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BTN Launches the Telecentre Reference Desk

As one of the countries in developing world trying to accelerate the pace of socio-economic development, Bangladesh has been exploring the innovative usage of telecentres to accelerate the growth. Clearly, telecentres help people and their communities step into the knowledge economy. Realising the importance of telecentres in stimulating the country’s growth and poverty reduction, on 06th December 2007, Bangladesh Telecentre Network (BTN) launched the Mission 2011. The mission aims to establish 40,000 telecentres by 2011. BTN is one of the telecentre networks funded and supported by telecentre.org.

To add a feather in its cap, the Bangladesh Telecentre Network launched the ‘Telecentre Reference Desk’, on 30th March 2008. The objective of the reference desk is to provide instant solutions to the various technical issues facing the telecentre managers. Professor Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Vice Chancellor, BRAC University and BTN Advisor, formally launched the telecentre reference desk. Md. Masum Billah, Team Lead, Telecentre Reference Desk of BTN oriented the operational framework of the reference desk to BTN members.

As of March 2008, BTN has identified a total of 1097 telecentres across the country. It is expected that the number would increase further when the mapping exercise will be completed. Most of the telecentres are operating from rural areas. Unlike their counterparts, the rural telecentre managers lack access to expert technical support. The desk is equipped to provide technical support both online and offline. The telecentre managers can reach the desk through mobile phones, e-Mail, Instant Messengers and snail mail. It will create a link between the local technicians and the telecentres when the voice support is not enough. The desk will enable the telecentre mangers to operate their centres efficiently.

To start with, the desk offers technical support on computer hardware, troubleshooting of printers, scanners, networks, software installation and maintenance, and general guidelines on exploring the Internet. Gradually, support on UPS, Voltage issue, etc. will be added to the list.

Followed by the presentation, the members discussed the operational framework, functional responsibilities and sustainability of the support desk. Nazrul Islam, Country Director, Relief International School Online emphasised on adaptation of technological changes and quality support to the customers. Md. Asaduzzaman, General Secretary, SDNF suggested to archive the various technical issues raised and add it to the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section. He also raised an important challenge of providing support to different companies products. Dr Ananya Raihan, Executive Director, D.Net suggested to decentralise the desk gradually and setup regional reference desk with local partners.

We believe that this initiative will add momentum to the Bangladesh telecentre movement.

Contact details:

You can reach the support desk via.:

1. Dial: +88 01552650622 or+88 01732291428 (ext: 21)
2. Email: helpdesk@mission2011.net.bd
3. Yahoo or Skype ID: btnhelpdesk
4. C/o. The Co-ordinator

BTN Reference Desk
6/8 Humayun Road, Block- B
Mohammodpur, Dhaka- 1207
Bangladesh
Working hours: 09:00 AM to 05:00 PM

Web Site: http://www.mission2011.net.bd/

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