Govt to install optical fibre networks at 1000 UPs

The government has decided to install optical fibre networks at 1,000 union parishads (UPs) to reach qualitative and efficient ICT facilities at a lower cost,officials said today.

"Broadband Internet service through the optical fibre is essential to ensure quality ICT services and that is why the government has decided to install optical fibre network acrossthe country," posts and telecommunications secretary Sunil Kanti Bose said.

He added that a proposal for extending the facility is now pending for the final ECNEC approval, which was expected to come soon as the government believed ICT to boost the country's economic growth eradicating poverty.

Officials familiar with the situation said so far works werealready underway to complete installation of optical fibre facilities at 100 UPs with the own financing of the state-run Bangladesh Telecommunication Company Limited (BTCL) as all the country's 4501 UPs or lowest strata of local governance system came under internet facilities through the government's ambitious A2I Programme.

BTCL is likely to be entrusted with the charge of installing the optical fibre facilities at the 1000 UPs covering all the 64 districts in next two years at a cost of 719 crore, subject to the final ECNEC approval in line with the government's digital Bangladesh campaign under the Vision-2021.

They said most of the ICT facilities at UPs were being run through the relatively backward dial up system that take a longer time for the internet connectivity charging relatively higher costs.

"Yet the ICT facilities are playing a very encouraging role for the economic and social empowerment of ordinary people in villages providing the information services," an A2I official said.

Telecom ministry officials said they expected the optical fibre services to ensure faster development of particularly the agriculture, trade and rural-based industries sectors creating employment and self- employment opportunities at rural areas.

The main activities of the project are to make available information technology among rural people, installation of 11,060 Km optical fibre cable, and procure and setup of telecommunication equipments collected from both home and abroad.

The telecom secretary said that people of the rural areas could not use Internet at their house due to country's socio- economic conditions.

So, government emphasizes to make Internet available at community centre, post office and health centre beside union Parishad information centre, added Sunil Kanti Bose. He said broadband Internet connection would also be distributed to the nearby school of the area, as the Union Parishad information centre would use it as switch station.

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