Tripura will be provided with submarine cable connectivity through Bangladesh’s Cox Bazar port region to become an Internet gateway for the north east region, reports ANI. The cable connecting the region will be laid by BSNL for the cost of Rs 8 crore.
The connection will be opened up through Akhaura in Bangladesh and will provide Internet to the entire north east region. Chief General Manager (CGM) of BSNL North East-I circle DP Singh said that the agreement was signed recently after four years of negotiations. He mentioned that the project will be officially commissioned and announced by Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad in Agartala in the coming week.
Note that the SeaMeWe-4 submarine cable that connects Bangladesh offers a speed of 1.28 Terabits with 2 fiber pairs able to support 64 carriers at 10Gbit/s each. Given this, it is likely India will be leasing a 10Gbit/s connection from the neighbouring country. The SeaMeWe-4 cable also lands at Chennai.
The new connection through Bangladesh should provide better connectivity to the north east, since it’s closer to the region than Chennai, the next closest access point. Along with better speeds thanks to a separate connection, users should also get better latencies due to the proximity to the main node. This is also the first instance where the country will get access to a submarine cable over land through another country.
As of now, India connects to the Internet through Mumbai and Chennai, and to a lesser extent through Cochin, Trivandrum and Tuticorin. Mumbai has eleven international submarine cables coming in, whereas Chennai has four, Cochin has two while Trivandrum and Tuticorin have one each.
FM radio in the north east: In January, the Government of India approved 18 new FM radio channels in the eight north eastern states and 15 new FM Radio Channels in Jammu and Kashmir. In the north east, 3 channels each would be launched in the towns of Halong and Dhubri in Assam, Jowai in Meghalaya, Mokokchung in Nagaland, Lunglei in Mizoram and Belonia in Tripura, in addition to the 12 pre existing FM channels. However, these channels would not be permitted to put out their own news broadcasts.