Internet speed in Bangladesh has increased to 2-2.7mbps, thanks to 2400 times internet and data consumption growth between 2009 and 2016 as well as expansion of network facilities.
“We’ve recently measured internet speed at different union parishads [councils] and found it 2.0mbps on average,” State Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Tarana Halim told daily sun.
She said the posts and telecommunications division is now working for network expansion up to the union level. “Our network expansion will complete within three to four months,” she said.
The junior minister expressed the hope that internet speed will further increase after completion of the work.
Now, country’s average internet speed is 2.7mbps whereas it is 2.8mbps in India.
Talking about the private sector, an internet service provider (ISP) said internet speed depends basically on availability of bandwidth as well as on users’ consumption level.
“If I provide internet connections to a large number of customers by using minimum bandwidth, the internet speed will be slow,” the ISP businessman said.
He said most of ISPs are distributing limited bandwidth among large number of users to maximise profit. Mobile phone users too are getting poor speed of data for the same reason.
BTRC Chairman Dr Shahjahan Mahmood said the number of the country’s internet subscribers has reached 65 million in 2016 with 20 percent growth of internet users in a single year compared to the previous year.
“The number of internet users was 55 million in 2015 which it reached 65 million in 2016,” he said.
Besides, data use stands at 340gbps in 2016 from 110gbps in 2015, thanks to its 110 percent growth within a year compared to the same period of previous year, he said.
The country’s second submarine cable would be commercially launched by March’17. It would be able to add and increase capacity of bandwidth another 1500gbps here.
Then, the country’s data use and internet use capacity will be increased further, the official said.
The number of cell phone subscribers now stands at 130 million. The broadband penetration stands at 12 percent in 2015.
The vision of the National Broadband Policy 2009 is to build a people-centred and development-oriented information society where everyone would be able to access, utilise and share information and knowledge easily and efficiently.
The government has set 5mbps for broadband standard now. By using the speed, anyone is able to do telecommuting services, large file sharing, IPTV, SD multiple channels, switch digital video, broadcast video, SD, video streaming, HD, low definition, gaming, medical file sharing, promote education, building control and management.
The government has a target to reach tele-penetration by 90 percent in 2018 and 100 percent by 2021, taking advantage of internet and data growth.
Besides, it plans to ensure internet penetration 45 percent by 2018 and 65 percent by 2021 and same in 2025.
The government has also set a target of achieving 20 percent broadband penetration by 2018, 40 percent by 2021 and 60 percent by 2025.
It has a target of ensuring optical fibre presence in all districts, all upazilas and 2,000 unions by 2018. It has a target of ensuring 20 percent coverage of optical fibres in households by 2021 and 50 percent by 2025.
Speeds are measured in Mbps. Business and residential internet connection speeds included, from unique IPs.
In Bangladesh, the internet and data use increased 2,400 times between 2009 and 2016. A total of 40 percent geographic and 65 percent population so far received 3G coverage.
Country’s internet users stand at 6.69 crore in 2016 which is only 0.40 crore in 2008, officials said.
Country’s software developers, internet banking and outsourcing businesses suffered a loss due to sharp fall in the internet speed recently.
Internet speed has dropped significantly as India’s submarine cables have remained snapped for over three weeks badly affecting the country’s software business.
Bangladesh consumes a total of 340gbps internet. Of the amount, 220Gbps comes from neighbouring India and another 120Gbps from local submarine cable.
After the glitch in India’s submarine cables and IMEWE consortium, the country’s internet consumption has come down to 150Gbps which is being met by local submarine cable.
Slow internet has put the country’s information technology (IT) sector in great trouble and software developers are counting huge loss due to the problem.
Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) president Mustafa Jabbar said, “We are facing ‘alarming situation’ in software and outsourcing business due to slow internet.”
The country earned $700 million from software export in the last fiscal year, he said. The government also set a target to fetch $5 billion from software export by 2021.
“Our software export and outsourcing business depend on internet speed. But internet speed is not at the level we need for our business. There is no body to look into the matter,” he said.
The BASIS president also alleged poor management of Bangladesh Submarine Cables Company Limited in allocating unused broadband.
Bangladesh Submarine Cables Company Limited managing director Monowar Hossain said the government is preparing separate tariff policy to utilise country’s second submarine cables having capacity to 1500gbps.
“We will not have the problem of slow internet speed after commercially launching of country’s second submarine cable at Patuakhali,” he said.
On the other hand, consumers of the mobile-phone data packages are also frustrated due to poor speed of their offered bundles.