BSNL to connect NE, pvt operators cry foul

The proposed move by communications ministry to allow only Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) to build  fiber optic network and wireless connectivity to the North-East through Bangladesh has upset private telecom operators, who want similar facility be extended to them.

Union communications minister Kapil Sibal had given, in principle, approval to the BSNL's proposal in 2011. Last month, BSNL chairman RK Updadhyay had written to the communications ministry for releasing Rs 20 crore for the project.

A few private telecom operators who have licenses to operate in North-East, said on conditions of anonimity that they will also seek similar facility and will soon approach the telecom secretary MF Farooqui regarding the same. This could be tricky an issue considering that the home ministry has raised secutirty concern over use of telecom networks by infiltrators.

The proposal includes laying of optical fibre cable between Agartala and Kolkata via Dhaka. The line will extend from Agartala to Akhaura Border on Indian side after which the cable will be managed by Bangladesh Telecommunications Company.

 

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