With the demand of reducing the price of internet at the end level user, several of the country’s information and communication technology (ICT) based organizations are preparing for bigger demonstrations to press on the issue, reports Dhaka Tribune.
Demonstrations on the same issue have already been observed at many places of the nation through different district level platforms, protesting the high price of internet services in all forms of service delivery.
“We are currently talking with the authorities and at the same time we are preparing ourselves for a greater movement, in case our demands are not met,” Julius Chowdhury, coordinator of the movement, told the Dhaka Tribune over the phone on Wednesday.
Earlier, the organisations, through a press conference, started a movement demanding the reduction of internet price and asked the telecom regulator, BTRC, to set the price of internet data usage to Tk0.10/day for per Megabyte or Tk10/day for per Gigabyte. The initiators of the movement also warned the regulator of indefinite sit-in demonstration from June 12 if demands are not met.
However, yesterday, the protesters met with officials of the regulatory body where the BTRC declared that they have decided to reduce the internet bandwidth price. The regulatory body also asked the ICT organisations to place their demands in a written format but it has not specified the time of effect and details of the new rate.
Brig Gen Golam Mowla Bhuiyan, director general (DG) of Systems and Services Division of BTRC, Julius Chowdhury, Abdullah Al Imran, president of ICT society of Dhaka University, Telecom Subscribers' Forum General Secretary Shardul Ahmed Sena and ICT of Bangladesh Group Moderator MA Kabir, among others, were present at the meeting.
After the meeting, Julius, also the CEO of dearjulius.com, said they are not happy with BTRC’s statement only. “We will not return home unless our demands are fulfilled.”
He said they will send a proposal tomorrow [Thursday]. “We have had the same demands for the last few years and to fulfil them we will do whatever is needed.”
He further said the BTRC DG told them that after the regulatory body receives the proposal, it will analyse it [proposal] and discuss with the internet service providers regarding the issue on how they can reduce the internet price.
“We will go as per the formal process but our movement will continue and the possibility of the indefinite sit-in demonstration is still there,” Julius said.
The protesters have already collected different proposals from people through Facebook and other social media platforms. They also gathered at the Shabagh intersection, popularly known as Shabagh Square, Wednesday afternoon to discuss the proposals.