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Public Administration News  
Bangladesh Uncovers World’s Cheapest Laptop
Source: egovonline.net
Source Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Bangladesh
Created: Oct 18, 2011

Laptop costing $130 is the cheapest one across the world, claim officials in Bangladesh during the launch of the capital at a ceremony in the capital Dhaka on 9th of October.

The most basic model of the Laptop (named as Deol) is priced at 10,000 taka ($130/£83). The state-owned telecoms company Telephone Shilpa Sangstha (TSS) is producing four models of the laptop.

"This is a big step towards building a digital Bangladesh. When villages get laptops at a cheaper price they will be connected to the internet and that will bring lots of benefits," TSS managing director Mohammad Ismail told the BBC.

Initially, the laptop will be distributed to various government departments. But later on they will be made available to the public and to tens of millions of students.

Mr Ismail said that at the moment Bangladesh is producing 10% of the components for the laptop and the rest are imported.

"But within six months we will be able to produce 60% of the components," he said.

However, the country's internet connectivity remains poor and critics have raised doubts whether the distribution of laptops alone will help the country to connect digitally.

The government has launched an ambitious plan, known as Digital Bangladesh, with the aim of digitally connecting the country by 2021.

"Every part of the country will be brought under e-governance, while the telecommunication system is being modernized to cut the digital divide," Sheikh Hasina said during the inauguration.
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