The ruling party uses all the means to stop the opposition party and slowing down the internet is a part of the effort.
BNP leader Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury

According to sources concerned, the services of 3G and 4G internet were suspended in Khulna, Rangpur, Barishal and Faridpur on the rally days. There were 2G service, which allows only conversation over the phone. 

The services, however, were restored after the BNP rallies. The operators, when approached, refused to make any comments officially regarding the issue. 

Meanwhile, the BNP leaders alleged that the internet services are slowed down as per the government directions, just like the transport strikes. The move is aimed at preventing live streaming on Facebook and other social media platforms and stopping usage of the messaging apps at the rally venue.  

The operators have no authority to impede an emergency service like the internet or mobile network at their own initiative.

The BNP is all set to hold a grand rally in Sylhet on Saturday. A transport strike has already been in place centering the programme and the internet situation will be understood once the rally kicks off.

Also, the party is scheduled to hold a rally in Cumilla on 26 November, in Rajshahi on 3 December and in Dhaka on 10 December.  

According to several sources, the authorities issue instructions to reduce the internet speed in the rally areas citing security reasons. 

Mohiuddin Ahmed, vice chairman of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), said he is unaware of any such instructions by his commission. There might be slow speed due to some technical issues. Moreover, the normal internet speed is hindered when more people gather at a place. 

The operators said they have no authority to impede an emergency service like the internet or mobile network at their own initiative.

They normally gear up their network capacity for a certain area where a large number of people gather, in an effort to ensure smooth services to the clients. 

Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, standing committee member of BNP, described the issue as a hindrance to their programmes. He said the ruling party uses all the means to stop the opposition party and slowing down the internet is a part of the effort.