LIRNEasia responds to Bangladesh Regulator’s Consultation Paper on Broadband Quality

Posted on August 30, 2009  /  6 Comments

LIRNEasia responded to Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission’s (BTRC) Consultation Paper ‘Standardization of Quality of Service Parameters for Broadband Internet Services’ based on the broadband research and testing done in Dhaka, New Delhi, Chennai and Colombo.

We said (a) broadband is above 256 kbps, not 128 kbps; (b) minimum bandwidth requirements should be valid beyond the ISP domain; (c) operators should maintain predetermined contention ratios; (d) bandwidth ultilisation should be above 75% on average; (e) latency < 85 ms for local and <300 ms for international and (f) user surveys are important but should be supplemented by user testing which gives a more objective measure. LIRNEasia also offered assistance if BTRC plans user testing.

Downloads: Consultation Paper and LIRNEasia’s Response.


  1. views and comments concerning the issues raised in the consultation Standardization of Quality of Service (QOS) Parameters for Broadband Services :

    We appreciate the Authority’s viewpoint that the markets work best when consumers are informed about the quality of service they are buying. Therefore there is need to give the relevant information to the consumer about the QoS so that consumer makes an informed choice of service provider. The main complaints to ISPs were: Slow speeds, High Price, Frequent disconnections; slow responses to complaints
    The Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has reduced the price of Internet bandwidth by about 33 percent. But this reduction has not been passed onto consumers, who are still paying roughly the same price as they did in before. The consumer also receiving less for what he’s paying – our broadband quality of service tests showed that speeds experienced by consumers were even worse than 6 months ago.
    We can only hope that the lowered wholesale prices are passed down to consumers soon. The ISPs and Mobile Operators should buy enough bandwidth so that speeds experienced by consumers increase.
    The subscription prices for broadband in Bangladesh are 240 times higher than in Korea, as the price of 100 KBps in Korea is US$ 0.25/month, as compared to the minimum of US$ 60/month in Bangladesh . However considering the respective purchasing powers of the two economies, this translates to 7200 times higher prices in Bangladesh .
    These were the minimum 1000 TK tariffs for unlimited (non volume based), shared 128kbps usage, installation and CPE for broadband DSL in Bangladesh. The minimum monthly tariff for a 128kbps volume based broadband connection in Bangladesh is Rs . 3500 TK. The per capita GDP in Korea is US$ 17,700 as compared to US$ 652 in Bangladesh.

    Bangladesh’s low position on various broadband take-up rankings is mainly a reflection of the delay in the launch of competitive broadband services in Bangladesh compared to most other countries. It does not suggest that there is a lack of demand for broadband services by users. The lack of competition between broadband service providers coupled with the higher bandwidth tariffs charged by Bangladesh, weakened the initial rollout of broadband in Bangladesh.

    Contention ratio for home and small business segment could be set as per the international standards. Broadband penetration in Bangladesh and the pricing of services is not up to the global benchmarks. Contention ratio enforced in such circumstances should be reviewed from time to time across ISPs.

    We believe QOS of Broadband Internet Service is not properly addressed in the consultation paper. Unfortunately the main issues Slow speeds, High Price, frequent disconnections are not even mentioned in the paper.
    We sincerely believe that the BTRC would consider our comments in the perspective and expect forward-looking recommendations on subject matter.

  2. Thank you Mustafa, for the long response. Just two points.

    1. Our observation is that broadband prices have significantly dropped in Bangladesh for the last 1-2 years leading to an increase in user base. This may explain the drop in quality.

    2. Strictly speaking, it is not fair comparing Korea with Bangladesh. May be 90% of the times Korean users access Korean servers; it is the opposite in Bangladesh – 90% of the time they may access non-Bangladesh servers. So the international bandwidth bottlenecks are more critical for Bangladesh users. But your point is taken. The reason Korea can offer high bandwidth for reasonable prices is its focus on infrastructure development.

  3. thanks Chanuka Wattegama.
    Bangladesh the International bandwidth and port charge price is very competitive . But domestic bandwidth charge is very high. Government is trying to reduce the price but still it is much higher than international market. As a immediate step the bw cost can be reduced to the level of india. Get multiple connectivity to cable providers to ensure competition and redundancy. BTRC should consider domestic backhaul pricing seriously.

  4. On page 1 there is a mistake/misprint

    “LIRNEasia’s research shows, broadband quality in Dhaka has deteriorated from Sept 2008 to Feb 2008 not only when accessing an international server”

    Should be Feb 2009 right?

  5. Thanks, Omar. Yes it is Feb 2009.

  6. “The subscription prices for broadband in Bangladesh are 240 times higher than in Korea, as the price of 100 KBps in Korea is US$ 0.25/month, as compared to the minimum of US$ 60/month in Bangladesh .”

    Wrong. A 128k connection in Bangladesh is about $8/month not $60/month.