April 20, 2006


After much controversies, Bangladesh had been linked to the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable system to connect to the Internet October last year, but the citizens will have to wait a few months more as the domestic interface from Cox's Bazar to the various parts of the country are not ready yet. Meanwhile Bangladeshis will have to be satisfied with low bandwidth from VSATs, dialup modems and analogue circuits.

Bangladesh should have been connected to the Sea-Me-We 2 (South East Asia Middle East Western Europe 2) submarine cable project started during the late 80's. But an army major in charge of telecommunication during the then Military government ruled the least expensive proposal out citing the fear that all secret information of the country would be leaked through that cable. Just look at the heights of the digital divide. Can anybody tell whom can we make responsible for keeping Bangladesh from moving forward all these 16 years?

Now it seems that Bangladesh is being set up again to be cursed, this time by the BTTB (Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone board). The Daily Star reports:
Bangladesh is set to miss a rare opportunity of nearly doubling its revenue by participating in a very low-cost expansion of the international submarine cable it is now being connected with. A top BTTB official said the offer is being declined because the present bandwidth allocation in the submarine cable is good enough. The cable system will give the country a data transfer capacity of 10 gigabyte per second, which will be 68 times the present capacity. This capacity is considered as adequate for the next 10 years while the cable has a life of 15 years.
Now these guys seem to be really nuts. They are calculating everything on the scale of VSATs. And do they know the demand of Internet usage in Bangladesh? Just do some simple mathematics. My home connection is 2Mb per second (I can upgrade it to 6Mb just paying 3 Euro per month more). So 10 Gb means 5000 standard European home connections. Is that enough for a country for next ten years? Silly me. Can anyone save our country from going backwards again?


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