One rate of internet has not been effective anywhere in Khulna division. Most of the internet service providers in Khulna have not implemented the ‘One Country, One Rate’ declaration announced by the government. Although a few companies offer services at government fixed prices, customers are not able to use them due to slowness. Most of the customers are taking internet service at higher prices fixed by the companies.
Meanwhile, there is no system to monitor the internet service providers in Khulna. No department has any statistics on the number of internet service providers in Khulna. That is why the people of Khulna still have to use broadband internet at high prices.
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has announced the implementation of ‘One Country, One Rate‘ internet service across the country from September 1. At this new price, the companies will have to sell 5 Mbps at Tk 500, 10 Mbps at Tk 800 and 20 Mbps at Tk 1,200.
Searching in different areas of the city, it has been seen that internet service is not available anywhere at the price fixed by the government. Khulna shipping businessman Chowdhury Minhaj Uz Zaman Sajal said, “I pay a bill of Tk 1,000 at 10 Mbps in the office.” Talking about the government rate, they said, if the price is reduced, you will not get good speed service.
Hossain Ahmed Sohag, a resident of the city’s Sheikhpara Old Mosque area, said the 5 Mbps rate was Tk 800. Now it has reduced 100 to 600 rupees. In fact, they know very well how many Mbps.
No one has the statistics of the number of internet service providers in Khulna. Talking to traders, it was learned that the number of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) registered with BTRC in Khulna is 30 to 35. And more than a hundred companies are doing business without registration. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Traders estimate that the number of broadband internet subscribers in Khulna is about 25,000.
There is an organization called Internet Businessmen’s Association in Khulna. This association has been formed with 21 organizations registered with BTRC.
Ferdous Tushar, vice-president of the organization and head of Speednet Internet, said, “We have implemented the government rate since last month.” But the BTRC notification does not mention what services will be available within 5 Mbps. Due to which many people are not able to use Facebook-YouTube with 5 Mbps service for 500 rupees. That’s why they went back to the previous package.
He said the price of bandwidth is not the same in the whole country even though it is rated one in the whole country. Bandwidth is sold in Dhaka at a higher price than in Khulna. How can we buy at a higher price and provide services at a lower price?
The president of the organization Md. Jubayer Hossain told Purbanchal that the customers of the village will get more benefits due to one rate. Because at the village level the connection is not available below 1 thousand rupees. This time they will get the service at a lower price. But it will not be of much use to the customers of Khulna city. He said those who provide services in Khulna city get high speed internet service for less money. If you bring that package within 500 rupees, many people will not get the same service as before.
Md. Abuzar Rahman, Programmer, Department of Information and Communication Technology, Khulna, said, “Internet service providers directly control BTRC. They do not have to give any information in Khulna. Therefore, no government organization has any information about them. “We have not received any letter on one country, one rate,” he said. If the BTRC gives instructions, steps will be taken in consultation with the district administration.