In a recent session of the Senates’ standing committee, representatives of the telecom firms in Pakistan complained of the recent hike in taxation on the imports of fiber optics. This tax was increased by 15%. Fiber optics are essential to maintaining internet connections and ATM connections throughout Pakistan. However, only 10% of all telecom towers currently utilize fiber optics. Replacing copper cables with fiber optics is usually the first step toward improving connection speeds. Due to an increased financial burden on telecom companies from imported fiber optics, Pakistan will lag significantly behind other developing countries.
Previously the government has announced a ban and then an increased tax on all luxury products. This included fiber optics. The telecom sector demanded that the advance tax on the imports of fiber optic be reduced by 8%. The country must prepare for load shedding on phone calls if the government cannot arrange this.
That’s right, load shedding on phone calls. While we all have become accustomed to our electricity being shut off every couple hours, this may be a new low. The telecom sector says people will be unable to make phone calls or utilize 3G-4G services for a few hours every day. This is being done to decrease the load on telecom companies so that they can save money. The committee will be forwarded to the government.
This is exceptionally troublesome for many people who depend on seamless internet connectivity for their livelihood. As we have seen a massive boom in freelancing and IT-related business, many people still use mobile internet for daily business. Cutting off from the world for multiple hours during the day could result in lost profits.