In April 2009, we reported that even though leased line prices in Bangladesh had declined by 74% in 6 months, the retail price paid by consumers had not changed. This was based on the broadband benchmarking data LIRNEasia publishes every 6 months. We are thankful that the Bangladesh regulator (BTRC) has taken note of our post and the complaints of many broadband consumers in Bangladesh. A recent article in the Daily Star reports that the BTRC has decided to check if the retail prices are dropping in line with whole-sale (leased line) costs. But what about broadband quality?
The Bharti Group is aiming to reduce its dependence on the telecom sector to 50 per cent for the group’s revenues by 2013. At the moment, telecom operations provide over 80 per cent of its revenues with new businesses which include retail, financial services and agriculture just about taking off the ground. Unveiling a new brand for the group, the third time that the group has announced mega brand changes, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and group CEO, Bharti Enterprises, said, “We are breaking free from our telecom legacy. In the next five years, we hope to get more than 50 per cent of our revenues from businesses other than telecom, which constitutes more than 80 per cent right now.” Read the full story in Business Standard here.
The break up of AT&T in 1984 led to a seismic shift in telecom policy and regulatory thinking worldwide and also created the conditions for the Internet boom. New Zealand is a small country quite unlike the US, but it has taken an unprecedented step that has the potential of changing policy and regulatory thinking again. As the excerpt below says, the split is on the lines of the BT reorganization in the UK. That is true. But the key difference is that BT reorganized voluntarily and NZ Telecom, not.