Myanmar’s government has instructed the country’s operators to shut down mobile internet services across five townships in two states.
This is the second blackout to be ordered country’s Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) in the conflict-ravaged regions of Rakhine and Chin. The government argues that the shutdown is in the interests of public security, and claims it will last no more than three months.
The previous shutdown was ordered in the middle of last year, and applied to data networks. While some services were restored in September 2019, several townships still only have limited internet access while negotiations between government and opposition forces are ongoing.
Telenor Myanmar has complied with the order, sending SMS messages to all of its subscribers to explain the situation and advise them when services might be resumed. The operator has lowered international calling rates for the affected regions for the benefit of those affected.