BBMP withdraws OFC ban after internet blackout 

BBMP office. (File Photo)

Days after banning the installation of Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) over violation of rules, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has lifted the ban following widespread internet outage in the city.

On Tuesday, the BBMP conducted a meeting to discuss the matter after complaints poured in from residents over internet outage and the Union government exerted pressure.

The BBMP has now decided to limit the OFC installation permission to a 2-km stretch in one go with a time limit of 60 days on each approval, after which the permission will be considered void in case the applicant fails to lay cables within the time frame. Earlier, the BBMP used to permit installation of OFC for a 6-km stretch at one go.

In another major move, the BBMP has decided to ban overhead OFC installation, with the corporation all set to issue notices to OFC and telecom operators to remove all the overhead cables in a few days. The OFC operators will be asked to shift to the underground network.

However, considering the poor quality of restoration works by OFC operators, the BBMP will take up restoration works on its own for every OFC installation in the city. Charges have been fixed at Rs 50 per metre with Rs 50 as a security deposit.

The meeting concluded with a nod to the formation of a committee that would act a single-window platform for the approval of all OFC installations in the city.

Speaking to DH, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said, “The decision is subject to certain norms that we have decided to impose. Now, all OFC providers will have to submit fresh applications to the BBMP to legalise their operations. The approval will be given only after the verification of place, size of the installation along with GIS mapping details.” 

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