Sri Lankans may lose high speed broadband internet access for an affordable price due to a decision by the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) to discontinue the National Broadband Initiative (NBI).
The initiative was launched under the guidance of the then Secretary to the President and Chairman of the TRC Lalith Weeratunge. However, the newly appointed Director General of the TRC, Sunil S. Sirisena, has decided to discontinue with the program, sources said.
Meanwhile, TRC has discontinued the contract of Sanath Siriwardena, the consultant who spearheaded the NBI for the past few years.
The NBI allowed Sri Lankans to enjoy high speed internet access at an affordable price. Due to the NBI, Sri Lanka has made significant strides in the development of its broadband platform. In 2012, Sri Lanka was ranked world’s number one for the lowest entry level fixed broadband charges by the International Telecommunication Union. This was possible in a very short span of time by continuously making broadband affordable while increasing the quality of services; the two goals simultaneously pursued by the NBI. Meanwhile, during the last five years, the broadband subscriber base increased from 500,000 to 2.6 million.