Internet Connection to Schools and Hospitals using USF

With reference to the letter C-3/77/806 dated 29th June, 2015, as part of the 60th Birth Anniversary Celebration, the Media and Communications Sub-Committee under MoIC initiated an activity to connect schools with Internet in honor of His Majesty the 4th Druk Gyalpo’s initiative to introduce Internet in the country. The government approved the proposed internet connectivity to fifty schools through the Universal Service Fund (USF) with a budget estimate of Nu.7 million in principal.

TV white space project

  1. A TV white space pilot project is executed under the aegis of Ministry of Finance under ADB funding. MOH and MOIC are implementing partners.
  2. MOH will trial HP telemedicine kit. MOIC will collaborate to establish TV white space and the connectivity required which will be used by the chosen sites.
  3. Tang BHU has been chosen as the pilot site and Bumthang district hospital as the referral site.
  4. Bhutan Telecom is the connectivity partner. An agreement has been signed with BT to this effect.

Wimax Project

  1. A Wimax project under APT funding was implemented in 2012-2013.
  2. The technology has been established in three sites of Ura, Phobjikha and Shengana.
  3. A presentation of the project’s success was also made by the division to APT meeting in Bangladesh in 2013.
  4. Tashi InfoComm was the partner ISP for the project. An agreement has been executed between DITT and Tashi InfoComm.
  5. The WiMax network is handed over to Tashi InfoComm and they are required to report to DITT on a routine basis on their learnings from the pilot project.

Druk Research and Education Network and connection to TEIN*4

  1. Bhutan has been participating in Trans Eurasia Information Network (TEIN) Project since 2009 while the project was TEIN3. Project is now called TEIN4, the number indicating its advancement.
  2. TEIN is now managed by TEIN*CC, called TEIN cooperation centre, under the aegis of South Korean government.
  3. Bhutan is a member of the project and Director is a governing member of TEIN*CC board. Bhutan pays a membership fee of around Nu. 100,000 annually.
  4. TEIN supports Bhutan in a number of network and security trainings every year and to attend TEIN meetings.

International Redundancy from Cox’s Bazaar

  1. Discussion on this was started during former government when Lyonpo himself had discussed and secured concurrence from his Bangladeshi counterpart.
  2. The GoI has also given its concurrence and asked us to deal with operators since they felt it was a techno-commercial initiative.
  3. The plan is to either set up a third international gateway preferably at Samdrup Jongkhar or in Gelephu if Samdrup Jongkhar is not feasible.

Separation of Infrastructure & creation of Telecom Division

  1. The establishment of a telecom division under DITT has been approved by the government in December 2014 through approval of Bhutan Telecommunications and Broadband Policy.
  2. RCSC through OD exercise has already approved 7 new recruits and 3 redeployment.
  3. Requirement of 3 Engineers for recruitment in 2016 is submitted and approved by RCSC. New recruits to join by January 2016.
  4. RCSC has recruited 3 officers for Telecom division

Draft BICM Act

  1. The BICM Act 2006 is undergoing revision which is to be re-submitted to Cabinet for endorsement to be discussed in the upcoming summer session of parliament.
  2. Inputs from the Department is required for the ICT/Telecommunications and the cyber Security portion of the Act.
  3. The draft has been presented to cabinet 3 times with each session resulting in specific changes and recommendations.
  4. Based on the final instructions of the Cabinet the act has been changed and presented to the ministry and shared with the OAG as instructed.

Telecommunications Regulations

  1. Four important Telecommunications regulations are drafted with support from ITU:
    1. Telecommunications Competition Regulation
    2. Telecommunications Interconnection Regulation
    3. Domestic Roaming Regulation
    4. MVNO regulation
  2. The above drafts have gone through consultative process with the stakeholders and their feedback wherever necessary are incorporated
  3. The OAG was also consulted on the regulations and have provided their feedback

Domestic Internet Exchange Point (IXP)

  1. The infrastructure to facilitate peering among the ISPs has already been put in place, the SASEC OFC network connecting all the ISPs.
  2. BT and TICL have already peered on SASEC OFC
  3. The upcoming Druk Research and Education Network (DrukREN) project has already provisioned for establishing an IXP in Bhutan. Talks has already been initiated with all ISPs and they have welcomed the proposal.