Jun 16, 2008
Netbetar.com, the first Bangladeshi net cast radio channel hopes to reach all corners of the country through thousands of telecentres sprinkled across rural areas. Development focused entertainment through radio can help bring issues closer to the poor, feels the team behind the initiative.
Dhaka: Radio is no longer bound by the relentless jumps from one station to another, the missing of one’s favourite programmes or the trivial boundaries between continents. The time has come to embrace the future where the radio can carry one’s culture, language and issues beyond countries.
Netbetar.com, the first ever Bangladeshi Netcast Radio channel can be heard all over the world. Wherever there are Bangladeshi people, netbetar takes Bangla there.
Radio on net
The idea of launching a radio station over the internet hit S.M. Ashraf Abir, a development practitioner and filmmaker with DNet, Bangladesh. “Netbetar can be used to convey much needed awareness and information along with entertainment to remote corners of the country. Yes, internet penetration is low but then we have numerous telecentres that could be used,” says Abir.
In a country where two-fifth of the population is illiterate and too poor to afford televisions, a development focused entertainment radio channel can be the solution for mass communication, feels Abir.
Bangladesh Tele Network (BTN) has over a thousand telecentres all over the country that can act as rural hubs for the poor and illiterate populace to listen to an Internet Radio.
By providing the much needed information on development issues to its people, NetBetar hopes to help meet Bangladesh the Millennium Development Goals.
Prior to 2006 Bangladesh had only two stations, Bangladesh Betar and Radio Metrowave. Radio listening on medium wave was confined to urban cities. The broadcast scenario soon changed with the entry of three FM channels.
In no time FM radio gained popularity because of its variety of content, new ways of presentation and technical superiority. However these FM stations are Dhaka-based and cover nearby districts only. The target audiences reside within 100 km of these stations.
Bangladesh has a high number of non residents living across the globe who strive for a link to their language and culture. Netbetar here offers them the much needed link.
Netbetar’s dynamic young team includes Mostafa Zaki Haider, Saifur Rashid, Shams Shumon and S. M. Ashraf Abir.