Bhutan will join the rest of the world today in observing the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day (WTISD) 2018.

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

Bhutan as a member of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been observing the day annually to help raise awareness on the possibilities that the use of the information and communication technologies (ICT) can bring to societies and economies, as well as bridge the digital divide.

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 these fiber optics network to provide their voice (both fixed and mobile) and data services. The coverage of voice is 93.7 percent and internet 90.5 percent as of December 2017.

The government also established GovNet connecting all government agencies in Thimphu with the rest of the dzongkhags with high-speed network. The Government Data Centre hosts government services centrally to reduce duplication of effort and resources; and improve service delivery and efficiency through effective use of ICT, a press release from the information and communications ministry stated.

There are community centres in 200 gewogs and operators trained to reduce turnaround time in public service delivery and  the ministry has established Druk Research and Education Network (DrukREN) that connects RUB institutes and 10 hospitals or BHUs with high-speed fiber network.

Bhutanese space engineers in Japan have designed, built and tested Bhutan’s first Cubesat and transported the Cubesat to Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency (JAXA) for launch.

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

Staff Reporter