ISPAB Press Conference on Overhead Cable Removal Issue

Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) have organized a Press Conference on 18 August, 2015 in a Hotel of Dhaka City regarding the Injudicious Decision by DPDC and DESCO of removing overhead cable of Motijheel-Dilkusha Commercial Area.

The Leaders of ISPAB expressed their apprehension that the country’s internet-banking and other important IT-related activities will get halted if the hanging wires are removed from electric poles in the capital by August 21. ISPAB President MA Hakim said that Dhaka Power Distribution Company (DPDC) and Dhaka Electric Supply Company (DESCO) have recently asked them to remove hanging wires from Motijheel-Dilkusha areas as well as main thoroughfares and connecting roads in Dhaka by the time.

The ISPAB president said everyone know that Motijheel and Dilkusha areas are the major commercial hubs of Bangladesh. All the commercial activities of the country are operated and controlled from here. Bangladesh Bank, head offices of different state-owned and private commercial banks, insurance companies and other major companies are situated here. Besides, all overseas commercial operations are conducted from here.

He said they want to protest against the DPDC and DESCO’s undesirable decision which may seriously disrupt internet-operated banking and other activities. “You are well aware of the fact that the government has given Nationwide Telecommunications Transmission Licenses (NTTN) to two organizations only — Summit Communication Ltd and Fibre@Home Ltd. But they are not fully prepared to provide us technical solutions.”

Hakim said the ISPs have developed their networks in their own ways. They have installed hundreds of kilometers of cables on the poles, investing hundreds of crores of taka.”Last mile overhead cables are essential due to the existing LDP points of NTTN operators. In order to avoid the problem of overhead cables, the number of LDP points need to be increased, which is the responsibility of NTTN operators,” he added.

A Video Documentary was shown in the Press Conference regarding the actual situation of overhead cable in Dhaka City. It was shown the problem is not actually created by the ISPs. Here is the video:

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The ISPAB president said, the Ministry of Power and the DPDC unfortunately always try to put the responsibility on the shoulders of ISP operators instead of NTTN operators. “We intend to enter the underground networks for ensuring the aesthetic beauty of the city and security of internet connectivity. In this regard, a technical committee has been formed with a deputy secretary of the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources as its head,” he said.

He said the committee has been working for removal of overhead cables over the last two years after monitoring and analyzing the technical problems. Meanwhile, he said, the overhead cables on important roads in the Dhaka city have already been removed and shifted to the underground network system.”We could not understand how the DESCO and DPDC asked for removal of overhead cables at the sensitive commercial areas like Motijheel and Dilkusha without prior consultation with the committee formed by the Ministry of Power,”

Hakim said “We have been removing overhead cables from all important roads through prior consultation with the technical committee. Two existing organizations have so far failed to provide us technical solution for Motijheel area. As a result, we have been compelled to install overhead cables here,” he said.

He said the country’s economy will suffer if the internet connection remains severed, even for one minute, in this age of information technology. In Motijheel area, Summit Communication Ltd has eight LDP and Fibre@Home Ltd has eight LDP, from where connection is provided to each building. Overhead cables are essential for the buildings where LDP does not exist. So, overhead cables will continue to exist unless the number of LDP is increased.If the DPDC and DESCO want to go ahead with their overhead cable removal drive by that date, they will have to bear all the consequences if any major disaster takes place in internet services, he said, adding the ISPAB members will have no alternative but to take tougher steps.The sectors like banks, capital market, garment industries, educational institutions, government and non-government organizations, software industries, e-mail, social networking and e-ticketing will face adverse impact if the decision is implemented.

ISPAB Vice-President FM Rashed Amin Biddut, General Secretary Emdadul Huq, Joint Secretary Kamal Hossain, Treasurer Subrata Sarkar Shuvro, Ditector Nackshab Omar Rabbani Uthant and Gazi Zehadul Kabir were present on the occasion.