Bangladesh has fulfilled a UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development recommendation by bringing the cost of entry-level fixed or broadband and mobile internet cost within 2 per cent of gross national income.
The data on making entry-level internet affordable in Bangladesh was attributed in a recent report titled ‘The affordability of ICT services 2021’ of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Alliance for Affordable Internet revealed the statistics.
In 2018, the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development set its updated affordability target.
The target was to bring prices for entry-level broadband services below 2 per cent of monthly GNI per capita by 2025.
The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development is a joint initiative by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation to promote internet access, in particular, broadband networks in order to help achieve United Nations development goals.
At present, Bangladesh is among the 4 out of 46 countries in bringing the cost for mobile and broadband internet within 2 per cent of the average gross national income (GNI).
Of the four countries, Bangladesh fulfilled the target in terms of providing affordable mobile and broadband or fixed internet.
Bhutan and Myanmar managed to fulfil the target in terms of providing affordable mobile internet service and Nepal accomplished the target of providing affordable fixed broadband internet.
Among the economies, only 96 economies met the target with regard to the mobile internet basket and only 64 economies met the target with respect to the fixed broadband internet in 2021.
In 2020, the number of countries complied with the target fixed by the UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development in mobile and broadband internet were 103 and 66 respectively.
Commenting on the situation, the report said that after years of steady decline, the share of
income spent on telecommunication and Internet services increased globally in 2021.
‘This is mainly the result of the global economic downturn triggered by the Covid pandemic,’ it said, adding, ‘In many economies, the long-standing trend of gradually declining prices for such services was outweighed by a steep drop in average GNI levels in 2020.’