Sri Lanka has been placed as No 1 in the world, with the lowest entry level fixed broadband charges, according to a report published recently by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU report- Measuring the Information society 2012). Sri Lanka is also one of the first countries in the world to narrow the gap between the bandwidth offered to the subscriber and the actual speed it is delivered....
Sri Lanka has been placed as No 1 in the world, with the lowest entry level fixed broadband charges, according to a report published recently by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU report- Measuring the Information society 2012)
Sri Lanka is also one of the first countries in the world to narrow the gap between the bandwidth offered to the subscriber and the actual speed it is delivered.
The high speed broadband (HSBB) access services such as ADSL, WiMAX and 4G LTE are three major fixed broadband technologies available in Sri Lanka. Among them, ADSL has the biggest market share while WiMAX and 4G LTE hold the rest of the market share in fixed-broadband services. 4G LTE (TDD) rollout has now commenced in the country and its availability is still limited to a select number of people in urban areas.
Commenting on this achievement the Director General of TRCSL Mr. Anusha Palpita said, “Sri Lanka has achieved this global rating in broadband charges within a short time after initiatives were taken to ensure value for money to the subscribers for the services they receive. It reflects the success of strategic measures adopted by the TRCSL in the process of making high speed broadband affordable and a ubiquitous commodity in Sri Lanka. In restricting the entry level broadband to a price affordable to a large segment of the population, the lead that TRCSL is giving in this regard can be expected to be followed as a role model by Telecommunications Regulatory Authorities in other countries”
“The Government’s vision is to transform and develop Sri Lanka to become a leading supplier of digital goods and services to the world. Hence this listing by ITU would be a good precedent and motivation to achieve success in other fields, and it also becomes helpful in making comparisons and assessing the success of strategies adopted by TRCSL” said Mr. Anusha Palpita.
Sri Lanka celebrates its first decade in broadband operations this year. It must be noted that until the year 2010 Sri Lanka’s fixed broadband market was in a stagnant state. Having assessed properly its role as the national regulator, TRCSL then proceeded from year 2010 to stimulate competition among operators in the fixed broadband market effectively despite the fact that the country has a less number of players in the market, compared to the mobile broadband market. It is now a high priority objective of the TRCSL to make broadband services affordable while improving its quality to ensure satisfactory results from the perspective of the user.
We are encouraged by this new ranking and we will redouble our efforts to boost the availability of fixed broadband services especially in areas where people do not have access to the Internet, while at the same time making the cost of access to broadband relatively inexpensive. Broadband services constitute a catalyst in socio-economic development, a reality recognized globally. Broadband helps to raise the IT literacy rate in the country and thereby contribute significantly towards making Sri Lanka a hub in the region that is empowered with information technology.
Until recently 512kbps was the highest speed available for residential fixed broadband subscribers in the country. Apart from the low capacity bandwidth of the service, users have undergone many difficulties when using the Internet during busy hours, especially when accessing the content hosted from overseas. The speed tests were conducted by the TRCL broadband monitoring unit (TRCSL-BMU) in 2010 and it detected extremely low speeds in fixed broadband services in the range of 10% of the total capacity. Corrective measures were then taken by TRCSL and consequently speed levels have improved up to a level of 80%. Services in the range of, say, 512kbps have become obsolete and now speeds ranging from 4Mbps to 8Mbps have become a standard service in residential areas.
The TRCSL has successfully effected a distinct change in the fixed broadband market - from stagnant to vibrant market within a period of three years. The carefully planned strategy of improving quality, reducing prices and creating healthy competition leading to overall success gives confidence to the TRCSL to venture out further and take this improved service to the doorstep of the rural community.