Broadband in Sri Lanka has been upgraded, thanks to the addition of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband. Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) recently announced the new service that will give users access to 100 Mbps download speeds. According to Sri Lankan news site, The Island, the service will include packages that offer 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps speeds and HDTV.
Located less than 100 miles southeast of India, the island nation of Sri Lanka has a population of 20 million people in an area slightly larger than the U.S. state of West Virginia. After ending a lengthy conflict with a militant organization known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the country has gone through an economic boom as the nation was rebuilt. In 2013, unemployment was estimated to be a respectable 5.1 percent with inflation at 4.7 percent.
SLT is the leading provider of telecom services and broadband infrastructure in Sri Lanka. It started as a state-run company over 150 years ago and was privatized in 1991. In many ways, SLT still functions as though it was still a government entity. Nearly half of the company is owned by the Sri Lankan government and it enjoys near-monopolies over telecom and broadband services.
Nevertheless, the economic improvement and expansion of FTTH in Sri Lanka are very encouraging trends. In this day and age, it is nearly impossible to have one without the other and it is especially critical that businesses on the island have high-speed connections available.
For all its recent economic gains, Sri Lanka has suffered from trade deficits for years and geography places it at a huge disadvantage. The only neighboring countries are India and the Maldives. The only practical way for Sri Lanka to start to overcome the trade deficit is to have fast broadband.
Two things need to happen for the prosperity to continue and grow on the island: its businesses need to expand their markets to other countries, and the telecom market needs to be opened up to more competition.
Edited by Alisen Downey