The Internet of Bangladesh has been connected to the world by a single submarine cable, Sea-Me-We 4 (SMW4), since this 18,800 kilometer-long optical-fiber system made its landing at Cox's Bazar in 2006. However, in the nearly seven years since SMW4's activation, national Internet outages have plagued Bangladesh with some regularity. When their portion of this system is sabotaged, suffers a failure or is down for maintenance, virtually all Internet bandwidth for the 7th most populous country in the world disappears, forcing local providers to fall back to slow and expensive satellite services or to simply wait for restoration.
However, recent national outages due to planned SMW4 maintenance have revealed that some Bangladeshi providers have now activated a long-awaited second connection to the Internet via a terrestrial link to India. We'll examine this new development here and highlight those providers who can now offer fault-tolerant Internet service for the first time in Bangladesh.
Recently in Latency Category
Recent developments captured in a new blog here. (January 22, 2013)
In February 2011, the first submarine cable connecting the island nation of Cuba to the global internet (by way of Venezuela) landed on Siboney beach, Santiago de Cuba. In the two years since, the fate of the cable has been a mystery for Cuba observers. In the past week, our global monitoring system has picked up indications that this cable has finally been activated, although in a rather curious way, as we explain below.
It has been a tough week for Internet connectivity in Lebanon. After two national Internet blackouts on the IMEWE cable, Lebanese traffic was moved onto the CADMOS submarine cable to reach international carriers via Cyprus. With this backup in place, and with substantial additional capacity brought online to reduce congestion, just over 70% of the country's networks (prefixes) were brought back online.
In an example of engineering under pressure, Lebanese Telecoms Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui personally flew to Cyprus and met with the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority. The teams (pictured right) then collaborated to find a viable solution.
Bangladesh could learn a lesson from Pakistan about building a diverse and more survivable connection to the Internet. The two countries had very different experiences as a result of a recent submarine cable cut. Where Pakistan's PTCL and Transworld have spent years building diversity into their International connectivity strategy, in Bangladesh the story is very different.|
At 08:41:51 UTC on Wednesday, 6 June 2012, the Sea-Me-We-4 submarine cable suffered a break 60 kilometers from the coast of Singapore, its eastern terminus. While the cause of the failure has not been publicly released, the resulting impact on South Asian Internet transit has been fascinating to follow.
In the coming weeks we expect to see a dramatic shift in transit as Lebanese providers move away from expensive and high-latency satellite service to IMEWE-based service.Well, it didn't take long for this to play out.
|Packet latency is a big issue in Internet-based applications (i.e. the stuff in the cloud). In conducting analysis on Internet infrastructure over the years, we have seen many patterns of connectivity. One such pattern that can wreak havoc on latency is "hair-pinning", a phenomenon where traffic takes an unnecessarily long physical path between two points on the Internet due to suboptimal routing. The increased distance results in increased latency, and the "lag" or "sluggishness" that users experience as a result can hinder latency-sensitive online applications whether they are financial trading applications or MS SharePoint.|