Bangladesh connected with second undersea cable | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 22, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 22, 2017

Bangladesh connected with second undersea cable

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd has been connected with the country's second undersea cable up to the landing station in Kuakata, said the state-run company yesterday. 

Md Abdus Salam Khan, acting managing director of the company, said the cable was officially launched during a management meeting of the SEA-ME-WE 5 in Istanbul yesterday. 

“However, it will take some more time to reap the benefits from it as the backhaul link from Kuakata to Dhaka is not ready yet,” he said.

Experts said activating a submarine cable without simultaneously putting in place the onshore transmission link is like inaugurating a seaport that does not have a road or rail linkage. So it will not have a positive impact unless the back linkage is ready.

“This could have been a historic day for us, but unfortunately it didn't happen,” said a top official of BSCCL.

Once the backhaul connectivity is established, an alternative connectivity will be ensured. As a result, bandwidth imports will reduce and the internet speed will go up. 

At present, the total bandwidth consumption of the country is about 400 Gbps, with 280 Gbps being imported from India.

On January 16 this year, the contractor of the SEA-ME-WE 5 celebrated the cable's installation that was laid from South East Asia to Western Europe via the Middle East, said Khan. “At that time, some consortium members started receiving the service.”

An official of state-owned Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd, which is establishing the connectivity, said it will take some more time to establish the inland link.

“The inland link will be completed within the shortest possible time. Then there will be a commercial launch. The prime minister will inaugurate the operation,” said Khan.

Initially, the cable will provide 200 Gbps of bandwidth, which can ultimately go up to 1,500 Gbps, said Parvez M Ashraf, project director of the second submarine cable landing station.

The country currently receives 200 Gbps of bandwidth from its first connection, SEA-ME-WE 4, which was linked in 2016.

Bangladesh joined the consortium in March 2014 at a cost of Tk 660 crore. Of the total amount, the government provided Tk 166 crore, BSCCL Tk 142 crore while the remainder was borrowed from the Islamic Development Bank.

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