Sunil Kanti Bose, chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), had a meeting with the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) to discuss the issue. No one from the meeting, however, was available to comment on it.
“Despite electing a company for the work, the NTMC is not being able to give work order as there is no fund available to cover these costs,” an official told the Dhaka Tribune.
None from the International Gateway, Interconnection Exchange, and International Internet Gateway (IIG) agreed to give financial support, he added.
Earlier, the NTMC demanded Tk497.6m from 91 gateway licensees. In response none but Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Ltd, a company owned by the government that has all three categories of licences, gave some amount of the money demanded.
Meeting sources added the equipment for the proposed surveillance infrastructure is taxed at 27%, adding that the BTRC chairman promised to request the government to reduce tax, thus the total cost.
“We have taken the licence for only Tk500,000 and we have to pay Tk1.4m for its monitoring,” an owner of an IIG said. Questioning the logic behind this demand from the NTMC, he said: “Is it a fair deal?”
Meanwhile, the BTRC has also planned to establish a separate network to monitor the social media, and has already started work on preparing the Expression of Interest.
“Within three months the BTRC will be able to monitor the social media, including Facebook and YouTube, as we are getting the facilities,” Sunil Kanti Bose told the Dhaka Tribune.