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Last Updated: Monday, 4 July, 2005, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Work starts on Pakistan net cable
Man logged on to the internet in Pakistan
Pakistan has about 10m internet users
Engineers have begun work off the Pakistani coast to try to repair an undersea cable fault that has crippled internet and telephone services.

They arrived at the site 11km (seven miles) off Karachi on Saturday but have not found the fault's exact location.

Repair work is said to be painstakingly slow because of poor weather.

The cable is Pakistan's sole internet link and the fault has caused huge disruption, although a satellite hook-up has provided some services.

New links

Junaid Khan, president of Pakistan Telecommunication (PTCL), which operates the link, said the fault was probably internal as the cable itself did not seem to be damaged.

PCTL could not say when the repairs to the South-east Asia, Middle East and Western Europe-3 link would be effected.

Engineers had to travel to the site from the United Arab Emirates.

PTCL has promised it will make arrangements to avoid similar disruptions in the future.

Two new links - one undersea and the other a land link with India - are expected to come on stream this year.

Many businesses in Pakistan have been severely affected by the fault.

Some traders in the financial sector said last week that demand and turnover had dipped as much as 60%.

Large banks said they had back-up systems but even at best were only running at three-quarters capacity.

Pakistan has about 10m internet users.

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