BTRC decides to cancel IIG licence of Bangla Phone

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:05, Nov 23,2017 | Updated: 00:07, Nov 23,2017


Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has decided to cancel the licence of international internet gateway service operator, Bangla Phone Limited, for violating licencing conditions including its failure to fulfill roll out obligation within the stipulated timeframe.
The decision came from the latest commission meeting presided over by its chairman Shahjahan Mahmood, a senior official of the commission told New Age on Wednesday.
The telecom regulator at the meeting also decided to send its decision for final approval from the government, the official said.
Licence cancellation letter would be issued by the commission after getting approval from the post and telecommunications ministry, he said.
The decision was taken after the post and telecommunications ministry sought for specific opinion from the telecom regulator regarding the cancellation of licence of Bangla Phone Limited, also a zonal PSTN licencee that has been running its operation in a very limited scale.
IIG serves as an internet gateway for routing international incoming and outgoing internet-based data traffic and all the ISPs are connected to global internet through the IIG service operators.
Bangla Phone got IIG licence on April 12, 2012 and was supposed to roll out its services within four months after getting the licence.
The IIG operator, however, failed to start its operation within the stipulated timeframe in violation of licencing guidelines.
In June, 2013, after more than one year of getting licence, Bangla Phone sought more time to fulfill the roll out obligation.
BTRC cut 10 per cent of the operator’s Tk 5 lakh performance bank guarantee due to the entity’s failure to fulfill the roll out obligation within the BTRC extended timeframe until December 2013.
Afterwards, Bangla Phone also violated clause 2.01 and 2.02 of IIG licencing guidelines by setting up PoP (point of presence) for network development in 37 district headquarters and 244 Upazilas without taking prior approval from the telecom regulator.
Besides, the IIG service operator in the year 2015 also informed BTRC that it has got connection with Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited on a trial basis.
BSCCL, however, denied giving any connection to Bangla Phone, reflecting that the operator misinformed BTRC.
Earlier, the telecom regulator in last couple of years cancelled licences of two other IIG service providers’ licences— Integrated Business Systems and Solutions (Pvt) Ltd and FM-Spectrum Telecom Limited— due to the entities’ failure to comply with roll out obligations.
Apart from the three companies— Bangla Phone, Integrated Business Systems and Solutions and FM-Spectrum Telecom Limited—another 33 companies were providing IIG service, showed BTRC website data. 

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