Tuesday, May 21, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

To be connected is to be developed

We have some ways to go before we have reached what can be described as an acceptable level.

Update : 20 Oct 2023, 12:01 PM

Among Bangladesh’s biggest pushes when we embraced becoming Digital Bangladesh was to increase g out. connectivity -- whether that be mobile or internet penetration in the remotest areas of the country. And while we have certainly made significant progress over the past two decades or so, we have some ways to go before we have reached what can be described as an acceptable level.

This is well articulated in the global Mobile Connectivity Index of 2022; despite Bangladesh being among the top five countries showcasing improvements in South Asia, which is certainly reason for encouragement, the fact remains that it is also behind every single nation in South Asia except Pakistan -- certainly not a good look for a nation that has embraced being Digital Bangldesh for a decade and a half now, and wants to be a “smart” nation in less than two decades.

What is particularly discouraging is that in terms of its significant shortcomings, it is affordability where it does most poorly where it received a mere 43.2 out of 100 -- this is not surprising as telecom costs in Bangladesh, relative to what we receive, in particular the internet connection, have always been touted as among the higher fares paid by the people.

There is also a clear disconnect; while some quarters mention a lack of investment into the sector, which may indeed be the case, what is impossible to dispute also is that taxation is extremely high, while other issues persist such as licensing and profit generation.

All of this points to a sector that is in dire need of change - and time is running out.

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