12:00 AM, March 03, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, March 03, 2010

Telecoms plan unveiled

Fibre-optic network to connect unions; hospitals, schools to get computers, net facilities

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Unb, Dhaka

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday unveiled an ambitious digitisation plan for building Bangladesh as a country fully furnished with modern telecommunications system for faster delivery of services to the people.
Under the mega-scheme 'Digital Bangladesh: Plan of Connecting People', all Union Parishads will be linked with fibre-optic network, upazilas will also get Community e-Centre, and hospitals and schools get computer, web-cam and internet.
Already, 100 Union Parishads have been selected for giving fibre-optic cable connections while another 1,000 unions will be bound with the cross-country cable network soon.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Concept Paper on 'Digital Bangladesh: Plan of Connecting People' at a city hotel, the PM urged the country's scientists, technological experts and engineers to turn Bangladesh self-sufficient in using technologies rather than depending on foreign countries and agencies.
Prime Minister's son, eminent computer scientist Sajeeb Wazed Joy, presented the theme paper of the function presenting and suggesting the priority tasks to turn Bangladesh into a true digital country.
Pushing a button of a computer, the premier opened the technical part of the agenda, aimed at breaking the digital divide between the advanced world and a developing country like Bangladesh.
Hasina disclosed that Community e-Centre will be set up in all upazilas of the country. Already, five upazilas have got Community e-Centre and 128 upazilas computer labs.
She said in line with government's commitment to provide quality health services to the mass people, the government will give computers, web-cam and internet facilities to all hospitals of the country.
Besides, e-centre for Rural Community will be set up at 8,500 post offices of the country to ensure proper management of the postal services.
Moreover, the government is making arrangement to provide videoconferencing facility between PM's office and the cabinet division, deputy commissioners of 64 districts and 7 divisional headquarters.
The government is also constructing necessary infrastructures to set up Hi-tech Park in Gazipur and install country's own satellite to strengthen local telecommunications system, she informed.
Hasina said it is not possible to implement all the development programmes by the government alone and urged all concerned to help the government turn Bangladesh into a digital, modern country by 2021.
“I strongly hope joint ventures under public-private partnerships will fulfil our dream of building a digital Bangladesh,” she said.
Hasina mentioned that the ICT Policy 2009 has already been approved and the ICT ACT 2009 formulated, which will expedite the country's ICT industry's growth and joint efforts of public and private sectors.
The PM said some 1,500 laptops have been distributed to various educational institutions while computer labs equipped with internet facilities will be set up gradually.
“Our children are working successfully in various international institutions. If they are given necessary facilities, they will make tremendous contribution to the effort for turning Bangladesh into a technology-based modern country,” she told.
Post and Telecommunications Ministry arranged the function with its Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju in the chair. International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I Toure addressed the function as special guest.
Post and Telecommunications Secretary Sunil Kanti Bose and BTRC Chairman Maj Gen (rtd) Zia Ahmed also addressed the function.

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