On May 20th, 1979 BARL was formed with objective of promoting the cause of Amateur Radio in Bangladesh, and its founder members started pursuing for reintroduction of Amateur Radio Service in Bangladesh. Recognition of BARL by the world community was very helpful in the process. BARL was elected the 115th member of IARU and the 18th member of IARU Region III in 1982. In 1983, decisions to the effect that amateur radio be allowed in Bangladesh were taken by the “Frequency and wireless Board”. But, unfortunately, the same could not be materialized due to conservative and bureaucratic procedures of different agencies.
After years of steady and continued persuasion, Amateur Radio service was re-established in Bangladesh in 1992. Since then, more and more licenses were issued in a gradual manner. Qualifying Examinations are held in the month of June and December every year. BARL has always been in close contact with the Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board and the Wireless and Frequency allocation Board in respect of Amateur Radio Services. BARL has also been in close associations with other agencies like, Red Cross and Bangladesh Scouts for promotion of amateur radio in Bangladesh. BARL has been represented in many International events on Amateur Radio like, Regional conferences, South East Asia Net Conventions, etc.
Organizing SEANET-93 in Dhaka, setting up of a HF Club station and a VHF Repeater in Dhaka for the members of BARL, ARDF training and competition, participation in COMDECA, Jamboree and Campuri for the Rovers/Scouts/Cubs, organizing Amateur Radio courses and participation in other national events are some of the activities worth to be mentioned.
The role of BARL in providing Emergency Services was highlighted on the occasion of the World Telecommunication Day observed in Dhaka. BARL came forward with their hands of co-operation during last few years at the time of natural calamity. Two teams equipped with emergency set up left for the distressed area in the coastal belt of Bangladesh hit by a cyclone in May 1997. They were associated with the Red Cross, CARE and other agencies and were supporting in establishing and maintaining their communication systems. They were stationed in Chittagong, Cox’sbazar and Chokoria in the southern part of Bangladesh during the period of disaster.
During the 9th Asia Pacific Rover Moot’97 held in Lakkatura, Sylhet, organized by the Bangladesh Scouts, BARL conducted a challenge for the Scouts under the caption “Amateur Radio in Search of Technology”. The same was participated by about 2000 Rovers and was reported to be very much educational for the youngsters.
Easy access to Internet Service and availability of Cell phones appear to have some negative effect towards growth of Amateur Radio in Bangladesh. The number of Amateur Radio license holders is growing slow and steadily. So far, 36 individual Amateur Radio licenses have been issued by the administration. In addition, several temporary licenses have also been issued to the visiting foreign license holders. Further, a Club Station License with Call Sign, S21HQ has been issued by the authority.
Last edition of activity is the new executive committee of BARL is maintaining close relation with the new authority BTRC (Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission) for issuing the new license and for taking the exam regularly. In addition with that BARL is going to arrange the training program regularly from now on.