Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC)
The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) is the independent commission founded under the Bangladesh Telecommunication Act in 2001. The BTRC is responsible for regulating all matters related to telecommunications (wire, cellular, satellite and cable) of Bangladesh.
BTRC started operating on January 31st 2002 with a vision of facilitating affordable telecommunication services and increasing the density to at least 10 telephones per 100 inhabitants by 2010. The team visited Vietnam in July 2008 to observe the operational strategy of the satellite VINASAT-1 launched in April 2008. In this visit the team members attended several meetings with the Ministry of Information & Communication (MIC), Radio Frequency Directorate (RFD) and Vietnam Post and Telecommunication Group (VNPT).
The Bangladesh government planned to launch the satellite in 2015 but this has been rescheduled for the middle of 2017. Posts and Telecommunication minister of Bangladesh announced the satellite project Bangabandhu on March 29th, 2010 and assigned US base Space Partnership International (SPI) as the consulting firm for the satellite project. BTRC started work in 2008 for the satellite Bangabandhu-1 and hopes to be break-even in seven years. The satellite will narrow the digital divide, as it will help take broadcast and telecom services to rural areas, and allow the launch of some lucrative ventures like direct-to-home (DTH) services throughout the country.
A country like Bangladesh is highly exposed to natural disaster risk because of its unique geographical location. Telecommunication system in Bangladesh has always been suffering from interruptions and problems as erratic disasters hit the country. Satellite network can play an important role in ensuring uninterrupted telecommunication services in Bangladesh. It has significant advantages over terrestrial network because of a number of reasons. One of the important reasons is that satellite network is more effective in ensuring high-level of communication redundancy than the terrestrial network. Besides, by having its own satellite network, Bangladesh can save a significant amount of foreign currency paid as the transponder rental charge. In spite of having some shortcomings including larger propagation delay and high-cost of the project, the long term benefits and advantages of satellite network surpasses its shortcomings.
In order to ensure better telecommunication services, BTRC has always felt the need of having its own satellite network. It had a long cherished dream of having the country's first communication satellite. In order to materialize the dream, it had formed a committee and initiated its first satellite project in April 2008.
BTRC procured the orbital slot 119° E instead of 102° E and 69° E from Russia’s Intersputnik with a cost of Tk. 217.7 billion for 15 years. Bangabandhu-1 satellite will provide DTH services to Bangladesh and neighboring countries and later on to South East Asia and EMEA.
www.thedailystar.net edition Oct 16th, 2015
www.dhakatribune.com edition Dec 8th, 2014