April 29, 2019 10:23:52 pm
The IT city Bengaluru may face call drops and disruption in internet services in coming days as the city’s civic body Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) will cut the telecom cables laid over the ground for non-payment of fee and failure to follow the existing norms.
The move by the BBMP has got internet service providers (ISPs) up in arms and has attracted criticism by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI). The association said that BBMP is treating all over-the-ground cables as unauthorised, though the industry had obtained all necessary permissions and had originally laid them underground.
According to COAI, the BBMP has resorted to large scale cutting of Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) of telecom and internet service providers. The OFC cutting drive is being conducted in areas like Sarjapur Road, Whitefield, Marathahalli, Bellandur, and Sarjapur in East Bengaluru, without any prior intimation of the telecom and internet service providers.
“The move by BBMP is leading to huge outages and inconvenience to the citizens in densely populated areas across the city. Such coercive actions will have a huge impact on the connectivity for a state like Karnataka which is popularly known as the IT capital of India and needs uninterrupted and seamless telecom services,” COAI said in the statement.
Over 1,47,200 Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) on approximately 34,700 towers have been installed in Karnataka to support telephone, mobile and internet communications.
Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI said, “We are deeply disappointed with the unwarranted action by the BBMP to remove the OFC cables, which has led to network outages and caused inconvenience to customers, many of whom are without connectivity. We would once again like to highlight that all our members are fully compliant with the rules and regulations of the concerned authorities. While the industry has been trying to discuss and resolve the issue, BBMP has chosen to remove this key last mile connectivity infrastructure rather than work with telecom companies to find an amicable solution.”
“We appeal to the Government of Karnataka and to the BBMP to immediately allow the restoration of the infrastructure and develop a future-ready framework to enable deliver digital connectivity to citizens of the city,” he added.
Meanwhile, the civic body claimed that they are removing only unauthorised OFC cables as part of their routine drive. A BBMP official told indianexpress.com, “There are unauthorised OFC cables that are creating problem to the pedestrians in the city. Due to the unauthorised cables, the BBMP is also into financial losses.”
According to the sources in the BBMP, a meeting is scheduled between BBMP and telecom operators Tuesday to discuss and resolve the matter.
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