Internet services in Bangladesh have been disrupted after the SEA-ME-WE 5 subsea cable was damaged.

As reported by the Daily Star, a Bangladesh newspaper, the breakage occurred just after midnight on April 20.

Subsea cable
– Getty Images

Despite the disruption, which is expected to last for two-three days, the country's telecom providers have not reported any issues, but are monitoring the situation.

Bangladesh Submarine Cables PLC (BSCPLC), a stakeholder in SEA-ME-WE 5, said the breakage happened between Singapore and Malaysia.

Because of this, all traffic between Singapore and SEA-ME-WE 5’s landing station in Kuakata, Bangladesh, is down. The damage means that Bangladesh has lost 1.7 Tbps of international capacity. The country has been able to source 100 Gbps from the western part of the cable that runs to France.

It also has an additional 2.7 Tbps of terrestrial capacity via international terrestrial cable (ITC) license holders that import bandwidth from India.

"A ship will be mobilized to repair and restore the service. Total operation will take minimum two to three days," Mirza Kamal Ahmed, managing director of the Bangladesh BSCPLC, told the Daily Star.

The traffic has instead been re-routed to the SEA-ME-WE 4 subsea cable, the country's first submarine cable installed in Cox's Bazar. Deployed in 2006, the cable has a capacity of 850 Gbps of bandwidth and has recently been upgraded to a capacity of 3,800 Gbps

The SEA-ME-WE-5, which stands for South East Asia - Middle East - Western Europe 5 Submarine Cable System, was completed in 2017 and connects from Europe to Singapore across 20,000km.

In November 2022, the SEA-ME-WE 5 cable was severed in Egypt, disrupting several countries including Indonesia, Djibouti, Eritrea, Pakistan, and Yemen.

Next year, the SEA-ME-WE 6 cable is set to go live, again connecting Bangladesh, and is set to provide 13,200 Gbps of capacity.