India-Bangladesh Fiber Link to Start Work Soon

Construction of fiber optic link between India and Bangladesh would start soon, the Ministry of telecommunications in India confirmed. Weeks after the signing of an agreement by New Delhi and Dhaka on telecommunication links, BSNL on Saturday announced that work will start next week to put the system into operation.

Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is planning to start work next week to link Akhaura with International Gateway for Internet Service (IGIS) at Cox’s Bazar (in southeast Bangladesh) as per officials in BSNL.

In the presence of visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bangladesh counterpart Sheikh Hasina, an agreement was signed in Dhaka on June 6 between Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited for leasing of international bandwidth for Internet at Akhaura.

After the establishment of the optical fiber cable (OFC) link between Akhaura along Agartala and Cox’s Bazar, there would not only be a sea change in the Internet and telecommunication connectivity in northeast India, but the rest of the country would also be benefited by getting additional internet bandwidth, BSNL estimates.

BSNL official also said that the Indian government would spend Rs 19.14 crore (approx. 3 million US dollars) to create the infrastructure, including laying of OFC to avail the 10G bandwidth from BSCCL. India had to give around Rs 8 crore (1.25 million US dollars) per year to Bangladesh to avail the telecommunication linkages.

The deal was signed between BSCCL and BSNL after more than four years of diplomatic and political parleys. We have earlier reported about the approval of the Bangladesh Government of the proposed fiber optic link connecting India’s northeastern states.

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