Conditional permission for Netflix cache servers in Bangladesh

Bangla Tribune Desk
Published : 21:53, May 30, 2019 | Updated : 21:54, May 30, 2019

The Netflix logo is pictured on a television remote in this illustration photograph taken in Encinitas, California, U.S., January 18, 2017. REUTERS/File PhotoBangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) issued a notice on Thursday saying that only National Internet Exchange (NIX) operators may place Netflix cache servers on their internet gateways. No one else will be permitted.
The notice further informs that internet service providers (ISP) have also been included in the decision to allow Netflix cache servers on internet gateways. However, the condition for them is that they must take the interconnection from NIX operators.
Regarding the conditions, the notice said: "In order to place Netflix cache servers and use them, permission needs to be taken. As per the law of the country, VAT needs to be given, BTRC guidelines for licensing of International Content Services need to be followed when establishing interconnections, and SLA tariff must be approved."
Entertainment service provider Netflix is becoming more popular in Bangladesh every day. Therefore, in order to strengthen its position in the local market, Netflix requested permission from BTRC to place their cache servers in Bangladesh earlier this year.
In their application, Netflix contended that if they were able to place their cache servers here, then their users would get a better streaming service.
Previously, some companies, including Facebook, were permitted by BTRC to place their cache servers in Dhaka.
A few days back, a high court ruling said that digital service companies may only do business in Bangladesh if they establish a local office, and share their profits with the government.
Due to this ruling, BTRC had trouble deciding the Netflix issue. To resolve the matter, BTRC wanted to ensure that the country gets revenue for permitting Netflix to place their cache servers. Therefore, International Internet Gateways (IIG) will have to pay a cut of their earnings to BTRC, after placing the servers.
Reportedly, BTRC went for this new approach, as unlike Google or Facebook, Netflix is not interested in establishing a local office.