South-Asian Telecommunication Regulator’s Council meet in Paro

ICT: Members of the South-Asian Telecommunication Regulator’s Council (SATRC), policy makers and telecommunication regulators from other Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) members and executives from APT affiliate members are attending a workshop on Spectrum in Paro.

The workshop will discuss issues in the areas of spectrum management such as requirement of spectrum for mobile broadband, spectrum re-farming, non-ionizing radiation safety in the frequency bands used for mobile phones, spectrum sharing and other related topics.

Spectrum management is the process of regulating the use of radio frequencies to promote efficient use and gain a net social benefit.

It will also assist the SATRC members in their human resource development and provide an opportunity to exchange views and experiences among the SATRC members’ regulators and operators on the issues mentioned.

Secretary General of APT, Areewan Haorangsi, said the workshop serves as a platform for regulatory authorities from the region to discuss issues. She said the workshop is organised under SARTC’s capacity building initiative.

The chief guest, officiating information and communications secretary said it was important for governments to review and evaluate spectrum management in their respective countries and the region as a whole. With the increase in the use of mobile phones, the job of regulators has become challenging.

Officials hope that the workshop will enhance and build the capacity of telecommunications in the region. The region has seen tremendous development of telecommunications in the region and that the workshop will serve as a platform to share best practices among the regulatory bodies and is expected to come up with concrete recommendations for the regulatory bodies.

The SATRC workshop on spectrum is part of the implementation of SATRC Action Plan Phase V, which was adopted at the 15th SATRC meeting held in 2014 in Paro.

The workshop is planned for middle and high-level technical managers who are involved in the subject matters.

SATRC was formed in 1997 as an initiative of APT and ITU Regulatory Forum for South Asia. The SATRC is responsible for discussion and coordination of all the issues relating to regulations in telecommunications and ICT which are of common interest to the telecommunication regulators in South Asian countries.

These issues included radio frequency coordination, standards, regulatory trends and issues, strategies for telecommunication development and telecommunication related international affairs.

The council also identifies and promotes areas of potential cooperation in telecommunications among South Asian countries; and facilitates the exchange of information in these areas through activities such as seminars, training and workshop.

At present, SATRC consists of nine South Asian countries. The countries are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Affiliate members from those countries are also taking active participation in the council’s activity.

The SATRC meetings are being held annually to address common concerns and issues of importance.

The SATRC Action Plan (SAP) aims at addressing the regulatory issues and challenges of common concerns to its members that arise due to technological, and market dynamics, and innovations and developments in services in the field of information and communications so as to harness their full potential in a harmonious manner for the benefit of all by utilising the expertise and financial resources available from within its member countries.

The workshop is being held from April 19 to 21. The workshop is organised by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT) and hosted by the Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA).

MB Subba | Paro

4 replies
  1. PemaCl
    PemaCl says:

    Thank you Amrith for flagging it here. On behalf of all persons with disabilities in Bhutan and South East Asia, I once again would like to reiterate on the website and telecare accessibility for disabilities that I posted on facebook yesterday. We would like to request all Esteem Members of SATRC to kindly consider incorporating W3/WAI/Accessibility 2.0 guidelines in your telecommunication development projects in the respective countries which would ensure service access to all users including persons with disabilities.

  2. amrithdiary
    amrithdiary says:

    We the disabled population of Bhutan and the South-Asian countries would be immensely grateful to SATRC if even the accessibility issues could be considered as part of your efforts. Most of the websites, TV ads/announcements and other print media are not very accessible for persons with disabilities particularly the visually impaired today. For instance, the TV ads/announcements without audio description makes no sense for the blind. The daily weather forecast on BBS TV is one such example. There is no way we the blind can access the information as it is shown only in graphics. So it would be very convenient for us if the telecommunication facilities and mass media could be made more accessible and disabled-friendly so that we can reap the same benefit as our nondisabled friends. I hope you would also take us aboard as you proceed with your efforts to streamline and standardize the telecommunication sector in South Asia..

      • amrithdiary
        amrithdiary says:

        Hi Sir,

        Thank you for the opportunity. So far, we don’t have much issue with Kuensel website because we can access the news updates easily with our screenreader program. However, we would like to kindly recommend the following to make your site more accessible and disabled-friendly:
        1. The main menus to be assigned shortcut keys because since we use only the keyboard to access the computer, it would make it easier for us to navigate within the main menus if there were shortcut key assigned to each menu like ‘Alt+1’ for Home, etc. The BBC website is the best example.

        2. The photos/pictures to be accompanied by alternative description texts. As of now, most of the images featured on the news articles do not contain any alternative text and hence, we the visually impaired readers are not able to make meaning out of it.

        Otherwise, the Kuensel website is more accessible than that of BBS, Bhutan Observer and The Bhutanese.

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply