Nearly 25 Mln People in Bangladesh Have Access to Internet

An estimated 25 million people in Bangladesh have now access to the internet on sharing basis, country’s Science and Information and Communication Ministry said Thursday.
Speaking at a press conference Thursday, Secretary of Bangladesh ‘s Science and Information and Communication Technology Ministry AKM Abdul Awal Mojumder said the country’s six mobile operators and Internet Service Providers have so far provided over 5 million internet connections.
“We’ve estimated that nearly 25 million people in the country are using 5 million internet connections mostly provided by the mobile operators on sharing basis,” Mahfuzur Rahman, Executive Director of Bangladesh Computer Council under the science ministry, said in the press conference.
Rahman, also an additional secretary of the Bangladeshi government, said the number of internet users in the country is increasing yearly by around 0.3 percent.
Science secretary Mojumder, however, said the government has already established computer labs with internet and other modern facilities in all the 64 districts of the country as part of its efforts to educate young generation in Information and Communications Technology.
“We’ve set target to bring all the primary schools in the country under internet facility by 2021 to make Digital Bangladesh, ” he said.
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her party’s election manifesto in 2008 pledged to develop a digital Bangladesh by 2021.
Apart from infrastructure development, Mojumder said the press conference, which was arranged to brief journalists what the government has done in the past one year for making digital Bangladesh, that the country has already formulated its National Science and Technology Policy.
However, Munir Hasan, senior consultant of United Nations Development Program’s Access to Information Program in Bangladesh, said the number of email account holders in the country leaped to 800,000 at the end of September this year from 300,000 at the end of December 2008.
He said the number of email account holders in Bangladesh will further rise as the mobile companies are expanding their network to rural areas helping people to contact their millions of relatives in abroad.
According to the statistics of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, the total number of mobile phone subscribers in Bangladesh at the end of November stood at 50.55 million, about 31.2 percent of the country’s total population.

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