BTRC likely to restore Robi, GP’s bandwidth but stop NOC issuance

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Jul 17,2019


Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is likely to restore Grameenphone and Robi’s bandwidth, which has been blocked over unpaid audit claims, by taking other regulatory measures for realising the dues.

BTRC chairman Md Jahurul Haque hinted about unblocking of the bandwidth after a meeting with prime minister’s ICT affairs adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy at the posts and telecom ministry at the secretariat in Dhaka. Telecom minister Mustafa Jabbar was present, among others.

‘The ICT affairs adviser instructed us to take measures to realise the unpaid audit claims from the operator as per the Telecom Act,’ he told New Age.

Being asked about the sufferings of the subscribers of the two operators due to partial suspension of bandwidth, Jahurul said, ‘Even if we restore their [operators] bandwidth, we will take other regulatory measures to realise the dues. We may stop issuing NOC [no objection certificate] for them.’

BTRC on July 4 reduced internet bandwidth capacity of GP by 30 per cent over Tk 12,579.95 crore unpaid audit claim and Robi by 15 per cent over Tk 867 crore audit claim.

The operators have refrained from clearing the claims raising questions over the BTRC’s audit findings.

BTRC chairman said that the PM’s adviser Joy instructed them to follow due course in line with the telecom law to recover the money from the operators as the telecom law did not permit any arbitration for dispute resolution.

Both Robi and GP protested the BTRC move to block their bandwidth and requested the commission for resolving the dispute under the Arbitration Act 2001.

Officials of the two mobile phone operators said that the telecom services might face disruption if the BTRC had refrained from issuing NOC to them.

The operators need to take NOC from the BTRC for various purposes, including importing equipment to expand services, launching new packages and taking bank loans.

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