The shutting down of Bangladesh's first submarine cable for maintenance started affecting internet users yesterday with many getting intermittent and slow internet during peak hours.
However, the disruption was not as bad as feared.
Sabbir Ahmed an executive of a buying house in the capital claimed that yesterday after reaching his destination on a bike availed through a motorbike ride sharing app on his phone, he could not pay the driver as his phone had no internet for a few minutes.
“I also had trouble attaching a file to an email I wanted to send to my boss,” he said.
After the cable under the Bay of Bengal was taken out of service for the first time in its 12 years of operation, Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) started managing the load by re-routing internet traffic.
The country's first undersea cable, SEA-ME-WE-4, was shut down at 12:30am yesterday and it would be out of service for the next two days as well.
“We are facing challenges of bandwidth shortage but we are trying our best to manage the crunch,” said Md Mashiur Rahman, managing director of BSCCL.
Usually state-run BSCCL supplies over 250Gbps of bandwidth to the country but yesterday the supply came down to 150Gbps, which the company got from SEA-ME-WE-5, the second undersea cable connecting the country to the internet.
Bangladesh uses about 450Gbps of bandwidth, about 250Gbps from BSCCL and 200Gbps imported from India.
However, President MA Hakim of Internet Service Provider Association, said ISPs suffered less interruption than they had feared.
For only a few minutes around noon there were some transmission issues and for a few minutes there was no internet from BSCCL. Apart from these, it was just like a regular day yesterday, he said.
Hakim said end users saw their regular work going slow but overall the situation was not bad.
BSCCL MD Mashiur said they have about 50Gbps of bandwidth of the second submarine cable left unutilised and that they could not use it due to lack of interconnection capacity.