Thursday Mar 26 2020
Web Desk

Pakistan's internet usage rises by 15% as COVID-19 confines people to homes

Web Desk
A screen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/Files

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's internet usage has risen by 15%, the country's telecom regulatory body said in a statement issued on Thursday, as people remain confined to their homes owing to lockdowns imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) said "a net increase of around 15% in internet usage was witnessed since last week" — based on data from telecom operators.

"The increase has been observed due to increased online activities by educational institutions and businesses and, ‘work from home’ policy adopted by individuals and organizations," it said.

"There is sufficient internet capacity available in the country to meet the growing demands of the future," said the telecom authority. "PTA has been closely monitoring the internet usage patterns so as to ensure that fast & efficient telecom services remain available to the consumers in this difficult time."

13 million messages sent in a day

The PTA further noted that mobile phone companies have "sent 13 million awareness msgs about #Coronavirus to their subscribers today" in various languages.

"Since 19 March, more than 366 million awareness msgs have been sent on PTA's directions in English, Urdu, Sindhi, Punjabi, Balochi & Pashto," it mentioned.

Separately, it said the coronavirus awareness message, which has replaced the traditional tone, was as per its directives to the phone operators.