The second submarine cable is supposed to guarantee Bangladesh better international connectivity for the following reasons:
Bangladeshi ISPs are eager for SEA-ME-WE5, the second submarine cable. It lands at Kuakata, the southwestern coastal village, this year. Kuakata is 300 nautical miles away from Cox’s Bazar. The two vastly located undersea cable landing facilities will bolster the country’s international connectivity. They will also salvage Bangladeshi ISPs from the Indian carriers’ oligopoly.
It is yet to happen. State-owned incumbent BTCL transports bandwidth from both the submarine cable landing stations to the data center of BSCCL. BTCL has failed to deploy a reliable terrestrial link due to scandalous procurement process. That’s why SEA-ME-WE5, which enjoys full-circuit access to Singapore, is yet to be fully operational in Bangladesh. It inhibits BSCCL to plug SEA-ME-WE5 with the major international carriers.
Now SEA-ME-WE4, the country’s first submarine cable, will be down for maintenance. And BSCCL is scrambling to temporarily procure 50 Gbps of IP-transit for SEA-ME-WE5. This interim measure, due to BTCL’s despicable inefficiency, will financially punish the submarine cable operator.
Therefore, Bangladesh is unable to reap the benefits of two submarine cables with path-diversity due to unreliable terrestrial transmission networks. It’s a textbook example of digital infrastructure’s piecemeal deployment in a country that aspires to build “Digital Bangladesh” by 2021.
The solution: Connect both the cable landing stations (Cox’s Bazar and Kuakata) through a submarine cable followed by mirroring terrestrial redundancy. It will ensure a meaningful 1+1 protection to the international connectivity of Bangladesh.