The telecom regulator has asked Bangladesh Railway and mobile operator Grameenphone to amend an agreement in a bid to open up BR’s unused fibre optic network for all operators, which is currently used exclusively by GP.
Officials of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission said that BR and GP had formed a committee to analyse the agreement under which GP is using 1,600 kilometres of BR’s fibre optic network exclusively.
‘After the analysis, both the parties would submit a proposal to the commission. We have asked the parties to amend clauses of the agreement which are conflicting with Railway’s NTTN licence and GP’s cellular licence,’ a senior BTRC official told New Age.
He said that once the amendments were completed, the unused portion of the leased fibre optic network would be open for other entities.
In 1989, BR under a modernisation project of signalling system installed optical fibre network at 300 stations with the financial assistance of the Norwegian government.
As the capacity of the fibre optic remained mostly unused, BR leased out its optical fibre network through an international tender to GP, owned by Norwegian company Telenor, in 1997.
BTRC officials said that the commission in 2014 provided nationwide telecommunication transmission network licence to Bangladesh Railway that allows the entity to do NTTN business formally.
They said in September this year the BTRC also barred mobile phone companies to provide secondary fibre connectivity.
‘Under this situation, the agreement between GP and BR needs some amendments so that the lease can run according to the law,’ said a BTRC official.
Bangladesh Railway recently called an open tender to lease out its additional 400 kilometres of its fibre optic network.
According to BTRC data, currently there are 54,228 kilometres of fibre optic cable in Bangladesh.
Of the total, the NTTN operators have the major share. Summit Communication has 20,670km, Fibre@ Home 15,468km, BTCL 4,935km, PGCB 4,402km and Bangladesh Railway has 2,105km.
Among the mobile phone operators, Banglalink has 3,001km, Grameenphone has 2,490km (including those it leased from BR) and the other operators have 1,157km.
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