Bhutan Observes World Telecommunications And Information Society Day

The theme of the celebration this year is “Enabling the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for all.”

World Telecommunications and Information Society Day 17 May 2018. (Source: The World News)

 

By Staff Reporter | Kuensel

 

Bhutan joined the rest of the world in observing the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) on 17 May 2018.

The theme of the celebration this year is “Enabling the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) for all.”

Aims of the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day

As a member of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Bhutan has been observing the day annually. The nation aims to bridge the digital divide amongst its citizens.

This particular day helps to raise awareness on the possibilities that the use of the information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies.  

To fulfill these objectives, the government in collaboration with stakeholders connected all dzongkhags and 201 gewogs with high-speed fiber optics network.

The Telecommunication and Internet Service providers use fiber optics network to provide their voice (both fixed and mobile) and data services. The coverage of voice services is 93.7 percent whereas internet coverage is at 90.5 percent as of December 2017.

In addition, the government has also established the GovNet which connects all government agencies in Thimphu with the rest of the dzongkhags with high-speed network.

In a bid to reduce the duplication of effort and resources, the Government Data Centre hosts its services centrally.

Using ICT to provide services for citizens

A press release from the information and communications ministry also stated that it tried to improve service delivery and efficiency through the effective use of ICT.

Currently, there are community centres in 200 gewogs with operators trained to reduce turnaround time in public service delivery.

The ministry has also established the Druk Research and Education Network (DrukREN) that connects RUB institutes and 10 hospitals or BHUs with high-speed fiber network.

The MoIC has also established an e-payment gateway in collaboration with the Royal Monetary Authority and the banks to foster online payments or transactions.

On the international front, Bhutanese space engineers in Japan have designed, built and tested Bhutan’s first Cubesat and transported it to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for launch earlier this year.

 

This article first appeared in Kuensel and has been edited for the Bhutan Times.

 


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