Key Issues

Consumer Perspective

  1. Unusually high price for minimum standard Internet service: BDT 1500 or USD 20 per mbps per month.
  2. Unrealistic high price of pay-per-use (default package) mobile/3g data: BDT 15-20 or USD 0.27 per megabytes.
  3. High-latency and fluctuation of international peer bandwidth making streaming services unaffordable.
  4. Extremely poor promise fulfillment performance by local/national ISPs in all levels. High-contention or greedy sharing of small quantity bandwidth among too many users.
  5. Fair use policies, data volume limits, plus dishonest marketing practice.
  6. Substitution of “connectivity” with “consumables”. Devaluation of users’ time by “consumed data” currency.
  7. ISP interconnection exchange exists but is failing to meet in-country bandwidth demand.

SME/Enterprise Perspective

  1. High price of bulk quantity Internet bandwidth. Average businesses fail to secure even the lowest 1mbps bandwidth per user.
  2. High price of local/inter-branch data connectivity. Monopoly/duopoly condition exists in market.
  3. Absence of global small-business friendly popular payment processors such as PayPal.
  4. Unfavorable conditions against possible growth of local hosting industry: Poor infrastructure and high price of bulk bandwidth.
  5. Absence of Intellectual Property laws and enforcement.
  6. Absence of localized and/or subsidized pricing model for international digitally reproducible/delivered products.
  7. National/local Digital Certificate Authority exists but not functional, i.e. not functional (trusted by devices) internationally.

National Perspective

  1. Regulatory failure in timely launch and spreading of 3g technologies. Delay and high cost of licensing are to blame.
  2. State owned telco (BTCL) is failing to condition the market as it should, i.e. by not providing up-to-decade technologies (i.e. 3G/LTE/FTTx) to end users. BTCL still operates on copper-pair wires, and even inside capital Dhaka, DSL is the highest level end-user technology offered.
  3. Lack of functional peering between local ISPs. Neighboring ISPs connecting through international exchanges/peers are quite common occurrences found by end-users.
  4. Unusually high price of data connectivity (corporate VPN traffic) due to state sponsored monopoly/duopoly condition.
  5. Local underground fiber networks operating under aforementioned monopoly/duopoly costs high enough for national/zonal ISPs to expand services to underserved areas.
  6. Many densely populated residential areas, including those in capital city are under monopoly of locally operating LSPs.

International Perspective

  1. Being the 8th largest country by population, Bangladesh ranks below 100th in Internet usage/quality rankings.
  2. Monopoly condition in the market of direct/submarine International bandwidth.
  3. Absence of redundant submarine/direct links to major International networks.
  4. Lack of initiatives by the government for installing additional submarine cables.
  5. Flood of low quality and high-delay bandwidth from India.
  6. Available submarine cable bandwidth intentionally wasted by artificially keeping the price high in local market.
  7. Export of so called wasted bandwidth to remote parts of neighboring countries at lower price than in local market.

(to be continued…)

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