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Bangladesh to start Bandwidth Export to Bhutan

This article appeared in the Financial Express (Bangladesh)

Bangladesh will start bandwidth export to Bhutan within a month, as the landlocked Eastern Himalayan country is looking for a third international connectivity to strengthen its internet services, reports BSS.

State-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) will establish linkage with Bhutan using network of Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL) through Akhaura-Tripura frontier, said officials. Talking to BSS on Tuesday, BSCCL Managing Director Monwar Hossain said initially they will take 2.5 gbps bandwidth which will be increased in future. "We are expecting to start sharing bandwidth with Bhutan within a month."

The South Asian landlocked country has taken the move to establish a third international link to the internet. It currently has only two links to the internet, one through Gelephu and the other through Phuentsholing. But, both converge in the Indian city of Siliguri which made the country dependent on India without any back up connectivity.

"... actually, we are ready to sign agreement" said Monwar Hossain adding that they have already sent final letter from Bangladesh side few days back in response to Bhutan. Replying to a query on pricing, he said: "For 2.5 gigabits, we would charge $ 15 for per megabit (MB) of bandwidth while $ 9 if they (Bhutan) take 10 gbps."

About the linkage with Bhutan, the BSCCL Managing Director said the bandwidth would go through PGCIL network that has already been connected with Bhutan. "We would use this (PGCIL) network as there is a well-connected route on Akhaura-Tripura border through which India is importing 10 gbps bandwidth."

Bangladesh has started exporting 10 gbps bandwidth to India in March last year. Bhutan has started the discussion in August last and an expert team visited Bangladesh to check out the landing station of BSCCL's lone submarine cable, South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 4 or SEA-ME-WE 4 in the last week of September, 2016.

This article appeared in the Financial Express (Bangladesh)