New rules on cards to fine telcos for noncompliance | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 20, 2018

New rules on cards to fine telcos for noncompliance

The BTRC is finalising a new set of regulations under which the telecom and internet service providers will have to pay the penalty for non-compliance with the service standards set by the regulator.

In the regulation, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has declared a minimum 7Mbps internet speed for fourth generation (4G) data service as the standard.

The maximum rate for call drop has been set at 2 percent while the call setup success rate should remain above 97 percent, according to the new parameter.

Maintaining 160 kilobyte per second for 2G service and 2Mbps for 3G service will be a must for the operators and uploading speed should reach 40Kbps for 2G and 128Kbps for 3G services. It also mentioned that the broadband internet services would have to maintain on average minimum 5Mbps download and 1Mbps upload speed.

Besides, the broadband service providers will have to maintain on average less than 7 second download time for a web page, the regulation reads.

Every service provider has to meet the quality of service standard for its entire service area in respect of each parameter specified in the quality of service regulations.

The telecom watchdog finalised the regulations—subject to government approval—in a meeting held in Dhaka last week chaired by BTRC Chairman Shahjahan Mahmood.

This is for the first time such a tough regulation has been set whereas it was a common practice earlier to seek clarification and give warnings to the operators in case of non-compliance, senior officials of the telecom regulator said.

“Our objective is not to fine the operators rather we want to improve the service quality through these punitive measures.”

In the meeting, BTRC's system and service division had proposed Tk 50,000 for each item of non-compliance and a double fine for repetitions.

“We did not mention any amount of penalty in the regulation. BTRC's surveillance team will impose the fine under Section 65 of the telecom act,” Mahmood said.

As of February, the country had 14.78 crore active mobile connections and about 8.08 crore internet connections, according to the BTRC. Even Telecom Minister Mustafa Jabbar admitted that the service quality of the telecom operators, especially mobile operators, is very poor now.

Currently, there are about 500 service providers such as mobile phone, internet service, Wi-Max and landphone operators. The new regulation will be imposed on all of them, although the parameters are different. The BTRC took opinion from the industry insiders by organising public hearings before finalising the new regulations.

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