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Govt to offer Internet in 772 unions by 2018

  • Published at 07:11 pm March 26th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:26 pm March 26th, 2017
Govt to offer Internet in 772 unions by 2018
The government has undertaken a project to provide Internet connectivity in 772 unions using optical fibre by end of 2018. The project titled ‘Establishment of ICT Network to Remote Areas (Connected Bangladesh),’ also aims to enhance the backbone network nationwide, ICT Division sources said. They claimed about 25-30% of the population will directly benefit from the project. The funds for the project will be sourced from a Social Obligation Fund (SOF). Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) established the SOF where different mobile operators have been chipping in 1% of their gross revenue. Sources said the regulator has over Tk700cr in its fund presently. Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) would execute the project in alignment with “Vision 2021: Digital Bangladesh” goals. Many industry insiders opine that completion of the project would boost the scope of e-commerce and online services in remote areas of the country. The project can also add numerous new jobs, keeping up with the important goal of creating jobs through the use of ICT, as prioritised by National ICT Policy 2015 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project could strengthen Union Digital Centres (UDCs), and connect offices, schools and colleges from rural areas. The project aims to offer affordable Internet connectivity to people in rural areas and shorten the gap between urban and suburban lifestyles. The government is investing in establishing a nationwide robust ICT infrastructure, an ICT official claimed. The government has already established a wide network that connects 18,434 government offices through Banglagovnet and Infosarker-2 projects. Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) has already established Internet connectivity in 1213. This project was initially proposed by BTCL. The Domestic Network Coordination Committee (DNCC), in their 23rd meeting held on October 24, instructed ICT Division to cover the unions through optical fiber connectivity instead of BTCL. This project is in line with the 7th Five Year Plan, where government has emphasised on establishing high-capacity network connectivity in remote areas of the country.
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