Bangladeshi private terrestrial cable operators want the government to set a floor for wholesale bandwidth prices to help avoid unhealthy competition between private and public companies. State-owned Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) has recently announced plans to slash the price of international bandwidth by as much as 60 percent for both voice and data transmission, which has affected the business of private terrestrial cable operators. Currently the ceiling is BDT 5,000 per 1 Mbps for both private and public operators, but there is no lower limit, The Daily Star reported.
Both BSCCL and terrestrial cable operators sell bandwidth in bulk to international internet gateways (IIGs), internet service providers (ISPs) and international gateways (IGWs). The country has six private terrestrial cable operators who also serve as a back-up for the lone submarine cable that has a 60 percent market share of wholesale bandwidth business.
BSCCL’s recent decision to reduce the bandwidth price will affect private operators’ business, said Moynul Haque Siddiqui, managing director of Fiber@Home, a private terrestrial cable operator. Now, the private operators, too, will have to reduce their prices to remain competitive, but this will take a toll on their business, he said. Telecom Secretary Md Abubakar Siddique said the price cuts by BSCCL may reduce the profits of the private terrestrial cable operators, but will not put their business at risk.