s in Japan and Korea.”

    You can read the full report on
    http://www.thestar.com/columnists/article/264499


  21. Syed Johny (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 12:50 am

    hahaha!
    @KhiTorPit

    I am paying 1500 Rs for an internet connection ! which is the most economical broadband connection !

    and also an expensive internet connection !

    and it gives me 15 Kb per sec ! (when Idle ) means its max!!

    do you think this is the same problem develop countries are facing????

    there is a huge difference between 15 Kb per sec and 10 Mb per sec ! :D


  22. KhiTorPit (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 2:20 am

    Yah I know there is a huge difference between 15 Kb per sec and 10 Mb per sec and so their is a hugh diff b/w Pak. and Canada too. :)

    Sorry I didnt knew that its that much slow in Pak, I dont know how you guys can surf internet at that speed, must be irritating.


  23. Jamal Shamsi (unregistered) on October 10th, 2007 @ 11:09 am

    Karachi Toronto Pitssburgh :) – we are happy on the current state of DSL and we were content we had dial up connections paying Rs. 100/ hour at 9600 modems :)


  24. HITMAN (unregistered) on October 11th, 2007 @ 10:47 am

    PhoneNnet
    http://ejang.jang.com.pk/jm/10-11-2007/images/main_page_images/page22.gif

    One step forward by PTCL: Internet for virtually all land line customers. There was no rocket science involved in it, I dont know y couldn’t they come up with this much earlier?


  25. SITE DSL user (unregistered) on October 13th, 2007 @ 3:21 pm

    Our office here in the SITE area near habib bank chowrangi has had no DSL for last 3 weeks now. We use Max.com with PTCL lines. PTCL is saying someone cut the wires and now to get them replaces we have been through all the channels with no luck. We are using worldcall wireless set which is a lil better than dial up at the moment which is a pathetic alternative. Anyone know of any good alternatives to use in SITE area? Any help will be greatly appreciated.


  26. Think_Again (unregistered) on October 19th, 2007 @ 1:05 pm

    Try using PTCL Vfone. Its internet has speed which is better than most of ISPs. Secondly it doesnt need a line-man to fix your line.



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