BTRC mulls setting price range of internet

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:31, Jul 01,2018

 
 

A file photo shows a user using mobile internet for searching a place in Dhaka. After the imposition of cap on pay-per-use internet tariff, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is likely to set a range of internet price with a view to making internet more affordable to the users. — New Age photo

After the imposition of cap on pay-per-use internet tariff, Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission is likely to set a range of internet price with a view to making internet more affordable to the users.
A senior official of the commission told New Age that the commission would take initiative soon in this regard.
Under the existing rules and regulation of the telecom regulator, mobile phone operators and the broadband user are not supposed to follow any such range in setting prices of internet package.
As a result, internet service providers including the broadband and mobile phone operators can charge high rate of bandwidth or data from the subscribers.
For instance, users are charged Tk 1 a megabyte of data by the mobile phone operators under the pay-per-use internet tariff, the highest rate of mobile internet.
On the other hand, mobile phone operators allow a customer to use a megabyte of internet data at less than Tk 0.1 under some regular packages.
In broadband internet, it depends on the internet service providers how much a customer will pay.
For instance, customers in the urban areas are charged around Tk 500 against a shared one megabyte per second broadband internet connection, while the same bandwidth is charged more than Tk 1,000 in the rural areas despite the fact that the Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company sells a dedicated 1Mbps internet connection at Tk 625 to internet service providers.
Setting a range of internet price would prevent mobile phone operators and broadband internet service
providers from charging irrationally, the BTRC official said.
Setting such range of internet would also help containing disparity among the internet users in rural and urban areas, he said.
Although there was no range for data plans of mobile internet, the operators have to follow a range of Tk 0.25-Tk 2 a minute set by BTRC for the voice calls.
BTRC has already discussed the issue at a meeting where prime minister’s ICT adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy was present, the BTRC official said.
Meanwhile, BTRC has imposed cap over the pay-per-use internet with a view to giving mobile internet users respite from billing shock.
As internet usage has been on the rise and would grow further with the innovation of new technology, setting a price range of internet data and bandwidth price was urgent with the progress of time, BTRC official said. 

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