- Users will pay
- 50% bill if Internet is down for 1 Day
- 25% bill if the service is down for 2 days
- No bill if Internet is down for 3 days
- Violation of the BTRC directive will result in license cancelation, financial penalty
- Internet Service Providers said before implementing the directive, the BTRC should ensure bandwidth lines are not frequently damaged by other utility providers
Broadband Internet users will not have to pay any bill in a month if their Internet connection remains down for three days at a stretch, said the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).
In an attempt to ensure quality of service, the BTRC sent a directive in this regard to all Internet service providers (ISPs), International Internet Gateway (IIG) operators and Nationwide Telecommunication Transmission Network (NTTN) service providers on Tuesday.
The directive said a user will pay only 50% of their monthly Internet bill if the service goes down for a whole day.
If the Internet outage continues for two consecutive days, users will pay 25% of the bill, says the directive.
Previously, 50% and 25% bills would have been waived for a continuous Internet outage for seven days and 14 days respectively, said a source at the BTRC.
Subrata Roy Maitra, vice-chairman of BTRC, told The Business Standard they have taken this measure to ensure quality service and a fair price.
Talking about the enforcement of the new decision, Subrata Roy Maitra said, "Apart from the Internet service providers, we have also informed the decision to the local administration. Necessary action will be taken if any operator violates the directive."
As part of the action, the BTRC will fine the operators and cancel their licences.
Meanwhile, the Internet Service Providers' Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) said before implementing the measure, the BTRC should consider the reality.
ISPAB Secretary General Md Emdadul Hoque told TBS, "Before implementing the mentioned decision, the authority should ensure that our bandwidth cable is not damaged and cut off by the city corporations, Water Development Board and other utility providers."
"Local musclemen are also a big reason behind interrupted Internet service as sometimes they cut our cables," said Md Emdadul Hoque.
The latest directive came a month after a uniform countrywide rate became effective.
The unified rate guarantees 5 Mbps (megabytes per second) speed at maximum Tk500, 10 Mbps speed at maximum Tk800 and 20 Mbps speed at maximum Tk1,200.
The new rate will remain in place for five years. However, the BTRC can change the rate any time if necessary.
At present, there are one crore broadband Internet and 11.5 crore mobile Internet users in Bangladesh, according to the BTRC.