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POLITICAL UNREST

Telcos seek security from govt for infrastructure

Ahmed Shawki

A file photo shows mobile phone signal towers are set up on the rooftop of a building in Dhaka. The telecom operators have sought security of countywide network infrastructure from the government to continue their operation safely amid the ongoing political violence across the country. — New Age photo A file photo shows mobile phone signal towers are set up on the rooftop of a building in Dhaka. The telecom operators have sought security of countywide network infrastructure from the government to continue their operation safely amid the ongoing political violence across the country. — New Age photo

The telecom operators have sought security of countywide network infrastructure from the government to continue their operation safely amid the ongoing political violence across the country.
The Association of Mobile Telephone Operators of Bangladesh in a letter on December 15 to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission expressed fear that their countrywide network equipment and manpower might be affected by the political unrest if the government does not ensure security.
In the letter addressed to the BTRC chairman Sunil Kanti Bose, the AMTOB said if one operator gets affected by any such incident that will affect the entire industry due to excessive inter-operator calls.
If the telecom network crashes then it will possibly lead to a national security crisis, it said.
The government should ensure the security of the base stations and switch rooms through the law enforcement agencies for safety of the communication infrastructure, it added.
The AMTOB letter came following repeated blockades enforced by the opposition political alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party, said BTRC officials. 
The past three weeks’ blockades and general strikes caused serious damage to road communication across the country, they pointed out.
‘Mobile phone is the only means of communication in many districts and there is possibility that the base station could be a target of the miscreants,’ said a BTRC official.
He said many government offices were also attacked by the opposition party activists in last few weeks which intensified the fear.
‘We already discussed the issue with the ministry of home affairs and they will take necessary action in this regard,’ he said.
Asked about the issue, AMTOB secretary general TIM Nurul Kabir told New Age that the mobile network already faced some trouble in some districts.
‘In Meherpur and Bogra, we already experienced such problems and that’s why we seek immediate action from the government to ensure the security,’ he said on Tuesday. 




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