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Bangladesh internet and submarine cable

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Bangladesh to export bandwidth to Nepal

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company (BSCCL) is looking for new markets to export its huge unused bandwidth and the new destination is Nepal, said officials of the state-owned listed firm.

The lone submarine cable company of Bangladesh is now in talks with Nepal Telecom to export about 100 gigabits per second (Gbps) of bandwidth.

A memorandum of understanding will be signed within a short time, Mashiur Rahman, managing director of the BSCCL, told The Daily Star recently.

“Discussions have been ongoing for a long time and now we are ready to ink the deal,” said Rahman.

As Bangladesh has access to the landlocked Himalayan nation only via India, BSCCL and Nepal Telecom have approached an Indian company, which has expressed willingness to establish the connection, he said.

“So, before finalising the deal we will also have to sign a tripartite agreement.”

Nepal now buys bandwidth from Chennai in India and China to meet its daily demand for about 250 Gbps, but due to its remote location high-speed internet cannot be ensured, Rahman said.

The BSCCL’s second undersea cable lands in Kuakata of Patuakhali, which is closer to Nepal.

“This is why Nepal has come to us,” he added.

Bangladesh has 2,600 Gbps bandwidth capacity from two submarine cables, but only 900 Gbps is consumed locally. BSCCL is working to get its third undersea cable by 2023, which alone will add another 7,200 Gbps.

BSCCL is currently exporting 10 Gbps of bandwidth to India’s northeastern state of Tripura though their state-run telecom company Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL).

But BSNL does not afford internet bandwidth from Bangladesh anymore and will suspend its deal next month.

Bandwidth export to Tripura had begun on February 8, 2016. Initially, the price was $10 per Mbps and BSCCL earned Tk 9.6 crore in the first year. Later, the price was revised down twice to bring it to $6 per Mbps. Still, BSNL has been unable to pay dues since September 2018.

The Indian company owes Tk 6.39 crore to BSCCL, which is no closer to recouping the dues.

Rahman, however, said some other remote Indian states are eager to buy bandwidth from them.

Bangladesh earlier had taken an initiative to export bandwidth to Bhutan, another landlocked neighbour, but the plan did not come to fruition as India did not join in.

BSCCL’s shares closed at Tk 100 on the Dhaka Stock Exchange yesterday, up 7.53 per cent from the previous day.

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Bangladesh should increase its economic and political cooperation with Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka & Maldives to keep the Indians from being overly adventurous.

Pakistan is a fallen tiger and can no longer keep India in check, therefore Bangladesh has to step up and use its new found international and subcontinental reputation to keep the Status quo alive.

Currently only Bangladesh can match India in the region in terms of development anyway.

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Bangladesh bringing high-speed internet to remote islands via Bangabandhu Satellite

  Shamim Ahamed,  bdnews24.com

Published: 08 Aug 2020 03:24 AM BdST Updated: 08 Aug 2020 03:24 AM BdST



Bangladesh Communication Satellite Company Limited or BCSCL has begun work to bring high-speed internet through Bangabandhu Satellite to 31 remote islands where it is difficult to give connections through cable or expand network.

The state company’s Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood told bdnews24.com that they connected 20 of the islands via the first satellite of the country under a Tk 400 million project that is expected to be completed this year.

Hamed Hasan Muhammad Mohiuddin, the project’s director, said 11 of the islands are situated in Bhola, eight in Chandpur, seven in Patuakhali, and one each in Pirojpur, Barishal and Noakhali.

Saint Martin’s Island in Cox’s Bazar will also get internet access under the project for emergency reasons though it has mobile internet facilities

The authorities are setting up around five Very Small Aperture Terminals or VSATs in each of the islands for connections with 10 Mbps download speed and 4 Mbps upload speed.

The schools and government offices on the islands were being given WiFi connections.

More than 300,000 people will get the services once the project is completed. It began in March 2019.

Mohiuddin said the project emphasises telemedicine and education. “We’ve achieved success after giving connections experimentally,” he said.

BCSCL began operating with its own earnings through the satellite two years after it was launched into space in May 2018.

As many as 35 private TV stations are using the satellite for broadcast. It is also used for direct-to-home television services.    



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