Bangladesh could have a new high speed fibre-optic terrestrial link with India in operation by the first week of November, according to Absar Alam, managing director of Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited (BTCL), quoted by local newspaper The Daily Star. A 25km terrestrial cable connecting Darshana in Bangladesh with Krishno Nagar in India is scheduled to be operational within four weeks, and will serve as an alternative high speed route to the SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine cable system. ‘We are ready to establish the terrestrial link from our side within one month,’ Absar told a press conference. ‘Hopefully, our Indian counterpart Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) would also be ready for the operation within that time,’ he added. BTCL reportedly signed a deal with BSNL last November to extend the fibre link into India. ‘The optical fibre line would improve the quality of international telephone calls while acting as an alternative submarine cable during any disruption in service,’ Absar said. The BDT15 million (USD210,000) project is expected to bring down the costs of calls to neighbouring countries.
Meanwhile, Monowar Hossain, managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL), said that further plans to provide international cable redundancy were in development, disclosing that BSCCL has arranged to connect with the i2i cable maintained by India’s Bharti Airtel, which directly connects Chennai in India with Singapore, initially for a specific time during planned cable repairs.