Millions of Bangladeshis have been unable to use the Internet or suffered slow connections after a submarine cable was cut off the coast of Singapore, an official said Thursday.
The damage to the SEA-ME-WE-4 cable disrupted Internet services across Bangladesh from Wednesday afternoon, affecting private users and businesses including the country's key garment export sector.
"It may take a week for the system to return to normalcy," Monwar Hossain, managing director of the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company, which operates Bangladeshi segment of the submarine cable, told AFP.
He said the cause of the cut was not known and no other countries were affected.
"Bangladesh does not have an alternate submarine cable or any other connection," Hossain said, adding the connection was snapped 60 kilometres (40 miles) from the coast of Singapore.
Bangladesh, a country of 160 million people, has nearly seven million broadband Internet users.
"Almost all Bangladeshi Internet users are facing difficulties in accessing Internet or sending emails overseas," said Akhtaruzzaman Monju, president of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh.
"Work at the garment factories and outsourcing firms have also been disrupted due to the slow connection," he added.
The SEA-ME-WE-4 cable is the latest generation of a cable network linking southeast Asia, the Middle East and western Europe.
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