In the wake of widespread criticism, the government has apparently backtracked from its decision to limit internet upload bandwidth to check illegal use of voice over internet protocol (VoIP).
But, the top brass of the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) had very little idea about the decision.
The country’s telecom regulatory BTRC on Thursday asked the International Internet Gateway (IIG) operators to reduce upload bandwidth of the Bangladeshi Internet Service Providers (ISPs) by 75 to prevent illegal VoIP.
The IIGs made the decision effective from Friday morning and the internet users in the country experienced slow upload bandwidth the whole day Friday and Saturday. Download speed was unharmed.
Some of the top brass of the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission (BTRC) have claimed that they had no idea that the slow uploading continued for two days.
“There was a miscommunication. I knew the VoIP team of BTRC was going to limit upload bandwidth for two hours only on May 16. But unfortunately it continued for two days,” BTRC Chairman Sunil Kanti Bose told the Dhaka Tribune.
Informing that BTRC had limited the upload bandwidth several times before for short periods to monitor the volume of illegal internet calls, he admitted that his people had made a mistake.
“The letter that the Engineering and Operations Division (E&O) sent to all the IIGs was not the correct one. But I knew nothing about it on Friday; not even on Saturday,” Bose said.
Even the Commissioner in-charge of the E&O Division of BTRC seemed to have very little idea.
“I had no idea. As far I know, the decision [to limit upload bandwidth] was not taken in a meeting,” ATM Monirul Alam, the commissioner of the E&O division, told the Dhaka Tribune Sunday evening.
Dhaka Tribune also learnt that Colonel Md Zakir Hossain, director general of the E&O division, was out of the country on Thursday.
Officials from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said they were also taken aback by the decision to limit upload bandwidth.
“It was a blunder! We just requested them to backtrack from it,” said an official of the A2I project of the PMO, seeking anonymity.
The PMO houses several important government wings including the National Security Intelligence (NSI) and the Access to Information (A2I) projects and hence requires high end bandwidth facilities.
BTRC Chief Sunil Kanti Bose said the tension was over now and he had already started looking into the root of the communication gap.
Sources said BTRC officials, including the top brass, spent a very busy day yesterday regarding the issue.
The BTRC chief met several stakeholders and leaders of the sector including Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB) President Akhtaruzzaman Manju.
Many journalists also spent a lot of time at the country’s telecom regulator’s office on Sunday.
Sunil Kanto Bose said he would hold another meeting this afternoon with ISPAB to follow up on the issue. “We want to know how the ISP’s can help us regarding illegal termination,” Bose added.