Indian telcos Bharti Airtel and Reliance Communications have offered to build a fiber cable across Bangladesh.
They have asked permission from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) to build a cable across the country to link up to India’s “seven sister” states in the northeast, the Daily Star newspaper reported.
The seven landlocked states – Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh – currently have no fiber longhaul connectivity.
Bharti and Reliance want to build a fiber link from Kolkata on India’s northeast coast to Meherpur in south-west Bangladesh, and then link to Assam to the north.
They would extend the link from Meherpur to Dhaka and Jaflong, on the border with Meghalaya, or to Agartala, the capital of Tripufa.
They have also offered to extend the cable across Bangladesh to Myanmar.
The BTRC is yet to decide on the proposal, but sees it as an alternative to SEA-ME-WE 4, the country’s sole offshore cable.
“The Indian companies have already brought Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan under their submarine cable network. If the proposal is implemented, we shall get connected with these countries and be benefited financially,” a senior official told the Star.
The local ISP association welcomed the proposal, the paper said.