- Special Emphasis for Education and Research
S. M. Lutful Kabir, PhD
Professor and Director
Institute of Information and Communication Technology
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology
History of Internet in Bangladesh
First, UUCP email in 1993
IP Connectivity in 1996
Present user 3,00,000 representing
0.24% penetration
Research and Education
Education in Computer first started
at BUET in 1984
83,796 primary level institutions
5694 secondary institutions
15748 secondary institutions
2339 higher secondary and degree
30 numbers of Universities
IT Development
Government’s Emphasis to establish
high capacity fiber optic telecommunication
Local Information and Infrastructure (LII)
National Information and Infrastructure (NII)
Global Information and Infrastructure (GII)
Exemption tax from Computer items
Distribution of computers to schools
Computerization of government offices
Village Computer and Internet
Familiarizing village people
Providing computer training at a
minimul price
Providing email facility
Easier access to relevant market
Enabling student contact for higher
Creating IT related Job opportunity
Range of information resources
related to health
Doctors get help from the resources
Connects to the Internet every hour
through a commercial ISP
Helps user to acquire articles from
reputed journal
IP Telephony
Much cheaper than conventional
telephone system
At present, illegal
Individuals and commercial user still
uses IP telephone
Government considering the formal
permission system for IP telephone
Make significant contribution in
establishing good governance in the
To stop the corruption by introducing
Government has given serious
consideration for its introduction
is not progressing because
poor network infrastructure
lack of human resources
absence of related rules
Government has formed a committee to
e-Commerce facilitates business
Most of the bank use the
computerized system
But they do not yet offer online or
Standard Chartered Bank first
launched Internet banking
A seven bank consortium offers now
IT Policy
A national IT policy has been drafted
and under consideration in the
In the draft, the computer education
has been given top priority
Intellectual Proprietary Rights
(IPR) Laws
In 2000, Government approved IPR Law
The law enforcing agency being
unfamiliar with the application
So, still wide spread pirated software is
Data security and interoperability will be
through setting up encryption standard
and international agreements on
IT (Electronic Transaction) Acts
In May 2002, Government announced plan
to legislate e-commerce
Legislation of digital signature and
electronic document is underway
The Bangladesh Law commission has
drafted IT act
circulated among stakeholders
designed to cover cyber crimes
Nationwide Internet and Data
A variety of data network are slowly
Digital Switches capable of services such
as ISDN have been installed nationwide
Various organizations have, or are in the
process of installing LAN
Internet backbone required for data
communication, software development,
data entry require to be upgraded
Transmission System
mainly composed of microwave, UHF and
VHF radio links
major links are star formation network
use of optical fiber is presently limited within
some city areas connecting local exchange
and remote RSU
all thana headquarters (smallest
administrative units) are connected with
their respective districts through radio links
Transmission System (continued)
majority of the network is operated by
Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board
amongst the private operators, BRTA have
established a microwave link between Dhaka
and Sylhet
Grameen are upgrading fiber optic cable
network of bangladesh railway
established a 140 Mbit/s microwave link
between Khulna and Chittagong via Barisal
International Communication
Standard A Satellite Earth Station in 1975 at
Betbunia to work with INTELSAT system
Second Satellite Earth Station at Talibabad
International Subscriber Dialling (ISD)
facility in December 1983
Satellite earth station along with an
International Trunk Exchange (ITX) was
commissioned in Mohakhali, Dhaka in 1994.
Direct Satellite Link between Sylhet and
London in June, 1995
International Switching Center
Three International
Switching Center (ISC)
One at Mohakhali
Two at Mogbazar
International Maritime Satellite
INMARSAT provides mobile
communication services for ships
and aircrafts.
BTTB have five INMARSAT – A
terminals operating through (land
Earth Station) LES located at
International VSAT Services
Communication established through
geostationary satellite (in this region
Five-year BOT agreement with Pak
Allowed for corporate data
communication and cannnot be
terminated to any public switched
telephone network (PSTN)
Digital Data Network (DDN)
In Dhaka and three other major cities
Plans to extend for all of the 64 districts
An X.25 Packet Switched Data Network
(PSDN) in Dhaka and five other cities in
Inter-city connectivity through microwave
The cable TV network is being
considered as a future option of data
InfoBahn Project
establish a national IP gateway
interconnect the local Internet
Service Providers (ISPs)
connect ISPs to the PSTN through E1
introduce packet switch along with
the existing circuit switched PSTN
offer Voice over Internet Protocol
Internet Service Providers
In 1996, first provider is ISN
Connection charge is as low as 50
paisa (1.2 JPY) per minute
About 80% is email service
Registered with ISP 1,00,000 users
Total Internet users is 3,20,000
Mainly Dhaka Based
Few ISPs are at Chittagong, Sylhet,
Rajshahi and Khulna
Constraints on Internet Growth
Underdeveloped IT industry
Limited trained human resources
Poor telecommunication
Low level of computer literacy
Widespread poverty
Limited point of presence of ISPs
Lack of software and content in
Human Resources
Government fixes top priority in developing
human resources
At present country produces around 2000
graduates in IT related field
Target was to produce 10,000 programmer
by 2001, but it did not achieved
Renowned public Institutes are BUET, DU,
JU, SUST, RU etc
Private University – NSU, AUST, EWU, AMA,
UAP, etc
IT Training Institutes
Short training – specially vendor specific
These training get obsolete as the product
A strong background in IT is necessary
Most of the institutes are just commercial
No standard is maintained
Lack of good trainer
Lack of up-to-date Syllabus
Measures for HRD
Uniform course curricula
Adequate Internet facility
High Speed campus backbone
Qualified faculty appointment
Strengthen PG programme
Enhance laboratory facilities
On line books/Journal facility
Internship in industry
More funds for good institutes
Connectivity in Educational
Use of computers is not encouraging
Most of the universities have their own
BUET has its own, speed 512 kbps/128
Internally most of the institutions are not
Bangladesh Education and Research
Network (BERNET) provides connectivity
for nine universities
The central node of BUGC is connected to a
local ISP
Two universities are connected to BUGC
through radio modem
Nine other universities are connected
through dial-up telephone link
e-mail, www, ftp, remote log-in, database
services are provided
The maintenance is poor
The connectivity through submarine cable
should immediately be established
IT training should be substantially
encouraged in nation through formal and
non-formal means.
Government and private initiative should be
realized and encouraged to establish cyber
cafes to allow wide access to Internet
VoIP and private international gateway for
data and voice should allowed
Recommendation (continued)
The fiber optic cable laid along railway tract
should be further utilized
BTRC should be allowed to work without
government influence and control
BTTB should be privatize
Proper cabling should be done to avoid
bandwidth limitation
IT (Electronic Signature) Acts should
immediately be implemented
The present government has recognized IT
as thrust sector
A large number of bright students and
entrepreneurs have shown interest in IT
Strong data network within the country and
between the country and outside world are
Not only equipment but also training is
necessary for maintaining the system