BTCL Reduces bandwidth cost by 41% – Effective from 1st April 2014

Good news for Bangladeshi Internet users!! BTCL has further reduced the price of Submarine cable (SEA-ME-WE4) IP Bandwidth. Effective from April 1st – users will be able to get 1 Mbps (MegaBits/second) dedicated bandwidth at only Taka 2800 per month. It was Taka 4800 per month per 1 Mbps previously.

This will be applicable to all BTCL customers (Home, corporate and Resellers).

This surely will have a very good impact on the ICT sector of Bangladesh. But a lot will depend upon how the ISPs react to this new pricing. Surely they won’t cut the pricing by 41% and reduce their revenue as they have other operational costs. Rather they’ll probably increase per user bandwidth or give more GBs of data transfer to volume based Internet clients.

This indeed is an appreciable initiative by the Government. I believe our new young ICT State Minister Mr. Palak has some influence in this.

Bangladeshi mobile operators hold a major share of Internet distribution channel. It will be interesting how these mobile companies rearrange their Internet service offers after this price reduction. Most of the companies are selling 1GB volume at around 300 Taka which is sky high compared to BTCL Bandwidth cost. The real benefit of this price reduction will be ensured if the mobile phone operators reduce their Internet prices. Because – Internet through mobile operators are still the easiest way for general people to be connected to the Internet.

Why is VOiP illegal?

Source:  The Financial Express

By:  Engr. Nurul Basher
Ex-Director (Microwave) BT&T

The government has been taking hard actions against some telecom operators who are purportedly using their internet facilitates for making international telephone calls. The operators are being fined millions of takas, their most valuable equipments are being confiscated and some are being banned from continuing such operations.

As a former Bangladesh Telegraph & Telephone Board (BT&T) official, I still do not understand as to why VOIP should be declared illegal in the first place. To put it simply, I understand VOIP is transmitting speech signal through the internet bandwidth. The operator is paying his rent for the internet band width. Also he is paying for the telephone line rent and call charges. Capability to transmit voice over internet band width is made possible through the advancement of signal processing technology. Why should someone be punished for using higher technology?

I recall when in the early 1980’s fax machine was introduced, BT&T used to charge an additional amount of Tk 10,000/- per fax machine. By then I left BT & T and used to have heated argument with my friends in the BT & T top management about the matter. They introduced this charging system only because they found an extra income source without contributing anything.

Today, VOIP is declared illegal as BT & T is being unable to provide cheap service which the IP service providers are contributing. If BT & T is loosing revenue because of VOIP use by the internet operators, then it is BT&T’s fault. It is like punishing a motor bike rider by a bullock cart driver as the latter cannot catch up with the former. It is single stupidity and wrongdoing by someone who is short of in knowledge. I like to ask the authorities concerned to come clean and prove that VOIP is illegal because it is harmful to the people in the way toxic drug import is illegal because it harmful to national health. Following a bad law, even if it is a law, is harmful to the nation in the long run.

I call for a national debate and let the authorities concerned defend themselves to prove what they are doing by declaring VOIP “illegal” is right.