The then PTCL’s Internet backbone in Pakistan, the famous STM-1 (155 Mbits link) of PTCL faced severe breakdowns and outages for weeks in 2002. It was revealed that during these outages, the sub marine optic fiber cable, SMW3, on which STM1 was carried, was not damaged even once enroute from Karachi to London during that period. The customers who have obtained IPLs from PTCL on SMW3 didn’t face any outages during the same period. So, it was obvious that the outages on STM1 IP link were purely due to the fault of the foreign service provider to PTCL, that was, Singtel. Initially, PTCL claimed that since the SMW3 cable was damaged, they couldn’t do anything till the physical restoration of cable. This was totally a baseless excuse given by PTCL as SMW3 was not damaged on the Karachi-London route even once during last many months of the outages period. This was verified from international media and web site of SMW3 ( where all outages on the cable were promptly reported. PTCL then confessed that the problem was with the international service provider, which could be purely a routing issue, local loop or cross connect problem in Europe, etc. ISPAK escalated the level to the Minister for IT & Telecom who after a series of meetings and negotiations, ordered PTCL to compensate ISPs for the poor service provided during that period. This was first ever compensation paid by PTCL to any of its customers in its history of over 50 years. Ministry also orderd PTCL to sign Service Level Agreement with its backbone providers and also with its customers, i.e., ISPs.