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19 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Govt yet to finalise telecoms policy

TAREQUE MORETAZA
Govt yet to finalise telecoms policy

The government has not finalised the telecoms policy even two years after its approval by the Cabinet.

Posts and Telecommuni-cations Minister Mustafa Jabbar said the telecom policy was now in law ministry and would be finalised soon.

Emphasising the security of subscribers, quality of services and investment-friendly environment, the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) prepared the draft telecommunication policy in 2012.

On July 27, 2016, the Cabinet approved the draft ‘The National Telecommunications Policy, 2016’, which aimed at boosting teledensity, Internet penetration and expansion of the broadband facility. At that time, Cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam said the new draft policy had been approved by replacing the existing ‘The National Telecommunications Policy 1998’.

He also said the draft policy had been formulated primarily for a 10-year period in the light of the National Telecommunications Policy 1998, National Broadband Policy 2009, National ICT Policy 2015 and the International Long Distance Telecommunications Policy, 2010.

The Posts and Telecommunications Division sent the policy to the finance ministry on the recommendation of the Cabinet. The finance ministry gave its opinion on the policy on April 9, 2018.  After the necessary amendment and revision in keeping with the recommendations made by the Cabinet, the policy was sent to the law ministry for vetting in 2018.

In a meeting held recently in the Posts and Telecommunications Division, it was agreed upon to speed up the formulation of the policy.

During the short-term plan under the policy, the government will try to achieve the target of gaining 90 per cent teledensity from the existing 80 per cent by 2018.

In 2016, the Cabinet secretary said the policy was framed to boost Internet penetration from 34 per cent to 45 per cent, expand the penetration of mobile broadband from 7 per cent to 20 per cent and expand optical fibre connection in every district and upazila headquarters, and 2,000 unions of the country. Besides, the target is to ensure the availability of high-speed wireless services in every upazila headquarters and introduce digital broadcasting across the country, he added.

About the mid-term target, Alam said the government wanted to achieve cent per cent teledensity, raise Internet penetration to 65 per cent and provide broadband facilities up to 40 per cent of the people by 2021.

All unions of the country would come under the optical fibre network by that time, he said.

Under the long-term target by 2025, the government wants to ensure a suitable environment and accessibility of optical fibre for 50 per cent residences and organisations. It also wants to ensure Internet facilities for up to 90 per cent of the people.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to withdraw its decision taken on October 29, 1989, on introducing an open registry system for foreign ocean-going Ships in Bangladesh.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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