Illegal broadband service : BTRC asks Grameenphone to pay Tk 30cr fine in 10 days

Staff Correspondent | Published at 11:26pm on November 06, 2016

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A file photo shows Grameenphone’s headquarters in Dhaka. The telecom regulator on Sunday asked Grameenphone to pay in 10 days Tk 30 crore the regulator slapped as fine on the leading mobile phone company for violating rules by providing broadband internet services under ‘Go Broadband’ brand. — New Age photo

The telecom regulator on Sunday asked Grameenphone to pay in 10 days Tk 30 crore the regulator slapped as fine on the leading mobile phone company for violating rules by providing broadband internet services under ‘Go Broadband’ brand.
GP, however, in a statement made to New Age said that the company received a letter from the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission but was assessing the legality of the directive.
The BTRC in the letter said that GP signed an agreement with Sonali Bank on the basis of an approval provided to ISP operators ADN Telecom Ltd and AGNI Systems Ltd, the partners of GP in GO Broadband service.
But, the approval to ADN Telecom and ASL was annulled before the execution of the agreement between GP and Sonali Bank, said the BTRC letter.
It also said mobile operators are allowed to build optical/wired backbone transmission network only if the nationwide telecommunication transmission network operators don’t have that infrastructure.
GP built optical/wired backbone transmission network while providing services to Sonali Bank and violated the infrastructure sharing guidelines, said the letter.
So the commission directed GP to pay the full amount of the fine within 10 days of the receipt of the notice, said the letter.
GP statement said, ‘We would, however, like to reiterate that the GO Broadband service was initiated with permission from the relevant authorities and under a valid partnership.’
A senior BTRC official said the amount of the fine (Tk 30 crore) was estimated by taking account the revenue GP earned through its GO Broadband operation.
GP signed an agreement with Sonali Bank in December 2014 to provide internet services to 551 branches of the state-run bank.
In April 2014, GP launched the GO Broadband service in partnership with ADN Telecom Ltd and AGNI Systems Ltd.
The telecom regulator’s move against GO Broadband came following a complaint filed by the Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh to the BTRC in February.