Internet service providers and cable operators yesterday threatened to shut down internet connectivity and cable televisions for three hours every day from October 18 if Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) did not stop removing hanging cables.
They also demanded fixing of the "last mile cable" issue permanently.
"If the problem is not solved by October 17, we will have a symbolic programme to shut down internet data connectivity and cable TV connections for homes, offices and banks across the country for three hours -- 10:00am to 1:00pm -- every day from October 18," Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) told a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club.
They also demanded installation of "last mile cable" following the on-the-spot approval by a committee consisting representatives of the ISPAB, the COAB, Bangladesh, Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) and city corporations. They said the Dhaka South City Corporation started removing hanging cables from all roads, including main roads, from August to enhance the beauty of the city without serving any prior notice to internet service providers and cable TV operators. In the last two months, ISPAB and COAB members have faced an estimated loss of Tk 20 crore for the removal of the cables, they added.
ISPAB and COAB leaders also said they applauded the decision of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to remove the hanging cable to enhance the beauty. However, it is not a logical solution to remove the hanging cable worth crores of taka without prior notice.
And for removing the cables, lakhs of internet and cable TV subscribers will be deprived of internet and cable TV services. The subscribers include students who have online classes, they added.
Online health services, including services delivered by hospitals and clinics, are also being disrupted during the pandemic.
Their other demands are: fixing the prices of internet and cable TV services by the ministry concerned at every level, including for homes, offices, and banks; setting the prices of NTTN by the government to provide low cost internet and cable TV services; and measure to ensure that NTTNs have the capability for uninterrupted service delivery to customers.
They also sought the prime minister's intervention for resolving the issue.