Bangladesh has proposed to build an inter-state Internet infrastructure or Internet highway by holding the Asian Highway. This internet highway is named as Asia-Pacific Information Super Highway (APIS). The proposed Internet Highway connects 32 countries of the Asia-Pacific region through underground optical fiber cable. Its length is equal to the Asian highway, which is 1,45,000 kilometers. The length of this highway in Bangladesh will be 1,768 kilometers.
Bangladesh is the main proponent of the plan to build the highway on the side of Asian Highway. In the meeting of the Asian Pacific Economic and Social Commission (UNSC) Steering Committee in Bangkok held in Thailand last December, a detailed discussion was made about this proposal. It was also representative of all the countries including India, China, Japan. At present, the work of verification of the project is underway.
Rationality of the project
In spite of being the world’s largest continent, the interbreed telecommunication system in this region is largely dependent on submarine cables set under the sea. Establishment and maintenance of the building is much more expensive than the underground cables, because of the price of wholesale internet bandwidth in Asia is twice as much as the average price of Europe and America.
If APIs are implemented, it will be the world’s largest interconnected terrestrial internet supply system. As a result, the fast broadband internet service will be available in this region. Bandwidth sells more wholesale markets. Internet bandwidth prices will be priced at par with the US and Europe. Datacenter will be created for the exchange of bandwidth if there is a wholesale market. This will increase internet usage content.
According to a research report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), digital inequality is the highest in the Asia-Pacific region using Internet technology. Only 8 percent of the population in the region get access to fast broadband internet access. As a result, a large community of people from this region are not able to access education, health and financial transactions through digital. In Bangladesh, the use of per capita bandwidth is far less than in Internet users. As per official government Internet connection number 8.8 million, and internet bandwidth usage is 500 to 550 Gbps.
Asked, UNISCAP’s Working and Steering Committee member Abu Said Khan said that in the inter-country telecommunications infrastructure of Europe and America, the combination of submarine cable and underground cables has created intense competition in bandwidth market. But the bandwitth market in the Asian continent is in the market. Therefore, despite being the world’s top user, the Internet is very expensive in Asia, and the use of per capita bandwidth is very low. If the APIS is implemented, this act will stop.
Smart highway plan implementation
Proposed internet highways will be owned by each member of the Road Transport and Bridge Ministry. As part of this, APIS will be owned by the Department of Roads and Highways Department (SOUG). Through all the national, regional and district highways of the country through APIS, the high speed fiber network will be available. As a result, the entire highway network of Bangladesh will be transformed into a smart highway.
Smart highway is a highway system controlled through a fiber optic network. Smart Highway concept will be implemented through a central monitoring center or monitoring center. Through it, it is possible to monitor whether toll from toll plazas located in different parts of the country is properly deposited in the government treasury. For example: Nowadays, there is no central system for monitoring of the number of vehicles per day on the Bangabandhu bridge and how much money the government gets from it. In the smart highway system, how much money is being deposited in government treasures instantly. On the highway, if the vehicles are being loaded with a lot of weight at speculation or at a certain level, it will be caught in a smart highway system. In addition, there is no system to monitor highway safety through centralized closed circuit cameras. This problem can be solved through Smart Highway.