Parental Control Guidance to make internet safer for kids

Md A Halim
Published : 07:30, Jan 30, 2020 | Updated : 07:30, Jan 30, 2020

Parental Control regarding the internet in the country is yet to receive popularity despite government orders. Although some Broadband internet service providers have the service available, the mobile phone operators are yet to launch it.
“The mobile phone operators will soon implement the orders. They’ll be made to do it,” said Post and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar.
He added that even if the ISPs are not following through, they will have to once they renew their licences.
Parental Control, technology that allows parents to filter out content inappropriate for children, was launched by ISP BDCom Online. Amber IT, Agni Systems, Optimax Communication Ltd and others followed suit.
People familiar with the matter say that the operators don’t provide parental control services to save costs. On the other hand, those involved with the internet business allege that lack of awareness on the parents’ part is preventing the service from gaining popularity.
Responding to queries on the matter, Jabbar said that with digitalisation inevitably comes the issue of digital security which is often under threat.
“The risks are multi dimensional. I’ve talked about social media but that’s not the only unsafe platform,” he said before adding that raising awareness was the only way to reduce the risks.
He said that the Parental Control will help parents monitor their child. “I talk about monitoring because if you have a digital weapon, you can guide your child properly.”
Internet Service Providers Association Bangladesh (ISPAB) General Secretary Imdadul Haque said that all their members are prepared to provide the services and many have already started.
“The clients have to ask for it. Only then will the ISPs provide it,” he said before adding that they will raise awareness for more responses.
BDCom Online Ltd Managing Director SM Golam Faruq Alamgir says that they have received lukewarm responses since launching the service a year ago and was now having to count subsidies.
“We are still providing the service. As part of our promotional offer, we are giving out parental control routers free,” he said.
He says that they provide parental guidance services in 53 categories which will block various content including pornographic sites, gambling sites etc and added that the service makes the internet completely safe for the child.
He said that they are still providing a separate service set identifier (SSID) for the adults which is open to any kinds of website and a separate one for the kids.
He added that through their services, internet connection can be scheduled i.e shut down as per the guardian’s wish in order to monitor how much internet the child uses.
Meanwhile, Amber IT Chief Executive Aminul Hakim says that they are not providing hardware but opening a panel where the users can select what they want access to.
Responding to queries on why mobile operators have not yet launched the services, Association of Mobile Telecom Operators of Bangladesh (AMTOB) Secretary General SM Farhad says that they are working with the telecoms regulator to ensure safe internet use.
He added that that a few things regarding orders on parental control are unclear and they will take steps after clarifying them with Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC).