BTRC to start issuing NIX license from next month

The telecom regulator is going to issue National Internet Exchange (NIX) license from next month to reduce interruption in domestic internet traffic and save bandwidth.

"The regulator -- Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC)-- made the move as the telecom ministry has approved the draft guideline of National Internet Exchange (NIX), officials said today.

"The Commission has decided to start issuing NIX license process from next month to ease the country's domestic Internet traffic," chairman of the telecom regulatory body Major General (retd) Zia Ahmed told BSS today.

Ahmed said the commission will publish advertisement within 2-3 days in media seeking Express of Interest (EOI) for NIX license. But, he did not mention that how many licenses will be issued.

It will facilitate local content development, encourage local web hosting and reduce latency in domestic traffic and thereby saving international bandwidth and foreign currency, he said.

The BTRC chairman said the existing entities providing NIX services shall have to obtain license, and simultaneously each of them will have to be certified by at least 10 licensed ISPs that they have peering connectivity with the applicant.

"No person or business entity shall be allowed to develop, build, own, operate and maintain NIX without license," he added

The BTRC made the draft guideline in January and later it was submitted to the telecom ministry for approval.

The NIX license acquisition fee is fixed Taka 10,000 and annual license fee will be Taka 5000. The duration of the license will be for 15 years.

According to the guideline, each license holder will have to design network at least one area among the district of Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Rajshahi, Barisal Gopalganj, Mymensingh, Comilla, Rangpur and Bogra by six months of issuance license.

Connectivity charge for the internet service providers to be connected with NIX platform shall be as per Service Level Agreement (SLA) with the prior approval of commission and the commission may set interconnection charge for inter-IPTSP voice call, the guideline read.

At present, two organizations-state owned telecom company BTCL and Mango Telecom are selling bandwidth to the internet service providers.

Bangladesh consumes 24 gigabytes of bandwidth as per the IIG (international internet gateway) operators and almost 40 million people are connecting with internet service.

News Source: