An agreement is to be finalized on the third week of January to export bandwidth to seven Eastern Indian states. Top officials of Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd. (BSCCL) have informed that this agreement will be made from 15th – 17th January in Delhi.
Md. Monwar Hossain, Managing Director of BSCCL, said that talks have been ongoing for the last few days with Indian company BSNL regarding this. An invitation was received from them last Monday.
He informed that the primary date for the agreement is 15th January and even with that date fixed, the agreement could be made within the next couple of days.
In May, authorities of the Indian company came to Dhaka and signed a memorandum of understanding with BSCCL. According to that 10 Gbps bandwidth was primarily to be exported. Monwar Hossain said it could go up to 40Gbps later.
After signing of the MOU, India’s Foreign Minister visited Bangladesh in June. During this time there were discussions held regarding this agreement and even a draft was made. However, nothing was eventually finalized.
If India takes 40 Gbps bandwidth, BCSSL expects to earn about Tk. 4 crore 83 lakhs every month. However, this amount could vary depending on the final agreement
Monwar Hossain said they will begin with 10Gbps and when BSCCL will be connected to a second submarine cable in 2016, they will be able to provide the Indian states with bandwidths of up to a 100 Gbps.
After receiving the letter from India, the agreement was approved at a pre set board meeting. This will now be sent to Sheikh Hasina for approval as she is the minister of the telecommunications ministry.
If India takes 40 Gbps bandwidth, BCSSL expects to earn about Tk. 4 crore 83 lakhs every month. However, this amount could vary depending on the final agreement.
Associated sources said that bandwidth will be exported at a price higher than that of the local market by BSCCL. The MOU stated that regardless of the cost, India must make payments in dollars to BSCCL by the 7th of each month.
Previously in February, the government decided and implemented a policy to export additional bandwidth that remains after usage. The decision finally reached the ministry after quite some time. However, in that inter-ministerial meeting it was stated that after accessing the total bandwidth requirement of the country till 2021, will the remaining bandwidth be exported.
Sources from BSCCL said that India wants immediate bandwidth connectivity to at least three Eastern states. Hence, importing it from Bangladesh is their best option. So a connection will be made from Akhaoura to Agartola. Later, another connection will be established from Sylhet’s Tamabil.