Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bhutan - An evaluation of a project to bring telecoms to rural communities

[itu news] A cooperation project between the Royal Government of Bhutan, the Government of India, ITU and the Universal Postal Union connects isolated communities.

Bhutan is, indeed, a country of remote villages that have remained largely disconnected from the world and from one another until recently. News travelled as it had for centuries, on foot. Telephones, and not to mention data services that are so common elsewhere, were simply non-existent. Even today, Bhutan’s telephone penetration stands at 12.2 per cent in urban settings and a mere 4.9 per cent in rural areas. In the most connected community, Internet connections are present in less than 4 per cent of households with most communities under 1 per cent. And yet it is generally accepted that access to information and communication technology (ICT) services is an important component of both social and economic development. ICT encourages national and international trade, facilitates both business and personal banking transactions and lays the foundation for tourism, construction and other key employment sectors.

ICT Success stories: Reaching the remote in Bhutan

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