Broadband internet should be the legal right of every citizen

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The Internet and IT industry has developed based on the personal income of every citizen of Bangladesh. In order to ensure the sustainability of this industry and to bring about a revolutionary change in the overall development of Bangladesh, it is imperative to declare the legal rights of every Bangladeshi citizen on broadband.

In this regard, by analyzing the following information, the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology can play a timely role by taking effective steps in the vision of providing Citizen’s Charter (Affordable, Universal and Reliable Telecommunication Services).

Although internet usage was open to all in Bangladesh in 1996, internet and information technology users are still suffering. Notable among the many reasons for this are-

First, according to the BTRC, the number of subscribers to foreign-owned mobile operators in Bangladesh has increased at a geometric rate (Grameenphone’s current subscriber base is 7 crore 84 lakh 72 thousand, Robi’s 4 crore 90 lakh 4 thousand, Banglalink’s 3 crore 52 lakh 39 thousand).

Launched on December 26, 2004 as the only state-owned mobile operator in the country, Teletalk’s subscriber base has grown mathematically. However, the number has slowed down in recent times.

The number of subscribers of the current operator is 48 lakh 6 thousand (Sutra Jugantar 30 January 2020) although the target in 2020 was 8 lakh (Sutra Daily Star December 26, 2019). This first reason can be seen by analyzing-

(1) In the language of sociologists, Teletalk has used one of the two levels of public policy (Policy for Public in General) to promise service delivery. On the other hand, foreign institutions have made timely use of two levels of public policy (Policy for Public and Policy for Business).

(2) According to Linear economists, foreign-owned mobile operators such as Robi have adopted a linear programming strategy to manage the promotional mix of their business. Telecom, on the other hand, has expressed its inability to adopt state strategy in the management of promotional mix.

Second, according to circular economists, Internet and information technology users are suffering because of their reliance on foreign-owned mobile operators to generate revenue from the Internet and information technology industries.

This is because foreign-owned mobile operators shrink the customer’s demands of fairness in implementing service delivery promises to keep their profits right.

When the state indirectly cooperates with foreign-owned enterprises in revenue collection, the Internet and information technology customers suffer.

National Board of Revenue (NBR) chairman Abu Hena has argued for more revenue collection. According to Rahmatul Munim, the rate of mobile call rates is so low at present that the amount of unnecessary talking has increased. There are also cases of accidents with trains while talking (Sutra Jugantar, 26 June 2020).

Incidentally, in many developed countries of the world, including Finland, many people die while driving while talking on their mobile phones. Therefore, it would not be an exaggeration to say that the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology should consider whether the developed countries adopt such examples to collect more revenue.

Third, despite many limitations, the use of the Internet and information technology in Bangladesh has grown at an astonishing rate. For example, the number of Internet users in present day Bangladesh is 10 crore 32 lakh 53 thousand (Sutra Prothom Alo, 14 May 2020) and 16 crore 29 lakh mobile subscribers (Priyo.com, 19 June 2020).

Despite having such a large number of subscribers to keep the internet and IT industry circular business model of Bangladesh away, the state’s own mobile operator could not occupy the top position in the country.

On the other hand, the foreign-owned mobile operators have used the linear business model in Bangladesh, but they themselves have used the business philosophy of the circular economy to occupy the top position of the mobile operators in their own country.

In this case, the example of Robi, a foreign-owned mobile operator in Bangladesh, can be given. Robi is a foreign-owned mobile operator jointly operated by two foreign companies (Axiata Group of Malaysia and Airtel of India).

The true success of Citizen’s Charter Vision of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology depends on following the circular economy model, taking lessons from mobile operator Robi in making telecom self-sufficient in revenue collection.

Fourth, in order to make more profit, the country’s mobile operators sell limited megabytes to their customers instead of selling internet speeds. Where the business principle of Mutual Beneficial Co-operation is neglected in the case of the customer – this is the philosophy of the linear business model.

As a result, Internet and IT users are in trouble and suffering. To overcome this situation, a picture posted on Facebook on July 19 demanded the attention of the Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology.

In short, despite many limitations, the number of Internet users in Bangladesh today is 10 crore 32 lakh 53 thousand. In other words, in Bangladesh.

 

This number of Ternet users proves that a new basic need has been added to the five basic needs of the people of Bangladesh (according to the theory of muscle hierarchy of needs), which is the Internet.The Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Information Technology can discharge its responsibilities from the place of state responsibility. Broadband Internet can meet the new basic needs of the people by declaring the legal rights of every Bangladeshi citizen. In this case, the Ministry of Internet and Information Technology may take the cooperation of Bangladesh Doctor’s Platform in Finland to take the example of Finland.

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