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Database of internet service providers on the cards

Report: Staff Report
Published : Sunday 27 December, 2015 10:44 AM
Database of internet service providers on the cards

To ensure cyber security, the government has taken initiative to formulate a database of internet service providers as part of its ongoing efforts, said officials.

They said the move also aims to make available the benefit of the reduced price of bandwidth as well as real broadband internet to the end users.

State minister for posts and telecommunications Tarana Halim said the process of formulation of the database is now underway.

"We want to secure the cyber space for the people of the country as well as ensure the benefit, which the government is providing at bulk-level to end user level," she added. 

Meanwhile, the officials of posts and telecommunications division informed that few big internet service providers have already submitted the lists of their sub-agents.

Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has issued license to a total of 434 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in six categories. The regulator handed over nationwide license to 126 ISPs while 62 licenses for central zone, 17 zonal (south and east) licenses as well as ISP along with cyber cafe, license to 175 operators under A category, 29 license under B category and 24 licenses under C category.

Officials said, apart from the authorized ISPs, huge number of unauthorized ISPs based on the small areas in capital and other parts of the country are offering internet services by collecting bandwidth from the license holders. But, miscreants carry out different cyber crimes using the internet line from the unauthorized ISPs as well as cyber cafes.

On the other hand, they are also deceiving the end users financially as well as by providing slow connection through shared line. 

Currently, the internet gateways are paying Taka 625 instead of Taka 1,068 for 1 mbps bandwidth for 10 gbps slab.

Officials informed the Awami League led government after assuming power in January 2009 had trimmed the bandwidth price to Taka 18,000 from Taka 27,000. Later, it again re-fixed Taka 10,000 for Per Mbps bandwidth from Taka 18,000. It was Taka 127,000 until 2006, before the caretaker government brought it down further, they added. 

Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) General Secretary Emdadul Hoque welcomed the move of database formulation, but he is skepticism that "whether the database is leakage to rival business entities or miscreants".

About the deprivation of the end users, he said the end users are not getting the actual benefit of the reduced price of bandwidth due to the high transmission charge imposed by the Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) companies. 

"High charge of NTTN companies is being forced on the ISPs to collect extra money from the end users," said Hoque, adding "the small ISPs would disappear in future due to the impractical business of NTTN." 

The ISPAB general secretary urged the government to issue more NTTN licenses to break the monopoly.

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