Bonton Connect allows access to the internet for as little as Tk5 for an entire day
Most of us cannot imagine a moment without the internet, there are simply too many things involved around it. Be it the constant Zoom meetings and the exchange of emails, running an online business or even buying things from one, maintaining a social life and keeping in touch with loved ones all depend on this globally interconnected web of information we call the internet. The need to be connected is ever more important now even when we are on the move.
Given that mobile internet is quite expensive and finding good connectivity everywhere is still an arduous task, Samiha and Omran, the founders of Bonton Connect came up with a solution to help connect people to the internet using an app that lets users share their own internet connections with others temporarily. They launched their app on March 31, after almost a year of testing out their beta versions.
What is Bonton?
Bonton is a WiFi sharing app where people can share their WIFi and earn credits when other people connect to their shared WiFi. At the same time, they can also use other people’s WiFi while they are on the go through Bonton.
Getting to know the founders
Samiha Tahsin and Omran Jamal are both students of BRAC University and currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Engineering. Omran, having a passion for programming from an early age, started working professionally in many other startups previously—such as Jobike.
Similarly, Samiha too was into programming even before getting into university. Her path into entrepreneurship opened when her sister along with her took the initiative to help out artists who did not have an audience, to promote their work through a Facebook page, through which they would be able to make some money.
How Bonton came into existence
When asked how they came up with the remarkable idea, Samiha shared her own experience when one day she was sitting in a café with her friends working on a group assignment, when suddenly she needed to be connected to the internet urgently. Due to being out of range from the available Wi-fi router, she decided on connecting her mobile data while it too was somehow not working. Although she saw many other available networks around her, she did not have access or passwords to those. That’s when both of them came up with the idea of creating a platform through which people can democratize access to the internet.
This idea might seem too good to be true, and there are questions that might arise in one’s mind such as sharing the same open Wi-Fi could lead to security issues which might be a serious problem to the host. To counter that issue, Bonton app puts a password in for the host and maintains a strong firewall that guarantees security and privacy for the host.
There are other concerns too, such as whether sharing Wi-Fi might slow down the internet and hamper the hosts’ own experience? To that, they answered by saying they have developed a system that recognizes the traffic usage and if there is high consumption, the user will be transferred to another network that has a more surplus bandwidth.
Since their official launch last month, they have had great responses from the public. Currently, they are operating in a number of different zones such as Dhanmondi, Mohakhali and Mirpur. “Due to the lockdown taking place throughout the city, we are having a difficult time to go into operation on a larger scale, but we will as soon as the lockdown eases a bit,” Samiha added.
The goal is to go nationwide eventually, as the country progresses and the demand for internet is increasing day by day, evermore since the pandemic swept through the entire country forcing people to do work and attend classes online. The dependence on the internet is likely to go up even when the pandemic is over.