During the Question Hour Session of the National Assembly (NA), Member of Parliament (MP) from Bumdeling-Jamkhar, Dupthob, asked the Information and Communications Minister, Karma Donnen Wangdi, regarding the status of the connectivity of the third Internet gateway.
MP said that in order to fulfill the goal of internet-based economy, it is important to have a connectivity provided by the third Internet gateway.
In response to the question, the minister stated that three countries are being considered for the third internet gateway. Until now, the country’s two service providers, Tashi Infocomm Limited and Bhutan Telecom, have been negotiating the cost of a third internet gateway with the neighboring countries.
Lyonpo said that when discussing costs, two types of costs must be considered: the cost from Singapore to Bangladesh and the cost from Bangladesh to Bhutan. The ministry has been talking to the five different information and communication agencies about it.
“When our Prime Minister visited Bangladesh this year, he met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and discussed about the third international Internet gateway. In addition, the Prime Minister of Bangladesh has promised to provide a special friendship rate for the third Internet gateway,” MoIC Minister said, adding that the ministry is working on it, and also discussing it with relevant organizations and agencies, as well as the Indian Embassy in Bhutan. Lyonpo added that on the 3rd of this month, the Bhutanese representative in Dhaka met with the Ministry of Post and Tele Communication in Bangladesh, and the ministry is told that Bangladesh will soon send an official letter, and through the Foreign Ministry, the ministry will have a discussion, and then finalize the cost for the third international gateway.
Connecting Bhutan to a third international Internet link from Bangladesh is flagged as a priority in the 12th FYP. Efforts and discussions to connect Bhutan began in 2015.