Summit Plans to Use Bangladesh as Transit Point to Supply Bandwidth to Northeast India

Summit Communications plans to use Bangladesh as a transit for supplying bandwidth to India's northeast, enhancing connectivity.By Mahmudul Hasan, The Daily Star
February 13, 2024

The telecom regulator has sought consent from the government after Summit Communications Ltd applied to use Bangladesh as a transit point to supply bandwidth to the northeastern states of India.

In March last year, the country's largest fibre optic network infrastructure company requested permission from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).

The commission is now seeking approval from the telecom ministry since existing laws don't permit transit of telecommunication services from Bangladesh to operators outside the country.

Summit Communications, an international terrestrial cable (ITC) operator, plans to supply bandwidth from Singapore via the Akhaura border to the northeastern region of India through Bharti Airtel.

The main purpose of the service is to connect Agartala through Akhaura to Bangladesh's submarine cable landing stations in Cox's Bazar and Kuakata to reach Singapore. The service is known as an international private leased circuit which will use Bangladeshi soil as a transit route.

It will enable faster internet services in the northeastern states of Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Nagaland.

Summit Communications made a presentation to this effect to the officials of the BTRC, according to a document of the commission.

It says the states are connected to Singapore through submarine cables via Chennai using India's domestic fibre optic network.

At present, a distance of about 5,500 kilometres has to be covered to reach the landing station in Chennai from the northeastern part. However, due to the mountainous nature of the region, the maintenance of fibre optic networks and the installation of new networks is relatively difficult, meaning keeping the network secure is relatively a difficult task.

The optical signal latency extends to about 55 milliseconds over the distance to Chennai and goes up to 87 milliseconds to reach Singapore. Covering a distance of about 8,700 kms from North-East India to Singapore through the current network significantly raises the cost of internet service and diminishes the quality of service, according to the document.

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