Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission

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The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ টেলিযোগাযোগ নিয়ন্ত্রণ কমিশন) is an independent commission founded under the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act, 2001 (Act # 18 of 2001). The BTRC is responsible for regulating all matters related to telecommunications (wire, cellular, satellite and cable) of Bangladesh.

The BTRC started operating from 31 January 2002 with a vision of facilitating affordable telecommunication services and increasing the teledensity to at least 10 telephones per 100 inhabitants by 2010.

Gag orders on Bloggers March 2013[edit]

In March 2013, BTRC was criticised by the Human Rights Watch[1] and other groups for banning a number of "atheist blogger" websites.[2] Blogs banned by the BTRC included the award-winning popular blog[3] by Asif Mohiuddin, who had been attacked by machete wielding group in January.[4]

Mohiuddin was arressted the following month,[5] along with three other bloggers .[6]

Earlier Controversies[edit]

Numerous controversies were associated with BTRC in the country, including auctioning only one International Internet Gateway License to private operator where the winner was private company Mango Teleservices, but the regulator required the still-state-owned operator BTCL to offer 60% discount on international bandwidth to Mango Teleservices which was not revealed as a license condition during the tendering process. Essentially, Mango Teleservices is awarded a license for a risk-free business.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bangladesh: Crackdown on Bloggers, Editors Escalates". Human Rights Watch. 15 April 2013. 
  2. ^ Arafatul Islam (25 March 2013). "Bangladesh gags award-winning blogger". Deutsche-Welle. 
  3. ^ Asif Mohiuddin. "God, Almighty only in name but impotent in reality (transl)". somewhereinblog.net.  present blog page reads: "blog has been withdrawn or cancelled for violating terms and conditions" (transl.)
  4. ^ Staff correspondent (2 April 2013). "4 held over attempt to kill blogger". The Daily Star. 
  5. ^ "Blogger Asif Mohiuddin arrested over "blasphemous" blog posts". Reporters Without Borders. 3 April 2013.  quote: "We call for Mohiuddin’s immediate and unconditional release," Reporters Without Borders said.
  6. ^ Emran Hossain (4 March 2013). "Bangladesh Arrests 'Atheist Bloggers,' Cracking Down on Critics". The Huffington Post. 

External links[edit]