LAHORE: Residents living in Lahore have been facing internet outages since Thursday without any prior intimation or announcement by the government.
The mobile internet stopped working in several localities, including Gulberg, Harbanspura, Chaurburji, China Chowk, of the provincial capital on Thursday after the government announced a crackdown on the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.
However, it’s been two days but there has been no official statement by the government or the telecom companies on the restoration of the services. Only PTCL and Storm Fiber are working in the city, but their speed has been reduced to a significant extent, residents say.
The internet outage comes at a time when most people are working from home due to the surge of coronavirus cases in the city. Similarly, the internet outage has resulted in hurdles to the online classes at a time when A and O Level exams are round the corner. Both teachers and students have complained about the lack of empathy on part of the government in this regard.
A Zong representative said that services were suspended by the government on Thursday, but they were restored across the city on Friday. But when asked that why the internet is not working in several areas of Lahore, the customer representative said that the company is working on upgradation of its services in the areas.
The customer representative claimed that the “TLP protesters also damaged the infrastructure of the telecom companies”. According to Zong, the internet services are not working in Thokar Niaz Baig, Muslim Town, Gulberg, China Chowk due to the “upgradation work”.
The Correspondent, however, could not verify these claims independently.
Meanwhile, Ufone and Jazz have said that they have blocked the internet services on the directives of the federal government. “If the government allows us, these services will be restored within 10 minutes,” they said.
A Karachi resident also claimed that there was no mobile internet in the city, whereas PTCL internet was working at a snail’s pace.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) spokesperson, Khurram Mehran, said: “Data services are blocked in 10 km radius of Chowk Yateem Khana on the directives of the authorities for security reasons.”
On Friday, the government shut down social media platforms for several hours to “maintain the public order”. The services were restored around 4pm, with the interior minister and the information minister apologising to the public for disruption in the services.
However, they have remained mum on the mobile internet outage in parts of the country nor are they “sorry” about it.