Connectivity for ICT businesses

In my last entry I celebrated the government’s promise to make Bhutan an attractive destination for ICT businesses. I am truly excited at the prospects of using ICT to strengthen our economy, create much needed jobs and generated revenue, all while safeguarding our brand-image as a country that’s serious about gross national happiness.

But yesterday I was reminded that our government will need to do a lot of work if ICT is to become a viable business in Bhutan. This is especially so if we want to attract foreign investment to spearhead the development of ICT businesses.

What happened yesterday? I couldn’t go online. And I’m still having trouble accessing international websites, including this blog.

So I called up Bhutan Telecom’s customer service (at 1700-1700) and learnt that, on the night of 3rd April, strong winds forced a tree on a BPC tower in Bunakha damaging both electrical and fibre optic cables. The electrical cables have already been restored, but it appears that it might take longer (3 to 4 days, I was told) to repair the fibre optic cables.

Though the storm at Bunakha has affected international uplinks to Hong Kong and London, Bhutan Telecom continues to provide about 10 Mbps link to Phuentsholing using their microwave link. But 10 Mbps is not enough to do the smallest of ICT businesses. In fact, even the 116 Mbps that Bhutan Telecom provides at full capacity will not be enough to develop an industry around ICT.

So our government should upgrade existing links and build alternate international links to make connectivity sufficiently reliable in our country. This should not be too difficult if the Universal Service Fund, which consists of license fees amounting to Nu 777 million each from Tashi Cell and B-Mobile, is used to finance these critical investments. The Fund, after all, was established to do just this sort of work.

Only after improving our connectivity infrastructure will investors – national and foreign – take our government’s promise to make Bhutan an attractive location to do ICT businesses seriously.

Otherwise get ready for more disruptions. See “Stayin online” for an earlier entry about unreliable internet services.

 

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Comments

  1. Sonam Tenzin says:

    I am getting tired of your grumblings here…… It’s very easy to be an opposition leader, isn’t it? You go there, listen to few people and talk like them; you come here, listen to few people and then again talk like them. During the day, you are for the government support for political parties; by evening you are against it. One day you were congratulating the banks for doing heck of a job; the every next day, you are with someone who says that Bhutanese banks are lazy.
    Well, I think the universe is telling you to shut the fuck off…. so please do so.

  2. Anonymous says:

    hey Sonam Tenzin,

    tell me something, what have u done in ur life so far? i guess nothing but use foul languages to other people. are u parents teaching u all this, coz this really shows a good upbringing by ur parents.

  3. Lobxang says:

    Sonam Tenzin, your sister/mom is reading your comment right now, and they are not very proud with the language you have learnt.
    Here is a little news for you. Do you see your comment? Just below the comment, the date and the time appears. Do you see that? Well, when the owner of this blog opens this page, a little picture of a recycle bin appears there. All the owner has to do is click on it and all the effort you took in coming up with this foul comment will be ‘recycled.’
    He did not do it. Do you know why? Now, that’s another home work for you if you are willing to learn.
    I think he values even your degenerate comments so don’t be so hard on yourself next time.

    Thank you.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sonam Tenzing la.
    Shame on you dear ! ooooops was it too harsh…perhaps not compared to what you wrote. It is such a disgrace to have people like you in the society. I am truly ashamed.

    I just wanted to share with you that OL is working hard to bring out what he can to our notice of the happenings around Bhutan, around policy makers, around politicians and about many things that we will sometimes not hear or notice. We are grateful for what he is doing. If he doesnot do it THEN who will….Will you do it? I doubt. What he lays down here brings up healthy debate among civil servants, among private sector, among social workers and the list goes on.

    You HAVE sinned SONAM…but you are forgiven nonetheless… THOU SHALL NOT UTTER SUCH FOUL WORDS AGAIN…LEST THOU SHALL REGRET…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Interesting! At times I am as confused as Sonam Tenzin is and for that matter I tend to support what he has written. But NOT the use of certain words. It doesn’t suit us Bhutanese…

    I am here neither to bury nor praise the OL. While most of his postings are good in terms of addressing issues and concerns, a few smell of cheap ‘grumbles’.

    Anyways…!

  6. Palden Drukpai Puen says:

    Mr. Sonam Tenzin… please for the sake of Palden Drupa and Drk Choedhen gi Gyalkhap dont forget the Driglam Choesum… You may be old enough but OL is a man with orange scarf and patang receive from HM and above all he is more intelectual than you. May you be forgiven…
    But remember, OL is doing best to make the foundations of democracy and giving us a chance to participate in democratic bhutan… making us feel the democracy and ofcourse bring up the fact issues…
    May god bless you Sonam Tenzin.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sonam Tenzin if you do not like what ol says please do not log onto his blog. its simple.
    this is democracy. You have the right not to read his blog same as we have the right to read his blog. Congrats lyonpo for sharing your views with us.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I will go with Sonam Tenzing’s comment minus his foul language. He should learn the philosophy of language right from the beginning.

    Sorry Sonam Tenzing, pls don’t use such language in this blog la.

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