The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has reached an agreement with internet service providers and cable operators to replace all the overhead cables with underground connections by November this year, said DSCC Mayor Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh.
He made the statement after a meeting with the leaders of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) and Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) at the Nagar Bhaban on Sunday.
The DSCC mayor said, "We want to free the Dhaka city of the trashy web of wires. That is why we held the meeting, where we agreed unanimously to transform our beloved Dhaka into a beautiful Dhaka."
The mayor further said the ISPAB and the COAB will start the work to transfer the overhead cables to underground from Monday at Dhanmondi on their own initiative and finish the operation in the whole DSCC area by November.
The DSCC will assist the internet service providers in every way to carry out the task and allow them to use the streets, footpaths, drains and other infrastructure in response to their appeals when they need to use those.
On 12 October, the ISPAB announced a countrywide shutdown of the Internet, data connectivity and associated services from October 18, from 10am to 1pm daily, to press home their demands, including the withdrawal of the decision of removing overhead cables.
The service providers – ISPAB and Cable Operators Association of Bangladesh (COAB) – claimed that the Dhaka South City Corporation started removing overhead cables from all roads in
August to beautify the city without serving any prior notice to internet service providers and
In the last two months, ISPAB and COAB members have faced an estimated loss of Tk20 crore due to the removal of cables, the organisations claimed.
Following a meeting with the Posts and Telecommunication Minister Mustafa Jabbar and State minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak on 17 October, The ISPAB and the COAB postponed their countrywide three-hour daily strike.
After Sunday's meeting, the DSCC mayor said they city corporation will not remove any more wires as the internet service providers have made a commitment to remove them by November.
However, according to the Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network's (NTTN) guideline, the ISPAB and COAB cannot set up a transmission system on their own.
When asked if the work will be coordinated with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the DSCC mayor said, "As he (posts and telecommunications minister) assured us and as the minister talked with them (ISPAB and COAB) yesterday, and twice with me today, so he would take initiatives regarding the issue."
The ISPAB President MA Hakim said, "We would start the work to remove overhead wires from today (Sunday) and hopefully we will finish it by November."
Currently, around 85 lakh out of 10.80 crore internet subscribers in the country use broadband internet connections.