August 14, 2009

International Connectivity Restored

Overnight local cable link cut further disrupts Internet

International connectivity to Bangladesh returned Friday evening after a 16-hour disruption as the country's submarine cable link was restored in Cox's Bazar, a top official said. "We heard that the link was restored around 6.30pm," said managing director of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd Monwar Hossain.

Internet services countrywide were severely disrupted by an overnight break in the link connecting Bangladesh to submarine cable SEA-ME-WE-4. The South East Asia-Middle East-West Europe 4 is the submarine cable system linking South East Asia to Europe via the Indian Sub-Continent and Middle East. The cable boosts bandwidth and global connectivity of users along its route between Singapore and France.

Two STMs out of the six of the BTCL between Singapore and Hong Kong, with around 4000 channels, at Singapore that transfer data towards countries such as Japan, South Korea and the United States, faced congestion following a cut in the Asia-Pacific Cable Network 2.

Internet services were further disrupted
countrywide by an overnight break in the link connecting Bangladesh to submarine cable SE-ME-WE-4, an official said Friday. Services were expected to be restored by 6pm, said Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company's managing director Monwar Hossain.

Hossain told that the submarine cable link was cut at around 2.45am between Chittagong and Cox's Bazar. "Repair work is going on. We are expecting the link to be fully restored with the next one and a half to two hours," Hossain said at 3.30pm.

The national backbone connecting the submarine cable, SEA-ME-WE 4, was cut at around 3:00am at Mansartek at Patiya, 21km off Chittagong, in heavy rainfall and flood-like situation, Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Limited officials told in the evening.

”We initially faced problems in detecting the fault because of heavy rain and strong tide in the flood-like situation. We have found the fault in about 200 metres of the cable line,” said BTCL member Md Afsar Alam. “We are now repairing the fault by replacing 200 metres of cable. We hope the repair work will be completed in one hour,’” he said at 6:00pm Friday.

Users across the country faced difficulties with no internet traffic in most places and extremely poor traffic in some places throughout the day. Although there was a redundant backbone, an optical fibre line of the Power Grid Company Limited that the BTCL uses, the line has also been out of order since August 3.

The PGCB line was damaged at Harindara between Feni and Comilla in thunder strike. As there are no spares, the PGCB is now importing them. If the alternative line had been in operation, the Patiya cable cut would not have affected internet users. “After the PGCB repairs the line in a month, they will hand over the line to us.” said Afsar.

The backbone of the submarine cable, linked in 2006, has so far been cut about 25 times.


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