BTRC notifies Bangla Phone of ISP licence cancellation

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Sep 19,2018


Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission on Tuesday notified Bangla Phone Limited that the commission had cancelled its internet service providing licence.
The telecom regulator issued a letter to Bangla Phone in this connection and asked the entity to refrain from conducting ISP business.
The BTRC move came in line with its August decision of revoking ISP licence of Bangla Phone after allowing the entity to run its telecom transmission business for 14 years and investing huge amount of money in the business.
The commission annulled the licence of the mobile phone operator for running nationwide telecommunication transmission network business without having licence for providing such service, BTRC officials said.
Officials of Bangla Phone, however, denied of NTTN operation stating that not only the NTTN operators but also the ISPs could lay fibre to provide internet service to the end users.
The commission notified the company of the licence annulment after getting approval from the posts, telecommunications and information technology ministry last month, a BTRC official told New Age.
However, public switched telephone network (PSTN) and international internet gateway (IIG) licences of Bangla Phone remain valid and there is no barrier to operating PSTN and IIG business by the company, said officials of Bangla Phone.
Along with licence cancellation letter, the commission has initiated a move to publish public notices in national
dailies regarding the licence cancellation of the company.
As per the Bangla Phone’s web site data, the entity has been in operation in the country since 2004.
Since its inception, Bangla Phone has so far installed around 20,000 kilometres of nationwide fibre optic transmission network to run its business.
Bangla Phone got the permission for sharing and installing telecommunications infrastructure and fibre optic cable in 2009, which was renewed six times.
But the government denied any further renewal of the authorisation, throwing the entity’s investment into trouble, officials of Bangla Phone said.
Discontinuation of permission to run NTTN business and revoking ISP licence of Bangla Phone would carry negative news to the foreign investors as majority of the Bangla Phone’s transmission networks were built with foreign investment, said officials of the entity.
Before the government’s decision to discontinue permission was made, the commission allowed Bangla Phone to import equipment for NTTN business through 26 letters, they said.
Although Bangla Phone in 2014 applied for NTTN licence to the BTRC, the regulator denied issuing the licence to the entity.
After the expiry of tenure of ISP licence (issued in 2011) of Bangla
Phone in 2016, the commission in a notice on August 22, 2016 asked all telecom operators not to use fibre transmission service from Bangla Phone and also warned that it would take action if any operator was found using such service from the firm.
Meanwhile, BTRC fined mobile phone operator Robi Axiata Limited Tk 50 crore for using ‘unauthorised’ fibre optic transmission service from Bangla Phone Limited.
Robi, however, denied using Bangla Phone’s service. 

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