Govt plans internet gateway

Govt plans internet gateway

Dhaka, Jan 22: If an e-mail thrown from a student of Dhaka University to a student of Jahangirnagar University the mail would round the world first and than to its destination. The mail would go to the host Internet service providers (ISP) server to America via Singapore through one or more submarine cable/s. As the distance is a huge and a lot of hubs have been used in the route the time and money, both also be added accordingly. And of course as the submarine cable is being used in the route the payment would be in foreign exchange. On the other hand if the ISPs, DU and JU end, were linked than the mail would reach the pathway within a fraction of a second, the mail would not traveled all over the world.

The second solution is going to be implemented in Bangladesh ’s telecommunication sector. All the ISPs would be linked by a national internet exchange (NIX).

India builds its NIX system in 2003 having seven operational nodes in the country. The NIX is a non-profit organization and charge is given by the ISPs.

Recently Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has taken initiative to build NIXs in the country to connect the ISPs. The draft guidelines have been submitted to the ministry of post and telecommunication (MoPT) as the ministry is the final authority to provide licences to any telecommunication entity according to the telecommunication ACT 2010. After considering the feed back of the concern stakeholders the guidelines would be finalized.

Recently in a press conference BTRC chairman Maj. Gen (retd.) Zia Ahmed said that the draft guidelines of NIX have been send to the ministry.

According to the draft guidelines, the objectives of establishing NIX are to route domestic Internet traffic. It will facilitate local content development, encourage local web hosting and reduce latency in domestic traffic and thereby saving international bandwidth and foreign currency.

These Guidelines are intended to provide an overview of the regulatory framework to develop, build, own, maintain and operate NIX in Bangladesh . No person or business entity shall be allowed to develop, build, own, operate and maintain NIX without licence, says the draft. The number of license shall not be limited. The Government may decide to award more  NIX licenses considering the need of telecom sector at any time, according to the draft.

The draft permits International Internet Gateway (IIG) licensees should provide NIX services as per their licensing conditions. The Terms of Reference of these Guidelines is also applicable to IIG Licensees for providing NIX services. But the ISP people oppose the BTRC’s stand. According to the ISP people the international gateway is responsible for overseas data termination, not for domestic data termination.

The former general secretary of ISP Association Sumon Ahmed Sabir said to The Independent, the main ISPs of the country is already connected through their own initiative.


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