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Bangladesh suffers internet outage after SEA-ME-WE 5 cable break

Internet users across Bangladesh have been experiencing a slowdown for the past four days as repair work on the country’s second submarine cable South East Asia-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE-5), which was recently damaged, has yet to be completed.

The repair work of the cable will persist until the last week of May, according to Bangladesh Submarine Cables PLC.

BSCPLC’s General Manager (Operation and Maintenance) Saidur Rahman said the cable, SEA-ME-WE-5, broke down in the Indonesian sea coast area on Saturday.

“Administrative work there takes a little longer. The authorities said the repair work could be completed in the third or fourth week of next month.”

When asked about the suffering of people due to the internet slowdown, Rahman said, “All alternatives are not fully effective yet. The country’s first submarine cable, SEA-ME-WE-4, is capable of carrying full bandwidth. The concerned company will have to pay extra for this, which is still not decided. Efforts are underway to act on some other options.”

Internet bandwidth in Bangladesh comes mainly through two submarine cables running through the deep sea. The first submarine cable, SEA-ME-WE-4, is installed at Cox’s Bazar while the second one, SEA-ME-WE-5, is at Kuakata.

The second cable broke down around 440 kilometres away from Singapore’s western coast around midnight on Saturday, the BSCPLC had previously said in a statement.

“All Kuakata-Singapore bound traffic through the cable is closed now. Measures are being taken to repair and reconnect the cable through the SEA-ME-WE-5 consortium.”

“Though the services through the SEA-ME-WE-5 cable are closed now, the internet services are being provided across the country through the SEA-ME-WE-4 and other ICT organisations,” the BSCPLC statement read.

“A significant amount of bandwidth from the disconnected one is being shifted to the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable. However, the customers may experience slowdowns until the SEA-ME-WE-5 is repaired and operational again.” bdnews24

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