Internet outage in city as BBMP removes ‘illegal’ OFCs

Internet outage in city as BBMP removes ‘illegal’ OFCs

DH Graphic/Ramu M

Some parts of Bengaluru are facing telecom and internet outages as the BBMP has undertaken a massive drive to remove unauthorised optical fibre cables (OFC). The civic body has been accused of removing even legitimate cables. 

The outages are particularly severe in the central business district (CBD) areas such as MG Road, Church Street, Brigade Road, besides in localities like Sanjaynagar, Budigere and Doddakallasandra. 

The BBMP began the drive on the orders of Deputy Chief Minister and Bengaluru Development Minister G Parameshwara last week. 

Bopanna M S, a retailer from MG Road, said data connectivity had been disrupted for the past two days. “The BBMP should systematically remove unauthorised cables without affecting the consumers,” he added. 

Businesses have been affected, too. K Ramu, of Aanchal Clasilks store, said they found it extremely difficult to serve customers as the point of sale (PoS) machines could not function because of poor data connectivity. “Most of our customers pay by card as they do not carry cash. We have been turning down many of them because of this problem,” he added. 

Rajan S Mathews, director general, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), suggested that authorised cables were also being removed, leading to a disruption in the data flow. The problem is being faced by all telecom service providers, he added. 

A source in the industry said at least 700 mobile phone towers had been affected. 

Palike cries foul

The BBMP, however, dismissed the charge that authorised cables were also being removed. “We have issued notices to companies that took permission for laying OFCs in the past two years.

A total of 21 companies have signed agreements with the BBMP for OFCs,” said M R Venkatesh, chief engineer, OFC, BBMP. 

The drive, which was limited to east and Rajarajeshwari Nagar zones until now, was extended to the Mahadevapura zone on Friday, he added.

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