Sherab Lhamo

Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA), in its recently published annual report, announced transformative initiatives to ensure access to safe, reliable, and affordable communication services for everyone in the country.

One of the key initiatives that BICMA plans to undertake is to complete the Rural Communication Programme (RCP) Phase VII, which is expected to connect the remaining 10 percent of villages located in remote and mountainous areas with mobile networks.

Through research, the organisation will develop a regulatory framework for satellite-based internet services to enhance coverage and quality internet services as currently there is no regulatory framework to guide the development, licensing, and implementation of satellite-based internet services in Bhutan.

To kickstart the initiative, BICMA developed a mobile app “Druk Speed Test” to protect the interests of mobile voice and data consumers through feedback systems to enhance the quality of the service provided by the telecom companies. This will be achieved through a tariff regulation for the telecommunications services.

BICMA revised the telecommunication tariff order amending the technical and economic cost—reducing the cost per bandwidth by making telecommunications services more affordable to consumers.

The report says that the organisation also plans to continue advocating and creating awareness programmes against cyberbullying, online grooming, and the spread of misinformation.