The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is setting the same price for broadband internet across the country. Whether the capital is Dhaka or any other union in the country, the internet service providers have to connect at the same price. You can take less than the prescribed price, not more.
BTRC has named this program ‘One Country, One Rate’. According to internet service providers, there will be three packages for internet users under ‘One Country, One Rate’. BTRC has not officially announced the price of these packages. They will announce the price at a function on Sunday.
According to sources, the price of the first package may be a maximum of Rs 500 per month, the speed will be 5 Mbps (megabytes per second). The price of the second package may be within 600 rupees per month, its speed will be 10 Mbps and the speed of the third package may be 20 Mbps, the price will be between 1,200 rupees per month.
Internet service providers say that if this price is effective, the price package of broadband internet in Dhaka will be reduced by 100 to 200 rupees per month. However, internet users of districts, upazilas and unions will get more benefits. In Dhaka and Chittagong, the cost of bandwidth transmission is low and the service providers can keep the cost of internet service low. The cost to take up the bandwidth union is much higher. For this reason, the price is kept high there.
Belal Sarkar, a young entrepreneur, did outsourcing work on the internet in the rural area of Chirirbandar in Dinajpur. He now uses a 25 Mbps connection for Rs 2,500 per month. He said his monthly cost behind another alternative connection was Rs 1,000, where speeds of more than two Mbps were not available.
Belal Sarkar told Prothom Alo that if 20 Mbps speed is available at Tk 1,200, it will be very good news. This will reduce the cost of entrepreneurs outsourcing work on the Internet. Ordinary people will also benefit. He said that it is often seen that what is said about speed is not available. Again the promised speed is given from the ‘cache’ server. But outsourcing requires the same speed on all types of servers.
According to BTRC, the number of broadband internet connections in the country stood at 97 lakh at the end of last March. During the Corona period, this number has increased at a significant rate. Even a year ago, the number of connections was less than 16 lakh. Internet service providers claim that there are at least four users per connection. Meanwhile, the number of wireless internet users of mobile operators is 10 crore 57 lakh. Note that once he enters the internet once in the last 90 days, he is considered an internet user.
The need for internet has increased a lot in the country during the Corona period. Internet reliance has been created for studying, sitting at home doing office work and entertainment.
Referring to the election manifesto of the government to build a digital Bangladesh and extend the benefits of the city to the villages, Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar told Prothom Alo on Saturday that people in the cities will get internet at one price and in Haore-Pahar at another. He said the internet is the highway of the digital age. Unions are being brought under broadband internet and ‘one country, one rate’ internet is being implemented to connect rural people to that highway.
According to BTRC sources, Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) has installed fiber optic cable connections in about 1,100 unions. On the other hand, 2,800 unions have been brought under fiber optic cable connection at the expense of the people through Info Sarkar-3 project. The number of unions in the country is 4,057. The telecom minister said all the unions will come under fiber optic cable within this year.
The UK-based website CabledtU, which provides up-to-date information on comparative prices of internet, was seen yesterday, Bangladesh is 57th in the world in terms of broadband internet prices. This means that in 56 countries the price is lower than in Bangladesh. The average price of a broadband internet connection in this country is a little over ড 31 a month, which is about 2,600 rupees in Bangladeshi currency. In India, the same price is below ড 14.
Emdadul Haque, general secretary of ISPAB, an organization of Internet service providers, told Prothom Alo that it was possible to provide grassroots internet services at a lower cost if the cost of operating bandwidth could be reduced. If it is seen that the cost of operation is high, then it will not be possible for anyone to pay less. Asked if the quality would be right after fixing the new price, he said the customer would understand the speed. No one will be able to sell more than the fixed price.