Toll-free national help desk '999' gets live
06:46 PM, November 10, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:28 PM, November 10, 2016

Toll-free national help desk '999' gets live

The ICT division of Bangladesh today declared it has started a toll-free national help desk number of '999' on a trial basis.

The country people can get emergency police and ambulance services through the national help desk, the release reads.

Initially, the service will be open from 7:00am to 10:00pm and will offer the service round the clock from next week, reads a press release of the ICT division.

This service will run on a trial basis in the next six months and then the government will launch its full-fledged operation of the service.

ICT division launched the service during the Digital World 2016, which was held last month.

These services were introduced in England in 1937 and in the USA in 1968. But in Bangladesh, it took so much time to launch this kind of service, said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for ICT.

The project costs Tk 60.50 crore under a programme of the ICT division.

ICT-related non-government organisation, DNet is operating the help desk and has already appointed two internet protocol telephony service providers (IPTSP) -- Agni Systems and Amber IT -- to handle the call volumes.

Both the IPTSP operators have the capacity to handle 120 calls at a time, said a senior official of the Amber IT.

At present, dialing 100 would connect to Bangladesh Police, 101 to Rapid Action Battalion, 102 to fire services, 103 to ambulance service and 104 to the Access to Information Programme under the Prime Minister's Office.

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