With four days to go Bangladesh government consults on WCIT

Posted on November 29, 2012  /  8 Comments

When I gave a talk a few months back at RMIT in Melbourne about how we engaged governments with policy-relevant research, a senior person in the audience said that we seemed to be having greater success in getting the government of Bangladesh to pay heed to evidence than they did in Australia. Proving him half right, the Bangladesh Telecom Regulatory Commission has convened a stakeholder meeting to obtain input for the country’s position at WCIT in Dubai. Now if the government actually votes against the ill-thought out proposals by the Arab and African states to impose access charges for Internet content, my Australian colleague will be proven 100% right.

A recent report on the subject in Daily Star.

Abu Saeed Khan, a senior policy fellow of Colombo-based think tank LIRNEasia, said the Bangladesh government has ignored the ITU’s directive that instructed it to consult the ITR issues with its citizens.

“Rather, it [the government] has been highly secretive and the nation remains in the dark about the government’s standpoint on the issue. Even the ICT ministry is equally unaware about this issue. It is unacceptable and alarming.”

Khan urged Sajeeb Ahmed Wazed, the Prime Minister’s ICT adviser, to immediately intervene and ensure that Bangladesh does not vote in favour of internet regulation.

“Otherwise, the government risks being blamed for turning ‘Digital Bangladesh’ into ‘Digital Ruin’ ahead of the parliamentary election.”


  1. Actually, the consultation will be held at 10:00 AM on December 2, 2012 – the day before WCIT 2012 commences. Isn’t it better to be late than never?

    1. This is not a consultation when the majority of the stakeholders donot know about it. Whats the point of doing this when the govt. have not disclosed its positions yet as of 1 December ? Will the Govt. have time to change its position after consultation?

  2. @ Faisal

    The government is, indeed, at fault. The “stakeholders” should have also interacted with the government on WCIT 2012 issues long ago. Neither party has done their job.

  3. @Saeed Bhai
    I think atleast ISOC Bangladesh Dhaka Chapter has raised the WCIT issue back in February when we had a meeting with the then chairman of the parliamentary standing committee for Post and Telecom. The result of this discuss has been reflected in Mr. Inu’s speech (http://www.apricot.net/apricot2012/program/igov/transcript/index.html) at the Apricot in New Delhi where he discussed about WCIT 12.

  4. February? And thereafter? Mr. Inu is political bubble and his speeches are more bubbly. Neither impresses, anyway.

  5. @Saeed bhai…..We have communicated with BTRC several times, but we have always been told that the process has not been strated yet. Then last month we sent a letter requesting them to include civil society members with the national delegates.

  6. Let’s work together.

  7. So what happened at the consultation?