Five more global connectivity cables
The government will provide licences for five more international connectivity cables — two submarine and three terrestrial — in the private sector.
The telecom ministry has recently taken the decision, as internet-based services are often disrupted with the country’s lone undersea cable, said Sunil Kanti Bose, secretary to the telecommunications ministry.
The cables will facilitate the growth of information and communication technology (ICT) and telecom sector through uninterrupted telecommunication services.
Another ministry official said the demand for bandwidth will rise in every sector in Bangladesh, which now uses 17 gigabyte of its 44 gigabyte bandwidth capacity, as the government aims to bring the whole country under fast internet connectivity.
Moreover, the Access to Information (A2I) project of the Prime Minister’s Office has initiated a move to connect the country’s 1.5 lakh to two lakh offices.
Telecom experts said the demand will also peak up when the government would issue third generation (3G) mobile licences.
Currently, Bangladesh subscribes to one submarine cable — SEMEWE-4 (South East Asia Middle East Western Europe) — without any backup support.
The new five licences would be issued under guideline prepared by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
The licences would be issued to operators to build, operate and maintain high capacity optical fibre cable system to connect Bangladesh internationally, according to BTRC officials.
The licensees will be able to sell or lease their capacity to the International Gateway (IGW), International Internet Gateway (IIG), and International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC) users.
Monwar Hossain, managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd that handles the lone undersea cable from Cox’s Bazar to Dhaka, said the licences would be awarded on the basis of the “expression of interest” of the applicants.
Arif Al Islam, chief executive officer of Summit Communications Ltd, said, if the country is connected through terrestrial cables, the connectivity with the neighboring countries would be better.
According to the industry people, there are three terrestrial cables on India-Bangladesh boarders in Jessore, Sylhet-Comilla and Kurigram.
“We need multiple connectivity with international fibre optic cables whether it is submarine or terrestrial,” said Sumon Ahmed Subir, managing director of BDCOM, an internet service provider.
“Also, there should not be any wastage of bandwidth.”