BTRC reviews plight of banned fixed line operators

31 Mar 2011

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has decided to review its decision of March 2010 to close down the operations of five fixed line telecoms providers for their involvement in illegal VoIP telephony provision. The Financial Express quotes an anonymous high-ranking BTRC official as saying, ‘We will sit soon on this issue,’ adding that the watchdog can review any decision in response to an appeal from an operator. Meanwhile, MP Hasanul Haq Inu, chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, told the paper that the committee has asked both the ministry and the regulator to resolve the issue, and expressed hope that they would get a result within less than one month. The five fixed-wireless network operators which were shut down are: RanksTel, PeoplesTel, Dhaka Phone, National Telecom and WorldTel. The country’s major mobile operators were all previously found to be involved in terminating illegal VoIP traffic but were issued with fines rather than being closed down.

Separately, the BTRC has revealed plans to audit all telecoms operators including mobile, fixed line, ISPs, domestic exchange and international gateway operators and WiMAX providers, to investigate evidence of irregular book keeping, particularly that which could impact the revenue shared with the government. The announcement comes in the year that major cellcos GrameenPhone and Banglalink and two other operators’ licences are due for renewal.

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