DHAKA: Digital entrepreneurs urged telecom regulator to ‘ensure’ net neutrality as internet service providers make anarchy in the sector preferring specialized services, tech experts alleged at a seminar on Thursday.
Net neutrality is the principle that governments should mandate Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet the same and not discriminate or charge differently by user and content.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) organized a roundtable styled “Net Neutrality” on sideline of SoftExpo-2018 at Bangabandhu International Conference Center in the capital on Thursday.
Privately run North South University’s Prof M. Rokonuzzaman presented keynote paper while BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir, former Presidents Habibullah N Karim and Fahim Mashroor, Director Mostafizur Rahaman Sohel, Digital Commerce’s standing committee chairperson Syeda Kamrun Ahmed and SSL Wireless Chief Operating Officer Ashish Chakraborty were, among others, present on the occasion.
Trade bodies leaders also alleged Unethical practices of internet service providers (ISP)s make a anarchy in digital businesses suffering thousands of new entrepreneurs.
Citing telecom regulator data, Prof Rokonuzzaman mentioned that mobile phone operators have been practicing different mode of business bypassing voice and data service as majority of internet users (around 75 per cent) are connected with the firms.
“The out-of-box practices by the telecom operators and other ISPs make anarchy by preferring special service which is a direct violation of net neutrality. At the same time the new entrepreneurs can’t expand their business with innovations for lack of neutrality over internet,” Prof Rokon said.
BASIS former President Habibullah N Karim criticized the telecom operators which design specialized internet packages for special services violating net neutrality.
Bagdoom Chief Executive Officer Syeda Kamrun Ahmed expressed her concern over the telecom operators’ footsteps in digital business, saying that is curse for all local entrepreneurs who have been struggling for developing the sector for last several years.
ICT Division’s Joint Secretary Khairul Amin proposed the entrepreneurs to knock the government placing whitepapers from all trade bodies of the industry to pressurize the regulator to ‘ensure’ net neutrality.
BASIS former President Fahim Mashroor alleged that telecom regulator BTRC is playing role for protecting internet vendors rather than the end users as they get provident from those firms.
CTO Forum President Tapan Kanti Sarkar emphasized on the collaboration of all forums of the tech industry and move to create pressure on telecom regulator for net neutrality.
Bangladesh Computer Council’s former Executive Director SM Ashraful Islam said “The net neutrality conflicts with internet governance. It’s difficult for government to introduce a collaboration of those two things for betterment of users,”
Software firm Shurjomukhi's founder Fida Haq criticized BTRC for their ‘controversial’ role for doing business rather those telecom regulatory aspects.
E-Cab Director Mohammad Abdul Haque said the internet users are depraving neutral connectivity for aggressive role of some international organizations.
BASIS Director Mostafizur Rahaman Sohel mentioned that the telecom operators and ISPs are using the internet highways for doing different businesses rather than providing neutral connectivity to users.
“By allowing MNOs in e-Commerce, the door of anti-competitive strategy such as throttling rivals’ e-Commerce services will be opened up-- exercised through measures such as non-uniform access time and security features,” Rahaman added.
BASIS President Syed Almas Kabir summarized the session and said,” From BASIS, we will place the demand to the regulators and concerned authorities to ensure net neutrality for all,”
Financial Express’s Assistant News Editor Nashir Uddin, Chaldal dotcom Chief Executive Officer Zia Ashraf, Priyoshop dotcom founder Asikul Alam Khan were, among others, present on the occasion.
BDST: 2043 HRS, FEB 22, 2018