Bangladesh is connected with the world through only one submarine cable system (SEA-ME-WE4). Nearly four months back, Douglas Madory of Renesys Corporation has analyzed the significance of terrestrial cables for the backup of Internet. He wrote:
The Internet of Bangladesh has been connected to the world by a single submarine cable, Sea-Me-We 4 (SMW4), since this 18,800 kilometer-long optical-fiber system made its landing at Cox’s Bazar in 2006. However, in the nearly seven years since SMW4’s activation, national Internet outages have plagued Bangladesh with some regularity. When their portion of this system is sabotaged, suffers a failure or is down for maintenance, virtually all Internet bandwidth for the 7th most populous country in the world disappears, forcing local providers to fall back to slow and expensive satellite services or to simply wait for restoration.
However, recent national outages due to planned SMW4 maintenance have revealed that some Bangladeshi providers have now activated a long-awaited second connection to the Internet via a terrestrial link to India. We’ll examine this new development here and highlight those providers who can now offer fault-tolerant Internet service for the first time in Bangladesh.
Last Wednesday, Doug has lectured at SubOptic 2013 in Paris. There he further analyzed the role of terrestrial connectivity in keeping Bangladesh online during a shutdown of her only submarine cable. Here is Doug’s presentation.