Update on the network shutdown in Myanmar, 13 August 2019

13.08.2019: On 20 June, 2019, the Myanmar Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) directed all mobile phone operators in Myanmar, including Telenor Myanmar, to temporarily stop mobile internet traffic in nine townships in Rakhine and Chin States. The shutdown, which does not include voice and SMS services, went into effect on 21 June. The directive has not yet been revoked by the authorities of Myanmar.

From the outset of the Internet and data services shutdown, Telenor has expressed grave concern over the ambiguous and indefinite nature of the shutdown. In Telenor Group and Telenor Myanmar’s communication with relevant local authorities and stakeholders such as the MoTC and the Office of the State Counsellor, we have conveyed our position that freedom of expression through access to telecoms services should be maintained for humanitarian purposes, especially during times of conflict.

We have also stressed to local authorities that the shutdown adversely affects hundreds of thousands of civilians, as their access to information and services that are vital to their livelihood is being restricted. Given the extent of the shutdown, Telenor Group and Telenor Myanmar continue to advocate towards local and international stakeholders to mitigate impact on civilians and to restore the Internet and data services as soon as possible.