Bangladesh Exports Bandwidth to India
21 April 2015
The Cabinet of Bangladesh approved a 3-year agreement to export 10 gigabytes to India’s northeastern states on lease and commercial basis. State-owned entity Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) signed the “Agreement Between BSNL and BSCCL for Leasing of International Bandwidth for Internet at Akhaura (Zero Point)”. The agreement could extend up to 40 gigabits per second.
BSCCL is a member of two international submarine cable consortiums – the South-East-Asia-Middle-East-Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) and the SEA-ME-WE 5. Bangladesh is currently connected with the SEA-ME-WE 4 optical fiber submarine communications. The submarine cable capacity of BSCCL under the existing SEA-ME-WE 4 is 200gbps and with the launching of the SEA-ME-WE 5, it will be raised to 1500gbps. Bangladesh utilizes only 30gbps Internet bandwidth, while the remaining 170gbps remain unused. The BSCCL will export 10gbps of the 170gbps to India.
India would benefit from the unused bandwidth from Bangladesh, as it is expensive to bring the line from Mumbai. Meanwhile, Bangladesh will earn revenues worth Tk 9.42 crore (approximately $1.2 million) annually.
The route of the submarine cable would start from Cox’s Bazar landing station and end at Agartala of Tripura through Akhaura of Brahmanbaria. A 22-kilometre optical fiber cable link from Brahmanbaria to Akhaura border will be developed in four months to transport the bandwidth. The submarine cable from Cox’s Bazar to Agartala is already operational, while construction of the rest of the submarine cable line from Akhaura to Agartala would still be developed.
The work on SEA-ME-WE 5 is underway and expected to be finished by December 2016, according to Cabinet Secretary Muhammad Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan.