Graphic evidence of consequences of not paying attention to redundancy: Bangladesh’s international connectivity

Posted on January 30, 2013  /  1 Comments

LIRNEasia and its people have been intimately involved in the spurts and starts of the policy discussion on Bangladesh’s international connectivity. We were early in pointing to the need for an additional cable, pointing to the multiple vulnerabilities created by the single undersea cable controlled by the government-owned BTCL and the non-ring architecture of the dry link from Dhaka to Cox’s Bazar.

Now, with 3-4 of the terrestrial cables coming online, we have a natural experiment running in what addressing redundancy means. Renesys has shown the results for those with backup and those without. Neat. If this does not persuade governments of the value of redundancy what will?

1 Comment

  1. In response to this post, I was asked via twitter whether redundancy provided a rationale for government ownership of infrastructure in the Philippines. My response was:

    Australia and India are examples of govt owned infrastructure. In both cases they will permit open access (cost-oriented rates and no discrimination). Commercial entities will manage.

    My point was about redundancy of international backhaul; same logic can apply to domestic backhaul, esp in a place like PH. If the existing domestic backhaul is mapped and foumd to be down to one cable in some parts, there may be justification for govt funding or building. Ideally, the open access regime will apply. Managing a backhaul network can easily be outsourced. As long as it does not result in the creation of a large govt organization, govt ownership is fine.

    But it may be better before going in, to “discover” the actual subsidy that is required through a least-cost subsidy auction, the same kind of thing that is recommended for universal service funds. Find the gaps in redundancy; get expert assistance to draft the RFP; conduct an auction.