Smile (Eastern Link BD) a renowned ISP has been shut off for illegal VOIP operations.

Smile.com.bd a popular isp with thousands of clients were forced to shut their operation off  by BTRC as they were found to be engaged with illegal VOIP operation (call termination). I heard that BTRC in cooperation with RAB raided their office on last thursday and siezed VOIP devices.

Few months back another ISP named Maisha Technologies Bangladesh (mtlbd.net) were forced to shut off for same reason.

I usually use Xnet (xpressbd.net) at my home, but in my office smile’s corporate solution were used. 1 of my friend called me on last thursday and told me that he has been DC from internet & he was using smile. I found myself netless when I came to office on saturday. Rakesh, 1 of my friend who works for a renowned ISP informed me that smile was raided and all their operations were shut off completely. Later I found the manager of my office complaining that none of the many smile supports were available. However 1 of the top official of smile called him later and informed that they were doing alternate arrangements. Today, when i came to the office I found the Internet is back and heard that smile provided some new IPs (static fixed IPs for corporate connection).

When I checked it using traceroute I found that they were using a new ISP named ispros (ispros.com.bd). Smile is now using ISPROS’ bandwidth through their backbone or might have handed over the backbone to ISPROS.

I checked the bandwidth by downloading a big file using IDA and found that the speed now ranges between 25 to 30 Kilobytes per second which earlier was 50 to 60 kilobytes through smile. It is understandable that 25-30 KB is not bad enough in this scarcity, but the incident is an example of pure lack of professionalism in providing services since the VOIP devices were seized right from SMILE’s office. Moreover BTRC should not instantly shutoff an ISP like smile which has thousands of clients including many corporate clients. Many of the organizations that depend heavily on Internet for their operations were in complete outage.

On the other hand smile’s unprofessional attitude (Website down as it was hosted in local server using their own bandwidth and all the support being off as well) has proved that how volatile the Internet facility in Bangladesh is. BTRC should not only take these types of actions only but also monitor and ensure that Internet users are not disturbed by any action of BTRC and ISPs. BTRC should take an alternative arrangement and then go for actions.

I also heard from a reliable source that smile is transfering the ownership (and backbone as well) to another ISP (if not ISPROS).

DIGITAL BANGLADESH !!! (not sure what it means)… if we really dream anything like that, BTRC & and all the ISPs should show more proffesionalism in future and ensure flawless connectivity.

Hasibul Islam

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