The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is granting &21.2 million for the development of ICT in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal by improving the availability of affordable broadband Internet connections.
The South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation Information Highway Project is estimated to cost around US$ 24 million. ADB will provide $4.7 million grant to Bhutan, another US$ 9 million grant to Nepal and a US$ 3.1 million loan to Bangladesh for the project. The project will empower manpower and local content and Internet applications to promote inclusive growth and reduce poverty. The governments of the four member-countries of the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) will finance US$ 7.2 million of the total project cost. ADB will also provide US$ 4.4 million grant to increase technical and business skills in developing local ICT and Internet applications particularly for the poor. The project will establish a SASEC regional network with fibre-optic and data interchange capacity, which will directly connect the four member countries. The project will also set up a SASEC village network to expand broadband access to 110 rural communities in the SASEC countries and provide direct connections among the communities for local networking and local information sourcing.