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Netflix gets permission to place cache servers in Bangladesh

  • Published at 08:17 pm May 11th, 2019

Their estimation says if each subscriber pays $9 to Netflix each month, then the company earns $1.8 million or Tk15 crore each month. According to that estimation, Netflix yearly earns more than Tk180 crore from Bangladesh alone and these numbers are increasing

Licensed National Internet Exchange (NIX) operators of Bangladesh can now place cache servers for Netflix, world’s leading subscription-based streaming service which offers online streaming of a library of films and television programs. The announcement came from a Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) meeting on April 30.
Netflix streaming cache servers, with their Open Connect Appliances (OCAs), in local Internet Service Providers' (ISP) data centres will increase streaming speeds for Bangladeshi users.

BTRC, responsible for regulating all telecommunications matters of Bangladesh, has granted permission to licensed internet exchanges after several International Internet Gateways (IIG) and local Internet Service Providers (ISP), including Summit Communications, Aamra Technologies, Link3 Technologies, Amber IT, and Mazeda Network applied for permission to place Netflix cache servers for their customers. Some of these ISPs even have NIX licenses.

Netflix, a US based Video On Demand (VOD) service, has more than 200,000 subscribers in Bangladesh, according to estimates of BTRC and a private management consulting firm, PI Strategy. 

Their estimation says if each subscriber pays nine US dollars to Netflix each month, then the company earns $1.8 million or Tk15 crore each month. According to that estimation, Netflix yearly earns more than Tk180 crore from Bangladesh alone and these numbers are increasing.

The streaming platform has almost 150 million subscribers in 190 countries across the globe, except in mainland China (due to local restrictions) as well as Syria, North Korea, and Crimea (due to US sanctions). Yet they are also getting widely popular over Virtual Private Networks (VPN) and numerous other ways, in countries where Netflix is not available. Local experts have also said there is no stopping its widespread use, so BTRC has decided to permit local licensed internet exchanges to place Netflix’s cache servers for  their clients, to improve streaming quality and not have to purchase costly international bandwidth.

In their latest meeting, BTRC officials discussed the applications from IIGs and ISPs. The commission's (Engineering and Operations) department discussed detailed pros and cons of placing Netflix’s cache servers in Bangladesh. They also advised placing these servers at National Internet Exchange (NIX) operators’ ends, rather than ISP ends. They said there are more than a thousand ISPs around the country, so moderating them would be a very tough challenge, but there are only six licensed NIX operators, which would be far more manageable for the BTRC. 

The commission meeting also talked about Netflix’s cloud based services, how viewers need to register, subscribe and pay its monthly fees by international credit card, so no other party except Netflix gets paid in this process, and also how this is getting popular among audiences around the globe, including Bangladesh.

The company has placed more than ten thousand servers across the planet, each of them can transfer data to their clients’ end at a staggering 10 terabyte per second speed. Most of these servers are placed in Europe or the US.

Top Indian ISPs have recently also placed Netflix cache servers to meet their clients' streaming demands | Netflix Media Center

In Bangladesh, these services were being provided by local ISPs who had to buy International bandwidth at a higher rate. They could not earn  anything from these costs they had to cover, but the rise of the platform’s popularity and their client demands, compelled them to stay in this international race.

With the permission of placing Netflix servers inside the country, local internet providers can provide faster Netflix streaming speeds, save a lot of money which was being spent outside the country, and was a huge loss for them. 

Previously, BTRC has permitted Google, Facebook, and YouTube to place cache servers in Bangladesh to improve services for their clients.