City dwellers to get an overhead cable-free Dhaka
Published: 09:28 PM, 19 October 2020 Updated: 09:36 PM, 19 October 2020
Internet and television cables hanging from poles on the roads of Dhaka are being removed this time. By November, all overhead cables will go underground. As a result, the city dwellers will get an overhead cable-free new Dhaka from December.
Dhaka South City Corporation’s (DSCC) is determined in their decision to cut these overhead cables. DSCC Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said all the internet and television cables hanging from poles have been replaced to underground by November.
This information was given by DSCC Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh after a meeting with the leaders of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) at Nagar Bhaban on Sunday.
Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said, “We want to make Dhaka city free from these overhead cables. Regarding the issue, we have discussed today where we all agreed to implement it.”
From Monday, ISPAB and COAB will start working on their own initiative to bring these hangings cables to underground. Dhaka South City Corporation will extend all possible cooperation to them in this work. They will be given the opportunity to use the roads, footpaths and even the infrastructure of Dhaka South City Corporation if required, free of cost, Taposh added.
Reiterating his hope to free the entire Southern part of the city from overhead cables by November, Mayor Taposh said underground cable management will be applied by using their own technology, and cut off the hanging wires immediately. And they have promised us that they will finish it by next November. That’s why we’re not going to conduct the drive today.
MA Hakim, President of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) said, “We will take steps to apply the underground cable management and cut off the hanging wires immediately. I hope we can do it by November.”
Therefore, when asked whether extra money will be charged from the customers, he said, the customer’s fee will not be increased. We will be able to keep the connection at the previous cost.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) took the initiative in 2008 to remove the hanging wires to enhance the beauty of the capital’s roads. The electricity department later joined the commission to implement the process. These two organizations have been trying for 12 years to remove the overhead cables in the capital. The BTRC and the electricity department have held meetings with the concerned organizations.
Internet service providers (ISPs) and cable operators have been repeatedly given ultimatums. The hanging wire has been cut by forming committees and conducting raids from time to time. But the roads did not take more than 2-4 hours to get back to their previous shape.
The electricity department had set a deadline of May 30 for the removal of all the internet and television cable wires in the capital. If they didn’t do that within that time, the electricity department has decided to disconnect the power supply of the concerned ISP and cable operator.
The electricity department did not take any initiative even after the time limit had passed, but DSCC took such initiatives from August 5. The DSCC started removing overhead cables without any ultimatum.
Therefore, at a news conference on Monday, the leaders of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) demanded to stop the removal of the overhead cables by DSCC; otherwise, the Internet service providers and cable operators will shut down their services across the country for three hours from Sunday.
Post and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar and State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Zunaid Ahmed Palak met in a virtual meeting with ISPAB and COAB leaders on Saturday. They called on the two organizations to withdraw the strike and promised an acceptable solution. The next day, Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh held a meeting with the concerned people at Nagar Bhaban on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the City Corporation has allowed internet service providers to follow the underground cable management system, but there have been complications with the guidelines. According to the licensing guidelines of the Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN), no one other than the NTTN operator can build, repair or maintain any transmission network.
Abbas Farooq, head of public relations and regulatory affairs of NTTN said, “We have not officially received the letter yet. However, we expect that the work will be done according to the guidelines.”
If we receive a formal letter, we will request the BTRC to do everything as per the guidelines, Abbas added.
According to the NTTN guidelines, ISPAB and COAB cannot create transmission management on their own initiative.
Regarding the matter, DSCC Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh said, “As the Minister has assured us, ISPAB and COAB leaders have spoken to the Minister and I have had two rounds of talks with the Minister on Sunday. The minister will take the initiative.”