Bangladesh cable connectivity: Deja vu all over again

Posted on September 15, 2017  /  0 Comments

It is sad that government suppliers shielded from competitive pressure do not learn, and keep repeating the same mistakes. Our Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan has several comments in this Daily Star piece about the problems with how SEA-ME-WE 5 has been handled by the government companies.

Though the task of laying the second submarine cable up to Kuakata landing station in Patuakhali was completed eight months ago for Tk 660 crore, the cable could not be connected to the inland network due to the BTCL’s failure to ensure an uninterrupted inland link.

The government announced inaugurating the commercial use of the cable in mid-March. Later, it deferred the date to July 31. But the link between the landing station and the capital could not be fully readied for commercial use within the stipulated time.

Finally, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the cable’s commercial use from the Gono Bhaban through video conference yesterday.

Saeed Khan, also ex-secretary general of the Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh, said, “The losses due to the delay should be quantified and the persons responsible should be held accountable.”

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