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Facebook can help Bangladesh’s digital infrastructures: Jabbar

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 10 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Facebook can help Bangladesh’s digital infrastructures: Jabbar

Posts and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar urged the social media platform Facebook to play a role in developing digital infrastructure in Bangladesh.

“I urge the authorities concerned of Facebook to contribute to Bangladesh infrastructure development,” he said on Tuesday.

Jabbar came up with the remarks while inaugurating text-only Facebook and Discover on Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) office premises.

Earlier on July 14, BTRC in a statement banned free internet for social media use.

“Some dishonest people were carrying out ‘unnecessary’ criminal activities on social media by using the free service,”   read a BTRC statement. Jabbar said Facebook would be benefited by taking the advantage of the government’s investment-friendly policy.

“To run Facebook without Internet is a great initiative. This will help reduce the digital divide by ensuring connectivity and allowing information dissemination among the marginal section of people,” he said.

Telecom minister said the mobile phone operators stood by the people disregarding financial gains and helped the socio-economic activities run ensuring connectivity.

Appreciating the arrangement, BTRC Chairman Shyam Sunder Sikder said the government had been putting efforts to bring maximum people under the umbrella of digital connectivity.

“We need the private sectors, especially the mobile network operators to turn it into a reality,” he said.

“These services shall help the Bangladesh government's aspirations to ensure affordable connectivity to all,” Sikder added.

Grameenphone CEO Yasir Azman said the pandemic accelerated the journey towards a digitally connected society and economy, resulting in tremendous growth in digital inclusion, especially in countries like Bangladesh.

“I would like to further express my gratitude to the regulators for enabling us to launch such a timely initiative where everyone has access to information even without data in this era,” Azman said.

Paul Kim, Director of International Business Development and Operator Partnerships, APAC at Meta, said, “Helping people stay connected and ensuring they have consistent access to important resources on the Internet such as education and health resources is critical.”

“We are grateful to support these programmes to enable better connectivity and access for people in Bangladesh,” Kim added.

Posts and Telecommunications Division Secretary Md Khalilur Rahman, Teletalk Managing Director Md Shahab Uddin, acting CEO of Robi M Riyaaz Rasheed and chief corporate and regulatory affairs officer of Banglalink Taimur Rahman, among others, were present.