Computer Jagat Newspaper

Overview of Internet Access in Bangladesh: Impact, Barriers, and Solutions
May 31, 2015 – 03:48 pm
Voice of America - Bangla

Despite the presence of online Internet service in Bangladesh, its scope is largely underutilized. The reasons include high service charges, lack of awareness, poor telecommunication systems, government policy, low buying power of potential clients, and lack of institutional support. The authors collected information from various sources through extensive interviews, record reviews, and opinion surveys of current Internet users. This paper is an overview of the situation of Internet access in Bangladesh based on the above information, which also describes the impact of Internet availability in Bangladesh together with barriers and possible solutions. The situation may match similar conditions in many developing countries, where the recommendations may be replicable.


The pioneering and bold computer magazine of Bangladesh, The Monthly Computer Jagat, expressed its deep concerns regarding Internet access in the country in its July 1996 issue. In an editorial it stated, "Revolutions have been created round the world to use Internet for extension of knowledge, scientific activities and education. But, in Bangladesh we have no such initiative to provide Internet access to the educational institutions. Even most prestigious higher institutions like University of Dhaka and Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology are beyond its reach" (1). Online Internet was legalized in the country on 4 June 1996 and the same day one Internet service provider (ISP), the Information Services Network (ISN), started work. Within one and a half months, Grameen CyberNet started service on 15 July 1996 (2). At about the same time, two other off-line providers went online by taking leased lines from the major providers (1). Very recently two big nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) started online Internet service. But despite the presence of so many ISPs, Internet access is largely underutilized. All the ISPs are capital city based with no immediate plans to extend services outside Dhaka. Moreover, subscribers mainly use the e-mail facilities of Internet, with little Web browsing or newsgroup reading. This regrettable situation has led the authors to conduct a situation analysis study.

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