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Policy & regulatory actions to help achieve Digital Bangladesh

Today I delivered the keynote at well attended workshop on how the Telecom Sector could contribute to Digital Bangladesh. It was organized by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute. Attendees included the Ministers of Post and Telecom, ICT and Information. The Chair of BTRC and the Secretary of the Ministry of ICT, a key actor in Bangladesh’s e gov activities, spoke.

The government envisions a Digital Bangladesh that makes the full potential of the Internet available to its people, but appears unclear about how they will be connected. The presentation provided evidence that wireless networks and devices already constitute the primary access pathway to the Internet, not only in developing countries but in developed countries as well.

The role of the Budget Telecom Network (BTN) business model, developed by mobile operators in South Asia in extending voice connectivity to hitherto unimaginable numbers of people at some of the lowest prices in the world, and the need to extend that model to Internet access if the objectives of Digital Bangladesh are to be achieved was highlighted. Significant investments are needed if Digital Bangladesh is to be achieved. The principal recommendations addressed how the government, through policy and regulatory actions, could improve the environment for the needed investments.

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