Phone line circuits

Perhaps telecommunication is one aspect where Pakistan (specially the big cities) has advanced the most. There are many national and international organizations working in the sector and recently the competition is giving more and more value added services and less, the charges.

phonec.jpg

PTCL and PTA played major role in this race, if not actively, atleast by allowing others to offer, but I would be lying if I say all this could have happened without PTCL. It is still a gateway for various internet companies, call centers and other cellular phone services. PTCL itself have introduced perhaps the lowest rates in some cases, its own cellular network, its CDMA network, internet service providing facility and various other value added services on its connections. It is, by no means the largest network in the country.

It all sounds fabulous. Unless you take a look at a very ground level, the underground wires and pairs are decades old. There are no maps of circuits and pairs, the only way the system runs is by the individual linemen who know which pair belongs to which number. In a rainy season thousands of numbers go dead for months unless the underground water dries itself, noise in the lines is another big issue.

I remember in early 2003 when we wanted MultiNet to deploy a DSL connection at our home they were unable to find the pair at exchange for 3 months, later we had no other choice but to allow them to deploy it on a different number. The picture in this post only shows a tiny part of one circuit in one street. There are perhaps thousands of such circuits all over the city and this, maybe, is one of the most organized and clean one. Can you and I identify which pair belongs to whom? Even if, we had the maps?

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