State Minister for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Zunaid Ahmed Palak said every village in the country will be connected by fibre optical cable by 2025 in a bid to provide high-speed internet to rural areas.
"Under the Public Procurement Rules, 1.09 lakh fibre optical cable connectivity will be set up by 2024 and 20 lakh by 2025 through ISPAB members to bring high-speed internet to rural areas," he was addressing a press conference after meeting with the newly-elected executive committee of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) at ICT Tower in the capital on Monday.
Emphasizing awareness alongside making the internet easier and available for all, the state minister also urged the whole ICT family, including ISPAB, an association for all the internet service providing organisations in Bangladesh, to work jointly for the inclusion of internet service as the fifth basic service.
Terming the internet as the lifeline of the digital economy, Palak said, "We want high-speed internet to reach every house in the way electricity reaches every house in the villages."
An executive committee, led by the Director General for the Department of ICT Rezaul Maksud, was formed on Monday to materialize the lifeline solution to the people through ISPAB. The ISPSB President will be the coordinator in the committee.
Mentioning that ISPAB is one of the key partners of Digital Bangladesh, Palak said, "We wrote to the National Board of Revenue to include their service in IT-enabled Services (ITeS) and exempt tax on import of router and switch for internet service providers to implement low-cost internet service."
Moreover, the ICT division will help to set up a Digital Network Lab through ISPAB to ensure the security of children on the internet and keep control of internet contents, he added.
ICT division senior secretary NM Ziaul Alam, Hi-tech Park Authority Managing Director Bicorno Kumar Ghosh, ISPAB President Md Emdadul Huq, ISPAB Secretary-General Nazmul Karim Bhuiyan, Senior Vice President Saiful Islam Siddique, Vice President Anwarul Azim, ISPAB Joint Secretary Anwar Hossain and Abdul Kaiyum Rashed, Treasurer Md Asauzzaman and director Sakif Ahmed were also present.