• Agartala Set to be India’s Third Internet Gateway

    By Northeast Today Decks have been cleared for Agartala to become the third internet gateway of the country after Mumbai and Chennai, with signal tests from the submarine cable of Cox Bazar in Bangladesh giving expected results. The signal tests were conducted in presence of the General Manager of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Limited Sahidul Alam and the General Manager of the BSNL’s Tripura circle Rabi Chanda. Bangladesh’s lone submarine cable operator, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL), has already connected 10 GBPS bandwidth with Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) cable last week at the Akhaura integrated checkpost. They said all preparations are completed and they are awaiting green signals of the governments of both the countries for formal launching of the service. Chanda said the BSNL is now offering free SIM cards to the users of Tripura for availing the service. According to sources, both the service providers are planning to make the inauguration a gala event and the Prime Ministers of both the countries Narendra Modi and Sheikh Hasina Wajed are expected to attend the function at Akhaura checkpost sometime in January. Once the service is launched, Agartala will become the third internet gateway of the country after Mumbai and Chennai. The work for internet connection through Bangladesh was kicked off in July last year in presence of Union Telecommunication minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The Rs 19.1- crore project was completed within a span of five months. A team of BTCL led by its general manager Sahidul Alam met BSNL officials on Saturday to review the work and expressed satisfaction. Read more...
  • Bangladesh Government Will Allow Second Cable

    By Submarine Cable NewsFeed

    The Bangladesh government has agreed to

    allow the private sector to build a submarine cable.

    Manzurul Alam, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) said that the

    government would allow a second cable as part of its efforts to provide reliable Internet access services for the country.

    Bangladesh is currently served

    only by SEA-ME-WE-4, which is connected in Bangladesh by the government owned carrier, Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB). The lone terrestrial cable

    linking the SEA-ME-WE-4 landing station in Cox's Bazar with the rest of BTTB's network has been cut more than two dozen times since the cable entered service in

    May 2006, with each cut resulting in loss of most of the country's international Internet bandwidth. BTTB's Internet services were also crippled by the recent

    SEA-ME-WE-4 break off Egypt.

    The government hopes that a privately owned second submarine cable would allow Bangladesh to maintain uninterrupted overseas

    voice and data communications by acting as a back up to SEA-ME-WE-4. Government said it would not bar any private company that wants to lay a submarine cable to

    connect Bangladesh with another undersea cable.

    Mr. Manzurul also added that, "BTRC will gladly help the investors who come up with such a proposal." He

    expressed his frustration over BTTB's delay in acquiring a second submarine cable.

    BTTB has also come under criticism for failing to reach a deal for

    redundant terrestrial fiber cables to the cable station, which could prevent the outages suffered when a cable is cut. BTTB has reportedly been negotiating with

    Power Grid Company of Bangladesh (PGCB) to access the latter's fiber cables, but the two companies have not been able to agree on a price.

    Furthermore, BTTB

    reportedly declined the opportunity to purchase emergency restoration capacity on SEA-ME-WE-4 as a cost savings measure.

    The result of these actions is that

    Bangladesh's access to the Internet is extremely fragile.

    The BTRC chief said the post and telecommunications ministry should take quick steps for

    installing a submarine cable line for "full redundancy of its existing cable." He also suggested lower bandwidth prices for spreading the benefit of information and

    communications technology to the rural areas.

    Earlier, the BTTB sent a proposal of 10 companies, mostly Indian, to the telecom ministry for setting up a

    back-up of its existing submarine cable as well as to meet the growing demand for internet and overseas telecom services, which is likely to increase by three times

    by 2011.

    The BTTB's proposal said the demand for telecom and Internet services would shoot up rapidly in the next three years after the implementation of

    the government's recently adopted International Long Distance Telecommunication Services Policy 2007.

  • Bangladesh Reduces Tariffs to Boost Internet Usage

    By TSA Newsfeed

    The Bangladesh government has reduced the tariffs for

    submarine cable capacity by an average of 20 percent to boost usage of the multi-million dollar cable and raise Internet connectivity across the country.


    charges for an annual leased 2-Mbps Internet access will now be 1.44-million taka (US$20,571), down from 1.92-million taka (US$27,428).

