Slow Internet Likely for Next 6 Days Due to Submarine Cable Maintenance: Industry Operators

Bangladesh Internet users will experience slow internet speeds for the next 6 days due to maintenance on the SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable.By Md Fazlur Rahman, The Daily Star
October 26, 2020

Internet users are likely to face reduced speed for the next five days as a fibre optic cable that connects Bangladesh‘s international internet gateway operators with Singapore will go through emergency maintenance, said industry operators last night.

“There is an upcoming emergency I2I circuit maintenance to be held from 12.30 am on October 26 to 12.30 am on October 31,” said OptiMax Communication Ltd, an internet service provider and international internet gateway (IIG) company, in an email.

“During the maintenance period, most of the SMW-4 circuits will be down and you might face high latency, intermittent packet-loss, and jitter in multiple destinations,” it said.

The IIG operator said it would shift traffic to other available paths to avoid the disruption and added that the maintenance is aimed at avoiding any unplanned outage in the near future.

“Because of the maintenance, there will be some interruption and high latency. But the internet will be there,” Md Emdadul Hoque, secretary-general of the Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), told The Daily Star.

A senior official of the state-run Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd, which owns both the undersea cables, said he was not aware of the development.

The South East Asia–Middle East–Western Europe 4 (SEA-ME-WE 4) 4 is an approximately 18,800 km submarine cable connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Italy, Tunisia, Algeria and France.

“The SEA-ME-WE 4 is up. There is no maintenance over it. Only those IIGs that are using the SEA-ME-WE 4 from Cox's Bazar to Chennai and then are connected to the I2I to reach Singapore would be affected,” said an industry insider.

“Those that are connected to Cox's Bazar to Singapore through the SEA-ME-WE 4 would not be affected,” he said.

The total number of internet subscribers rose 8.3 per cent to an all-time high of 10.82 crore at the end of August compared to February's 9.99 crore.

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