BTRC rejects GP plea for revision of Tk 30cr fine

HM Murtuza | Published: 22:21, Jan 02,2017


The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission has turned down a Grameenphone’s plea for revision of the telecom regulator’s decision imposing Tk 30 crore in fine on the mobile operator on charge of violating rules while providing broadband services.
The decision came from the BTRC’s commission meeting held last week.
As per the decision, GP will have to pay the fine imposed on the entity for ‘illegal broadband service’ provided under the brand name of GO Broadband in partnership with two internet service providers — ADN Telecom Ltd and AGNI Systems Ltd, BTRC officials said.
BTRC secretary Sarwar Alam told New Age, ‘The commission declined to accept GP’s revision prayer and will follow the next course of action as per law.’
Although the decision has been made, the commission is yet to issue letter to GP in this regard, another BTRC official said on Monday.
The commission will inform GP regarding the decision giving fresh time frame to the entity for depositing the fine, he said.
In December last year, GP, after missing two deadlines provided by the BTRC to pay the fine, requested for a revision of the decision under the telecom act, he said.
When asked, Grameenphone acting chief corporate affairs officer Hossain Sadat on Monday told New Age, ‘We have requested BTRC to revise their decision to fine Grameenphone. However there is no official response to that request yet.’
‘A response from the regulator will help us to pursue next course of action in this connection,’ he said.
Earlier on November 6, the BTRC asked GP to pay in 10 days Tk 30 crore in fine for ‘illegal broadband service’ provided under the brand name of GO Broadband.
The BTRC letter sent to GP on November 6 said that the mobile operator signed an agreement with Sonali Bank on the basis of an approval provided to ADN Telecom Ltd and AGNI Systems Ltd.
But the approval to ADN Telecom and AGNI Systems was annulled before the execution of the agreement between GP and Sonali Bank, said the BTRC letter.
Mobile operators are allowed to build optical/wired backbone transmission network only if the nationwide telecommunication transmission network, or NTTN, operators do not have that infrastructure, it also said.
GP built optical/wired backbone transmission network while providing services to Sonali Bank and violated the infrastructure sharing guidelines, said the letter.
GP in a response to the BTRC on November 16 denied to have committed any wrongdoing and said that the Tk 30-crore fine imposed on GP should be recalled and vacated.
It also said that the company did not violate the NTTN guidelines.
After missing the first deadline by the mobile operator, the BTRC had given it another 15 days to pay the fine.

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