People living in remote areas of Bangladesh and nine other countries of Asia and the Pacific will be connected to broadband internet through a new satellite under the financial assistance of Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The international development organisation will furnish $50m to construct, launch, and operate a high-throughput satellite (HTS) along a shared geostationary earth orbit (GEO) for the sole purpose of providing low cost, high-speed and easily accessible broadband connectivity.
Kacific-1 Limited will implement the Asia-Pacific Remote Broadband Internet Satellite Project in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, the Pacific islands, Papua New Guinea, and the Philippines.
The ADB has already sent the project proposal to these countries, according to an official at the Dhaka office of the bank.
A loan proposal from the Kacific-1 Limited, a Singapore-based satellite company, to establish Kacific Broadband Satellites International Limited with the aim to implement the satellite project is waiting for the approval of the board of directors of the ADB.
Over two billion people in Asia and the Pacific do not have access to broadband internet connections owing to non-availability of cable network or high cost of internet services, Kacific mentioned in its proposal.
While addressing the bank’s board of directors, ADB President Takehiko Nakao said the Kacific Broadband Satellites Limited is to provide a low-cost and high-speed internet access to these unserved and underserved areas in Asia and the Pacific, which are hard to reach with conventional terrestrial internet networks.
The ADB will provide half of the amount needed for the project, while Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP), a joint initiative of the ADB and Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), will provide the rest.
According to the latest report of Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (BTRC), 96.20 million people in the country are connected to internet, which is about 54.44 percent of its population.
As a large number of people of Bangladesh still lack internet connections, the country can be benefitted through the implementation of the Kacifik proposal.
However, Post and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar told The Business Standard that he wanted to bring broadband connection to each and every people of Bangladesh with the country’s own resources.
He said there would be no area left in Bangladesh without broadband connectivity in near future.
The ADB would do its own job, but the government had no chance to wait for the project, he added.