Vol. 5 Num 558 Wed. December 21, 2005  
Front Page

PM opens new digital telephone exchange at Ctg

Prime Minister Khaleda Zia yesterday inaugurated the newly installed digital telephone exchange, which will provide connections to 83,300 subscribers, in Nandankanon in the port city.

The PM formally inaugurated the telephone exchange by talking to President Iajuddin Ahmed from the exchange.

The exchange was constructed under a Tk 368 crore project launched to set up digital telephone exchanges in Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet. The South Korean government provided $30 million for the project while the Bangladesh government is providing Tk218 crore.

She said Bangladesh has come a long way to join the information superhighway through the submarine cable. "Experimental connection has already been given," she added.

Fisheries and Livestock Minister Abdullah Al Noman, Posts and Telecommunications Minister M Aminul Haque, Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury and South Korean Ambassador Park Seong-Ung also spoke.

The PM said the door for Bangladesh to enter the international arena would be opened soon after the setting up of 'national backbone network' for the information superhighway.

Giving some statistics of development works carried out by her government in the last four years, Khaleda Zia said the capacity of T&T Board was 6,85,000 lines in October 2001 which has risen to 11,19000 in the last four years.

She said scope has been created for private entrepreneurs to invest in telephone services, including mobile phone. "This initiative is making a positive contribution in providing mobile phones to the people at cheaper prices," she added.

Khaleda Zia said the number of telephone was 58,000 in Chittagong when they (Four-party) came to power and the number has now become more than double with these new telephone lines.

"Building the infrastructure is not the last word," the PM said adding "It's very urgent to ensure appropriate utilisation of those for the progress and welfare of the countrymen as well as to make those available and profitable to people."

She said all cities and district headquarters of the country have already been brought under digital telephone system and 179 upazilas have digital telephone exchanges.

The prime minister said before they (Four-party) formed the government the internet facilities were only available in eight district towns and her government has expanded the internet network to 64 districts and 179 upazilas.

Underlining the importance of peace and stability to sustain development, she called for effective and active unity of the people to attain common goals.

"If we remain united, those who are involved in various evil attempts to halt the country's forward march will fail. We'll succeeded and come out victorious, Inshallah," she said.

She thanked the South Korean government and the people for their support in setting up the digital exchange in the port city. The newly installed telephone exchange has caller identity (Caller ID) facility.