Broadband likely to be more expensive

Broadband Internet Price Hike
Illustration: Star Digital Graphics

A 10 percent supplementary duty on the import of optical fiber cable has been proposed in the new budget for FY 22-23. 

In his budget speech, the finance minister said, "Optical fiber cable factories have been set up in the country. Currently, there is a 15 percent import duty on the import of the product. In order to further protect the domestic industry, I am proposing to impose a 10 percent supplementary duty on the import of optical fiber cable."

Md Imdadul Hoque, President of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB), says that the increased taxation on optical fiber import will increase the price of broadband internet in the country.

"Optical fiber cables are the backbone of the broadband internet industry. If the prices of import goes up, ultimately the burden of the extra cost falls upon the users who pay the price," he says.

Although the finance minister reasoned that the move was to protect the domestic optical fiber manufacturing industry, Emdadul Hoque says that "the quality of domestic cables are not up to the mark" and that as of now, the service providers have "no option but to rely on imported cables to ensure good service".