The government has set a target to reach 70 percent internet penetration in next four years to boost its efforts to build a Digital Bangladesh by 2021, State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak said here on Monday.
"The internet penetration has increased significantly in the past six years as the number of internet users is 4.30 crore now against 10 lakh in 2009," he told a press conference on "One more year in journey towards digital Bangladesh" in the auditorium of Bangladesh Computer Council(BCC) here.
Senior officials of ICT division, IT professionals, entrepreneurs, journalists, among others, were present at the press conference.
In line with its plan to build Digital Bangladesh as chartered out in the 'Vision-2021', the government put thrust on the use of ICT for improving productivity, governance, service delivery and on the development of IT industry, Palak said. Referring to different steps on ICT, he said the establishment of 4,547 Union Digital Centres (UDCs), 321 pourasabha digital centres and 401 ward digital centres under city corporations has transformed some important public services into online services.
Launching of national web portal containing 25,000 websites of government bodies in various tiers on June 23, 2014 is another step toward ensuring the rights to information of public, he added.
Palak said, "The ICT sector made remarkable progress in the past couple of years as we formulated effective and time-befitting policy initiatives as well as took steps for infrastructural development aiming to make Bangladesh a technologically advantaged country."
Bangladesh's ICT export showed upward trend last year, he said adding, "The software export may increase to over 250 million US dollars in the fiscal year 2014-15 against the previous year's export of 100 million US dollars.
"Over seven million youths have registered with different international online marketplaces like elance-oDesk and the earning from outsourcing has exceeded 50 million US dollars last year," the state minister added.
"The price of Mbps bandwidth has been drastically reduced to Taka 2,800 in 2014 while it was Taka 76,000 in 2007, Palak said adding the coverage of third generation mobile broadband services reached 64 district towns by 2014.
Palak said the country received many prestigious awards -- South South Award, South South Cooperation Visionary Award 2014, World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) 2014 Prize, Global ICT Excellence Award 2014 -- for its outstanding contribution to ICT during the last six years.
The prestigious awards conferred by internationally reputed organizations recognizing Bangladesh contribution to ICT have enhanced the image of country in the international arena and sent a positive message to the investors to invest in the country.