Bangladesh bans free internet for social media to stop ‘unhealthy’ competition

The BTRC has ordered the mobile phone operators and other telecom service providers to end totally or partially free internet data for social media use.

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 17 July 2020, 06:15 PM
Updated : 17 July 2020, 06:15 PM

The operators have begun implementing the order issued by the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission that cited ‘unhealthy’ competition between the companies as a reason behind the decision.

The BTRC also said in letters dated Jul 14 to the companies that “some dishonest people” were carrying out “unnecessary” criminal activities on social media by using the free services.

The information ministry had dictated the BTRC to ban free internet for social media in order to ensure safe internet and maintain normal market competition, said Zakir Hossain Khan, a spokesman for the commission.

The four mobile phone operators of Bangladesh offer the free or cheap services through different packages.

Shahed Alam, chief corporate and regulatory officer at Robi, told bdnews24.com on Friday that they began implementing the order immediately after they received it.

The number of internet users in Bangladesh in May was over 102.1 million, including more than 94 million who used internet on mobile devices, according to the regulator.

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