Computer Networks in Bhutan
Bhutan established the National Computer Internet in 1999. However, due to the influence of network hardware facilities, Bhutan currently has only 30,000 Internet users, and the penetration rate is only 5%, and it is concentrated in Thimphu and Phuntsholing, and other regions. Most Bhutanese households are still unable to own a computer.
At the beginning of 2010, Bhutan Telecom had expanded its international Internet bandwidth from 110Mbps to 330Mbps, and Bhutanese surfing of the Internet was increasingly diversified, including broadband services, General Packet Radio System (GPRS), and 3G mobile network services. According to statistics, there are about 12,000 registered users of mobile network services and nearly 5,000 registered users of broadband services in Bhutan.
At present, only 5 dzongs including Thimphu, Paro, and Chukha are connected to the Internet through underground cables, and most areas of Bhutan still rely on radio to communicate. The Bhutan government has announced that by June 2011, 205 latticework (towns) in 20 districts (counties) across the country will be connected by underground fiber optic composite cables. By then, users can conduct high-speed and large-scale data transmission anywhere in Bhutan.
The realization of a nationwide broadband network is an important foundation for Bhutan to build an information society. By mid-2011, the public will have access to at least 20 convenient online services, including application services for business licenses, driver's licenses, and forest logging permits. It is expected that within 3 to 4 years, the number of convenience service projects will be expanded to 200. The government also plans to build community network centers in rural areas across the country to provide villagers with public computer equipment and broadband services.
TV in Bhutan
After the Bhutanese government officially announced the legalization of the Internet and cable television in June 1999, television quickly entered the lives of ordinary people in Bhutan. In the past, it cost at least 800 nu (1 nu is about 0.15 yuan) to rent a videotape per month, but now you can watch 50 cable channels, including Chinese TV channels, for only 300 nu. Bhutan became the last country in the world to introduce television.
Telephone Communication in Bhutan
The development of the mobile communication industry in Bhutan has only been a few years, but the progress is not slow. Bhutan Telecom, established in January 1999, is the only state-owned telecom operator in the country. In March 2003, Bhutan Telecom started the first phase of the mobile phone project. In November of that year, mobile phone services covered nearly two-thirds of Bhutan. In 2008, Bhutan Telecom also launched 3G services. The latest statistics show that Bhutan has nearly 200,000 mobile phone users, and the penetration rate of mobile phones is nearly 30%. Most hotels and restaurants in Bhutan have fixed telephones for international long-distance calls, and generally have network interfaces, which can be used for a fee. Internet cafes are also popular in Bhutan's cities. The mobile phone uses the GSM standard, and the SIM card can be purchased locally, but the price of international long-distance calls from the mobile phone is more expensive.
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