The government is considering expanding the broadband connectivity to another 617 unions and important sites as part of its third-phase project for the best utilization of social obligatory fund.
The move has been taken to bring the underprivileged areas under the connectivity to boost e-commerce and ensure e-services and telemedicine through the use of ICT in remote areas, officials said.
The project will help bring some 15-20 percent distressed people of 195 upazilas in 52 districts across the country under the telecommunication connectivity, according to the Revised Development Project Proforma (RDPP). The government will bring the whole of 4,573 unions under the broadband connectivity.
Some 4,418 unions would be under broadband connectivity through the completion of broadband connection.
The rest 155 unions would be brought under the connectivity later as the offices to be set up for the purpose would be in extremely remote places having islands, chars (riverbeds). On other hand, there are no permanent union parishad offices while some offices have land disputes.
BTCL has already completed broadband connectivity to 1,219 unions including eight sites.
Bangladesh Telecommunication Satellite Company has completed their work in 17 unions while setting up broadband connections to 34 unions is under way.
Besides, setting up broadband connections in 2,600 including 53 sites is being done by Bangladesh Computer Council under the info-government third phase project.
Project Director Jagadish Chandra Sarker told daily sun they have sent the RDPP to the ministry for approval.
“Although time is too short, we are ready to complete setting up broadband connectivity in 617 unions and sites on time,” he said.
“Nearly 160 unions will be out of broadband connectivity mainly due to remoteness, other difficulties and shortage of fund. After getting new allocation, those unions will be connected,” he added.
As per the plan, the ministry of telecommunications has designed a project titled ‘Establishment of Broadband Connectivity in the areas of Underprivileged Telecommunication Facilities (Connected Bangladesh)’.
The project will be implemented at a cost of Tk5.04 billion under the information and communication technology division.
Bangladesh Computer Council will implement the project with the financial support of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
According to the ministry sources, although the government has a plan to complete setting up broadband connectivity in all the unions by 2021, the project is lagging behind the stipulated time.
The ministry sources said the government has taken the move to enhance the capability of Union Digital Centre (UDC) to expand connectivity into schools, colleges, madrasas, growth centres and telecom operators.
Through the move, it is possible to bring the underprivileged telecommunication areas under the e-service of the government.
Service of e-commerce, e-services and telemedicine would expand through the use of ICT in remote areas.
According to the RDPP, some 617 unions and sites including 40 in six districts in Rangpur division, 64 in six districts in Rajshahi division, 50 in seven districts in Khulna division, 123 in six districts in Barishal division, 84 in nine districts in Dhaka division, 44 in four districts in Mymensingh division, 33 in four districts in Sylhet division and 179 in 10 districts in Chattogram division would be brought under broadband connectivity through the project.