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Internet, cable TV services to be halted across country for 3hrs from Oct 18

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17th-Oct-2020       
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Staff Reporter :
Internet service providers and cable operators will shut down their services partially from Sunday across the country after a move by Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) to remove hanging cables.
"If our demands are not fulfilled and DSCC doesn't stop removing hanging cables by tomorrow, all internet connectivity and cable television services will be shut for three hours -- from 10:00am to 1:00pm -- every day from October 18," MA Hakim, president of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) told media on Friday.
"So far we have not had any discussions with the DSCC. The matter has not been resolved yet," said Hakim.
Only telephone connections of hospitals will not be disconnected, he added.
On October 12, Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB), at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka, gave an ultimatum to resolve the issue by tomorrow (October 17).
Hakim said: "We welcome DSCC's decision to remove the overhead cables to enhance city beautification. But scores of internet and TV subscribers will be deprived of the services, as well as millions of students will be deprived of their online classes amid the Covid-19 pandemic for this decision without taking alternative measures. Besides, online health services including hospitals and clinics will also be disrupted in those areas."
He said DSCC's recent drive to remove illegal overhead cable connections without setting up the underground cable management system had forced them to incur an estimated loss of Tk20 crore in August and September.
"Due to the abrupt disconnection, more than 100,000 employees and journalists working in 33 satellite TVs, from at least 1,000 legitimate internet service providers (ISPs) and COAB members would lose their livelihoods," Hakim feared.
An annual registration fee of Tk25 lakh has been fixed for each ISP without setting up the underground cable management system, which is outright illogical. As a result, genuine ISPs will incur huge losses, he warned.
Earlier, the operators placed 5-point demands, including not to remove overhead cables until a credible solution is found, and also to fix the prices of cable TV and internet services from the relevant ministry.

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