The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) yesterday invited applications for National Internet Exchange (NIX) operating licences, for the purposes of routing domestic internet traffic, including domestic voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) traffic. The commission aims to award an unrestricted number of 15-year NIX concessions under an open licensing procedure, with the overall aims of reducing latency in domestic traffic, saving international bandwidth and foreign currency, facilitating local content development and encouraging local web hosting. The licences will allow operators to build, own and operate NIX systems in Bangladesh, with the country’s existing NIX service providers permitted to obtain a new licence if they meet certain criteria, including being certified by at least ten internet service providers (ISPs) that currently have peering connectivity with the operator. Entities that have had their telecoms licences cancelled within the last five years are prevented from applying. The NIX licence acquisition fee has been set low, at BDT10,000 (USD120), with the annual licence fee costing just BDT5,000. Services must be launched in at least one specified region within six months of licensing.
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