The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has updated the rules regarding service quality for the provision of fixed broadband services with a view to keeping pace with developments in the sector. The Fixed Broadband Quality of Service (QoS) Regulations, 2022 replaces the Broadband Quality of Service Regulation, 2014, and includes updated minimum speeds for fixed broadband services, thresholds for upload and download speeds and a new nationwide monitoring scheme. Under the new rules fixed broadband connections must provide speeds of at least 4Mbps downlink (previously 256kbps) and 2Mbps uplink. Operators must also ensure that download speeds experienced by customers are at least 80% of the advertised rate of their plan, whilst upload speeds must be 50% of the advertised rate for all technologies except xDSL, for which the uplink threshold is 25% of the rate specified in the user’s plan. To monitor compliance with these rules the update also set standards for measurement and testing of relevant indicators and provides for the establishment of a National Measurement of Broadband (NMB) Programme. Under this programme, volunteers from a wide range of demographics and geographies will have a device pre-configured to measure internet performance installed in their homes.
The PTA notes that the new rules also set more stringent thresholds for existing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – such as latency and packet loss – based on technological advancements in fixed broadband network. Further, new KPIs have been introduced including Web Page Loading Time and Bandwidth Utilisation.