    The government hopes

    that the price reduction will result in a three-fold increase in Internet users in Bangladesh, which has one of the lowest Internet user rates in the


    "The government has reduced the rate on the plea by the internet service providers (ISPs). The ISPs have said that high submarine tariff rates are

    responsible for low Internet penetration in the country," a telecom ministry official said.

    "We hope the low rate would make Internet services cheaper all

    over the country and ensure maximum utilization of the cable," he added.

  • Bangladesh Releases Submarine Cable Draft Regulation

    By SubTel Forum

    The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has released a PDF document called "Revised Draft Regulatory and Licensing Guideline for Invitation of Proposals for Issuing Licenses to Build, Operate and Maintain Submarine Cable (SC) Systems and Services in Bangladesh."

    Click here to view the document.

  • BSCCL says no traffic disruption during submarine cable repair this month

    By SubTel Forum

    BSCCL Monday ruled out any possibility of traffic disruption in the country during the submarine cable repair, scheduled to start after Mid-October according to The Financial Express.

    "The repair work will not cause any traffic disruption in Bangladesh, as we have taken necessary measures to ensure backup traffic for voice and internet during the replacement of SMW-4 submarine cable," Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) managing director Monwar Hossain told reporters at a press conference.

    Click here to read the original article.

  • Internet goes off again

    By SubTel Forum

    BDNews24 is reporting that Internet services across Bangladesh saw disruption again for over an hour on Wednesday afternoon, this time after completion of the submarine cable repair work in Singapore.  Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) managing director Monowar Hossain told that internet connection was disrupted from 4.30 to 5.45 in the evening.

    "It's due to re-configuration of the cable after the completion of the (submarine cable) repair work," he said, adding the repair work has been completed a day prior to the schedule.

    Click here to read the article

  • Khulna to Chennai Selected for Second Bangladesh Cable Route

    By SubTel Forum

    The Financial Express is reporting that the Bangladesh Post and Telecommunications Ministry has selected the route for a second submarine cable from Mongla of Khulna to Chennai in India.  Post and Telecommunications Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose said that the government had taken the initiative to connect the country with a second submarine cable to keep safe its connectivity with the information super highway.  The current submarine cable reaches Dhaka through Jhilangja station in Cox's Bazar, but gets cut very frequently, disconnecting the country from the web, thus establishing a second cable as a high priority.

    Click here to read the original article.

  • Proposed Cable In Bangladesh

    By SubTel Forum

    Telecomasia is reporting that Indian telcos Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications are offered to construct a new cable across Bangladesh.  This system would link seven landlocked Indian states--Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh--that currently have no access to a fiber network.

    This proposed system would also extend to Myanmar, and while the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is still considering the proposal, they are looking at it as a potential alternative to SEA-ME-WE 4, the natioan's only offshore cable.

    Visit here to read the complete article.

  • Submarine Cable Plans To Sell Bandwidth To Italian Firm At Low Price

    By Muhammed Zahidul Islam, The Daily Star

    Questions have been raised over a move by Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) to sell off half of its capacity to an Italian company at a very low price.

    BSCCL has sent a proposal to the post and telecommunication division for approval to sell half the capacity of the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable to Telecom Italia Sparkels.

    In February, the BSCCL board decided to sell four million MIU*km (minimum investment unit), which is equivalent to around 90 Gbps, at a price of Tk 16 crore for the rest of the lifetime of the cable. A submarine cable usually lasts 20-25 years, and this cable has been in operation since 2006; so, the Italian company may be looking to use the cable for 11 to 16 more years.

    In addition, Italia Sparkels will pay BSCCL Tk 48 lakh a year to bear maintenance costs, as Bangladesh is still a member of the consortium -- SEA-ME-WE-4.

    At present, BSCCL has a total capacity of 8.9 million MIU*km, which is equivalent to 200 Gbps.

    The BSCCL cable is connected from France to Singapore and it is easy for the company to sell out capacity or connectivity from anywhere on this route.

    However, telecom division officials and analysts are also raising questions over the bandwidth price and capacity.

    The Italian company's price is around 60 times lower than the bandwidth export price to India, officials added.