Nearly all areas to come under internet coverage by 2021: Tarana

DHAKA : State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim on Sunday said most parts of the country will come under internet coverage by 2021, reports UNB.

Talking to UNB, Tarana Halim said her ministry is working to that end as mobile internet connectivity has been the key for rapid development.
She said optical fibre lines are being installed in all the upazilas so that internet can easily be made accessible to all the people living in remote rural areas of the country.

The state minister mentioned that Bangladesh Telecommunications Company Ltd (BTCL) has already set up optical fibre lines in 330 upazilas, spanning over 70,000 km, integrating those into the submarine cable network.

“We’ve upgraded our broadband internet speed from 1 megabyte per second (Mbps) to 5 Mbps,” said Tarana adding, “Our objective is to reach 15 Mbps by 2021, with the nationwide coverage,” Tarana said.

The state minister said she is giving priority to two aspects-nationwide connectivity and quality service.
“In order to do that, we’ve given technology neutrality to all the internet operators and service providers – from tower-sharing to auctioning off unused spectrum. People will witness the improvement in early 2018.”

Tarana further said the government is not making any compromise in this regard. For example, she said, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is monitoring 24 hours to ensure that no telecom operator is participating in tricking their customers with misleading internet packages.

She also revealed that 4G connectivity will be available from February next year, which will also include Mobile Number Portability (MNP) facility from April 2018.

The current number of mobile subscribers, according to the latest BTRC statistics, stands at 143.106 million, while the number of internet users is 80.166 million. Out of that, the majority of them use Grameenphone and Robi.

Out of that 80 million, 74.7 million use mobile internet, 0.08 million use WiMAX modems and the rest are broadband internet users.
The state minister is hopeful that this will increase over time.


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