Chimi Dema | Dagana
With people in rural areas using group chats in social media to communicate important messages, residents of Tseza in Dagana and gewog officials say poor mobile network connection is impacting them.
More than 40 percent of the 184 households in Tseza do not have reliable cellular networks today.
Tseza gup Phurba said that three of its five chiwogs, Peling, Samey and Tashigang have severe network problems.
He said that although the gewog is near to the dzongkhag administration, cellular signals are weak and calls cannot be connected most of the time.
Tseza gewog is 5kms away from Daga Dzong.
Local leaders said that poor mobile network affects daily official work. “We cannot provide information to residents on time because of the poor network,” the gup said.
He also said the gewog is unable to provide timely service at the gewog centre, as where good internet connectivity is required.
Samey chiwog tshogpa, Ugyen, said even the gup’s office does not have good network coverage.
Gup Phurba said that with network issues, sharing information related to Covid-19 becomes a challenge. “If there are any natural disasters, we will be in trouble.”
The gewog officials also raised the need for an internet and reliable communications network during the dzongkhag tshogdu (DT) in March.
A Bhutan Telecom (BT) tower near the dzong reportedly provides 3G network to people in the gewog. Residents also use Tashi Cell.
Bhutan Telecom officials said that they would install a new tower in the gewog through Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority’s (BICMA) rural communications programme (RCP) to improve the network.
BT Manager in Dagapela, Sonam, said that while the survey has been completed, work is underway to lease land for tower installation.
The project would install eight towers in the dzongkhag. Besides Tseza, Dorona, Karmaling and Tsendagang, Tsangkha and Lajab were also targeted gewogs.
Sonam said that the project would provide 4G network services. “Work will be complete by the end of this year.”