Making the right connections

Here’s why many of us suffered slow internet connections yesterday: Vandals had severed Reliance’s fiber optic cables somewhere between Siliguri and Jaigon. The damaged cables are being replaced, and Reliance has assured Bhutan Telecom that their connections will be restored within an hour.

Bhutan Telecom’s total bandwith is currently 110 Mbps. Of this 90 Mpbs is provided by Reliance – 45Mpbs from Reliance London; and, as backup, 45 Mbps from Reliance Hongkong. However, all 90 Mpbs come in through Jaigon along the same route, even if on separate cables. This compromises the Bhutan Telecom’s bandwith backup aspirations.

The remaining 20 Mbps is provided via satellite – 10 Mbps by British Telecom; 10 Mbps by Telesat. That’s what has been keeping us connected – barely connected – to the rest of the world right now!

But there’s good news. Bhutan Telecom is already negotiating with Airtel to provide a 155 Mpbs link to London. This is expected to provide stronger backup connectivity in addition to increased bandwith. And, Bhutan Telecom expects this to happen before the end of the year. The Reliance link to London will then be discontinued, and the Reliance link to Hongkong upgraded to 155 Mpbs.

That would take Bhutan Telecom’s total bandwith to 155 Mbps + 155 Mbps + 20 Mbps. And that is good news.