Husain is an IT consultant. He started his computer career in
1989 as a trainee programmer with Peat Marwick Associates (Pvt) Ltd.,
one of world's leading computer consultancy firm. His initial
responsibilities included programming of business application softwares
which helped him learn data modeling, software designing, development,
implementation and Customer Support techniques. When he left the company
in November 1992, he was analyst/programmer. During his association with
Peat Marwick he also worked as computer consultant for various
government, private and multi-national organizations. His areas of
expertise comprise web development, hosting, e-commerce solutions,
business application software development, 3D animation and commercial
graphics, business management, advertising and marketing. After leaving
Peat Marwick he joined a private organization as Head of IT where he
designed and developed a software package to monitor live TV commercials
on daily basis. The software tracked the duration, delivery, performance
and share of voice of all TV commercials generating reports based on
product/category/company to help marketing managers plan advertising
campaigns. He also worked for Pakistan Television, former NTM and many
advertising agencies to visualize and produce digital effects and 3D
animations for TV commercials and drama titles. One of his prominent
work was the production of visual effects for a children's education
program "Alif-Say-Yeay" which was PTV's longest educational programme
spread over of 39 episodes.
the president of Internet Association of Pakistan. What are the aims and
IAP is a non-commercial organization aimed
to protect the interests of Internet users, support Internet initiatives
and to serve as policy. Internet technology in Pakistan is better than
many other countries and it is getting better by each passing day.
However, there are still some problems that got to be addressed. For
instance, rampant disconnections due to bad and/or noisy lines are
inflating the telephone bills users for the Internet users. In many
cases a user has to dial as many as 5-15 times to his ISP to establish
to connect or to remain connected.
The frequent reconnection is primarily
caused due to noise and distortion in the old age telephone lines. But
it may also be due to computer itself as a large number of PCs in use
here are unbranded machine or cheap IBM compatibles. These unbranded
machines with lots of free/pirated softwares installed hang up the
computer and/or disconnect the Internet connection and can even disable
or disturb dialup networking configurations. Sometimes a user has to pay
for as many as 15 calls for using the service for as little as 5-10
PAGE: What do you suggest?
EJAZ HUSAIN: I
feel that in the prevalent situation a multi-metering-free 131 number is
just not good enough. This is particularly so because telephone
infrastructure and computer technology is not good, there is poverty and
unemployment and the majority of users can not afford to buy expensive
branded PCs and dedicated Internet lines. I feel that ISPs should offer
Toll-Free (0800) numbers to the users for Dialup Internet connections.
The PTCL has banned Internet
telephony. What are your views?
The banning of Voice over IP (VoIP) telephone is creating problems and
sometimes hopeless situations for IT professionals specially the new
comers who try to interact with the developed world for information
sharing, education, services, support etc. The Internet user is bound to
use PTCL's regular telephone gateway in to make international phone
calls or send faxes that costs over Rs. 500 in many cases a call. This
is discouraging the interacting with the developed world.
Should the ban be lifted?
EJAZ HUSSAIN: Yes.
Internet users should at least be allowed to use Internet for calling
USA and Canada because most of those calling the USA and Canada are
high-tech IT professionals. In USA and Canada almost every
organization/institution offer Toll Free numbers (0800) to the callers
for customer services, sales and inquiries etc. Some of these
organisations do not give their international phone numbers and since we
can not dial US toll free number from Pakistan via regular phone we can
not access those companies. Therefore, another advantage of using VoIP
is that we can access those companies/organizations by using their toll
free numbers absolutely free. The ban should be lifted at the earliest
at least for these two countries.
Why Internet dial-up is
EJAZ HUSAIN: The
monopoly of Internet backbone provider in Pakistan has made Internet
dialup connection expensive. Open competition always benefits the end
users and therefore, more companies/backbone providers should be allowed
to take part in the open competition. It would benefit the end users by
improving the services, offering affordable price and better customer
support. Internet users in Pakistan are paying more the services than
their counterparts in the US whereas the quality of the service is far
more inferior here. Either the standard should be matched or the price
should be reduced.