Third in­ter­na­tional gate­way for Bhutan through Bangladesh

Bhutan Times - - Home - Sonam Wangmo

Ly­onpo D. N. Dhungyel, Min­is­ter for the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion and Com­mu­ni­ca­tions led a two mem­ber delegation to par­tic­i­pate in Dig­i­tal World 2016 held on 19th Oc­to­ber, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The visit was on the in­vi­ta­tion made by ICT Di­vi­sion un­der the Min­istry of Posts, Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh. The event was or­ga­nized to show­case ICT prod­ucts, its po­ten­tials, and op­por­tu­ni­ties that ICT of­fers. It also pro­vides a very good plat­form to ex­change ideas, ex­pe­ri­ences, and even help to es­tab­lish net­work amongst IT/ ITES In­dus­try lead­ers, ex­perts, pol­icy mak­ers, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, en­trepreneurs and aca­demi­cians.

In con­junc­tion to Dig­i­tal World 2016, an­other event ti­tled “Min­is­te­rial Con­fer­ence” was also or­ga­nized for lead­ers from the re­gion to share their re­spec­tive ex­pe­ri­ences in the field of ICT sec­tor de­vel­op­ment and chal­lenges sur­round­ing the event’s theme “Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion”.

Dur­ing the Dig­i­tal World 2016 open­ing cer­e­mony graced by Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina, it was noted that Bangladesh has been able to fast track their ICT de­vel­op­ment. The vi­sion of 2021 - “Dig­i­tal Bangladesh” ap­pears quite promis­ing and achiev­able with the pace of the de­vel­op­ment tak­ing place. The key pil­lars of Dig­i­tal Bangladesh iden­ti­fied are the de­vel­op­ing hu­man re­sources ready for the 21st cen­tury, con­nect­ing cit­i­zens in ways most mean­ing­ful to them, tak­ing ser­vices to the ci­ti­zen’s doorsteps and mak­ing the pri­vate sec­tor and mar­ket more pro­duc­tive and com­pet­i­tive through the use of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy.

In facts and fig­ures, Bangladesh has es­tab­lished around 5000 Union Dig­i­tal Cen­ters ( UDC) sim­i­lar to Bhutan’s Com­mu­nity Cen­ters. From these UDCs, 115 mil­lion e- ser­vices have been ren­dered dur­ing the last four years. Many gov­ern­ment ser­vices have also been dig­i­tal­ized en­hanc­ing more ac­ces­si­bil­ity to the cit­i­zens. Telemedicine has also been im­ple­mented which al­lows re­mote doc­tor con­sul­ta­tion from the nook and cor­ner of the coun­try. In or­der to fa­cil­i­tate host­ing of these ser­vices, the gov­ern­ment has also taken im­mense ini­tia­tive to build their own data cen­ter. Cur­rently, most of the ser­vices are op­er­ated by a tier3 data cen­ter. Given the crit­i­cal de­pen­dency on these ser­vices, the gov­ern­ment has also planned to es­tab­lish tier- 4 data cen­ter to meet the grow­ing de­mand. On the out­set, the move to­wards Dig­i­tal Bangladesh is on track, and is seen to be ac­com­plished for the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Bangladesh.

Most of the ini­tia­tives un­der­taken as part of over­all Dig­i­tal Bangladesh have com­mon­al­i­ties with the ef­forts ini­ti­ated by Royal Gov­ern­ment of Bhutan. The main ad­van­tage of Bangladesh is the ac­ces­si­bil­ity to big­ger com­mer­cial net­work such as SEA- ME- WE- 4 which al­lows lever­ag­ing full po­ten­tial of ICT as de­vel­op­ment en­abler. With SEA- ME- WE- 5 planned to con­nect by April, 2017 Bangladesh will to able to tap more op­por­tu­ni­ties from the huge band­width.

Bhutan, on the other hand, has lim­i­ta­tion on choices of in­ter­na­tional con­nec­tiv­ity. At present, Bhutan’s ini­tia­tive to bring in FDIs has not been ma­te­ri­al­ized to its full po­ten­tial be­cause of its sin­gle point- of- fail­ure as posed by Siliguri’s “chicken- neck”. More­over, the cost of internet in Bhutan has also im­peded the de­vel­op­ment progress of ICT in­dus­try in Bhutan. With the Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to es­tab­lish third in­terna- tional gate­way through Bangladesh, it will help Bhutan to ad­dress these is­sues. One take­away from the event for Bhutan has, there­fore, been the ac­ces­si­bil­ity and af­ford­abil­ity of Internet.

The min­is­ter and the team are also sched­uled to visit Cox’s Bazar to see the Submarine Ca­ble land­ing Sta­tion and to meet the se­nior of­fi­cials of the Bangladesh Submarine Ca­ble Com­pany Lim­ited.

On re­turn from Cox’s Bazar on 21st Oc­to­ber, 2016 a meet­ing is sched­uled with the State Min­is­ter of Posts and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions of Bangladesh, Begum Tarana Halim to fur­ther dis­cuss on the modal­i­ties of get­ting ad­di­tional band­width and an al­ter­nate In­ter­na­tional Re­dun­dancy Gate­way.

Ly­onpo also took part in the 20th Tri­en­nial Con­fer­ence on Awami League, on be­half of the Prime Min­is­ter tak­ing place on 22nd and 23rd of Oc­to­ber in Dhaka, and will re­turn to Bhutan to­mor­row.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Bhutan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.