BTRC tangles with JS body
The telecom regulator yesterday differed with a parliamentary body on the formation of a committee that will evaluate applications for international gateway licences.
The disagreement arose over the inclusion of experts in the committee as per recommendations of the parliamentary standing committee on the telecommunications ministry.
Following an advertisement, 153 new entities recently submitted applications seeking licences for international gateway, interconnection exchange and international internet gateway. The licensees will be responsible for termination of international and local calls and data.
On December 22 last year, the parliamentary committee recommended that Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) include two experts from the telecom ministry and Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in the evaluation committee.
But the BTRC started the evaluation without engaging any such experts on December 25.
When the parliamentary body yesterday asked why the regulator did not pay heed to its recommendation, BTRC Chairman Zia Ahmed said the regulator had its own experts and there was no need to get experts from outside.
Hasanul Haque Inu, chairman of the standing committee, presided over the meeting.
"The parliamentary committee should not recommend anything that the law does not support. The telecommunications law permits BTRC to evaluate the bidding offers on its own," Ahmed told The Daily Star.
He said BTRC has the jurisdiction to form the evaluation committee. It has more than 800 licensees that were evaluated by the commission with its own capacity.
He also observed that the parliamentary committee should not get involved in BTRC's day-to-day work.