Bangladesh Mission

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Great trip to Bangladesh. We have an SDNP project with great potential and lots of resrouces. The Staff is top notch too and support from the host institution is rock solid. The report spells out the recommendations I am making which in a nutshell call for a refocusing on more development oriented (less techie) pilots and proposes connections to both the National ICT Strategy and the MDGs.

I spent a lot of time in a car going from meeting to meeting. Traffic is a bit crazy. With over 300k rickshaws on the road, circulation is not easy. As the SDNP coordinator told me: “In some countries they drive on the right, in some others on the left; in Dhaka we drive on both!”.

I was amazed to see the Grameen Sky Rise. Pretty good stuff for a non-profit NGO!. One subsidiary, Grammen CyberNEt which is commercial, offers 4 meg fiber access to the net in the upper class neighborhoods which I cannot get in NYC nor in any other US city. These guys actually deploy the fiber cable to each customer including the last mile connection.

I guess we can call this leapfrogging but the “divide” within Bangladesh is growing by the minute. I guess we can clearly see how the “digital divide” acquires a specific meaning in this case.

Ra�l