2011: Lost year of Internet bandwidth upgrades in Pakistan?

A few years ago PTCL decided that they wanted to get into the broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) game. PTCL being PTCL they went about it in the only manner they could. They had this huge phone network with questionable infrastructure. And they didn’t really have the right personnel. But they had financial muscle and an almost monopoly on international bandwidth. So they advertised heavily offering lower rates and higher speeds than their competitors. It worked for them. They got lots and lots of customers. Some of them even happy ones.

PTCL enjoyed higher revenues and kept expanding its customer base. And every year for the last 2-3 years they kept announcing bandwidth upgrades. Upgrades that their competitors had to match to survive. This was all very good for us consumers. We enjoyed faster Internet access at lower prices. But now it seems that PTCL’s poor infrastructure has finally caught up with them because for the first time in quite a few years they haven’t upgraded Internet connections.

So while PTCL may have forced its competitors to increase speeds during the last few years, it is now the one holding the country back! With the largest player in the market keeping speeds constant, other ISPs no longer have any incentive to increase speeds. So we consumers now suffer as Internet speeds remain stagnant in Pakistan while the rest of the world moves towards faster access. Looks like 2011 is going to be a lost year for bandwidth upgrades in Pakistan.

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