12:00 AM, December 28, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:29 AM, December 28, 2018

Mobile internet speed slashed indefinitely

The telecom regulatory commission has slowed mobile internet by shutting down 3G and 4G services yesterday night.

As per the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) order issued around 10:00pm yesterday, people using the internet on their phones would not be able to stream or upload pictures or videos.

Use of communication apps would also be nearly impossible with the low-speed mobile internet.

Some users have already started complaining about the internet speed since 10:30pm.

As of November, over 6 crore people are currently using the 3G and 4G mobile internet.

Only 2G internet would be available now, according to an e-mail sent to mobile operators by the BTRC's engineering and operations department.

The decision must be in effecti until further notice, it said.

Contacted, BTRC Chairman Jahurul Haque refused to comment on this.

Requesting anonymity, a commissioner said the order followed a request from the higher authorities.

Officials said the situation may continue until December 31.

The BTRC, however, hasn't said anything about broadband services.

According to BTRC data, there were 57.35 lakh broadband connections in November.

On Wednesday, the BTRC in a meeting with the International Internet Gateway representatives said social media sites, especially Facebook, would be blocked if needed.

EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed Earlier told reporters two weeks ago that they would consider completely blocking mobile internet during the polls.

BTRC engineers also visited the mobile operators' offices and examined how long it would take to block the services.

On Monday, the EC asked the BTRC to prepare to block 3G and 4G services and social media sites for three days, including December 30.

The BTRC had also formed a team to stay at its office round the clock and act if any unlawful online activity is detected, officials said.

During the demonstrations for safe roads in August, the BTRC slowed down internet speed for almost 24 hours.

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