According to Bangladesh's bdnews24.com, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited (BSCCL) have both confirmed to connect with SEA-ME-WE-5 (SMW5). SMW5 is expected to land at Kuakata in Patuakhali district in the first quarter of 2016. SMW5 will be the second submarine cable system landing in Bangladesh. Bangladesh will invest a total of US$ 70 million on SEA-ME-WE 5, of which US$ 40 million would be managed from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) as loan.
There is now only one submarine cable landing in Bangladesh, i.e. SEA-ME-WE 4 which lands at Cox's Bazar Cable Landing Station. In 2005, Bangladesh was connected with the first submarine cable SEA-ME-WE 4 at a cost of US$ 35.2 million.
It's said the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium is going to sign the construction and maintenace agreement in Malaysia in March. This is a pretty good news for this long planning SMW5 subamrine cable to reach a final deal, althogh the SMW5 consortium has lost out to the AAE-1 consortium which concluded the AAE-1 C&MA in Hong Kong on January 27, 2014.
As reported, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications decided to sell the unused bandwidth on SEA-ME-WE 4 to generate more revenue. The submarine cable company needs to raise US$ 30 million for the remaining cost of SEA-ME-WE-5, other than the loan of US$ 40 million from the IDB. The government would provide fund for installation of SEA-ME-WE5 from the revenue collected from the sales of the unused bandwidth on SEA-ME-WE 4.
Bangladesh’s internet largely depends on SEA-ME-WE 4, the sole submarine cable connecting Bangladesh. In addition, six companies operate international terrestrial cables that provide back-up internet connectivity through India.