In order to address the issue of digital divide and access information within the country, Druk Nyamrup Tshogpa (DNT) has pledged that it will allow everyone to communicate freely within the country and also allow everyone to access online services and local content for free.
With the intention to close the gap of digital divide, DNT commits that it shall develop Suung-joen app that will allow every Bhutanese to communicate for free, establish free Wi-Fi access points and allow free hosting of local contents and enhance and support online business opportunities.
Develop Suung- joen app
DNT says it want people to stay connected and to use such online facilities so communities come closer. Towards that DNT will develop a Suung-joen app which is similar to WeChat and WhatsApp, and it will allow everyone to stay connected and to communicate freely without having to worry about recharging data, or losing talk time.
Allow free access to all in-country online content
There are several online public services for the benefit of Bhutanese people such as G2C, B2B and B2C.However, the requirement to use WiFi, 3G, or 4G to access them has made these services expensive and inconvenient, DNT’s manifesto says.
DNT promises their free WiFi service will address this issue by allowing all in-country online contents and public services, including multimedia and entertainment, to be accessed for free.
Establish free WiFi access point and allow hosting of local contents
DNT has pledged that it shall establish free WiFi access point and allow hosting of local content by providing backbone connection to content providers to make it accessible over the intranet.
According to DNT, the existing Druk Research and Education Network and Government Wide Area Network that have reached the gewogs can be enhanced and made to carry the free WiFi connectivity over the existing network of the government. This will make in-country data freely available within the country.
DNT will also incorporate necessary changes to existing acts and rules to make it possible to carry all types of data over the Free WiFi network for the benefit of citizens. This will greatly promote online services of any type within the country and also help generate local content and services.
This network can actually boost online public services like G2C, B2B and B2C, making the systems more efficient and easy for our citizens. This will open up access to information and will stimulate research and give greater access of local contents, DNT says.
Upgrade BBS for enhanced definition and wider reach.
DNT has pledged that the only national television station, BBS will be made 100 percent available nationwide. It will make BBS TV available in KU-band so it can be connected using a small dish. Support will also be rendered for BBS to go HD (high definition) and DNT will also make BBS FM radio reception available across the country.
Strengthen the Bhutanese news media
DNT’s manifesto says, as in any democracies around the world, the news media in Bhutan is one of the most important democratic implements for an informed society. The news media continues to play the traditional yet vital role of being the conduit between the people and their elected government. They relay aspirations of the people to its elected representatives and keep them in check by informing the people aboutthe conducts of elected and public officials.
DNT promises to encourage a free media that is in the interest of the public, especially in view of proliferation of unverified news on social media, and for the purpose of healthy political discourse.
DNT also pledged that it shall strengthen media authorities like Bhutan Information Communication and Media Authority (BICMA) to better carry out their responsibilities.
It will Review the Right to Information Legislation that was drafted since 2007 and consider it for enactment.
Narrow digital divide and promote online business
DNT says it will encourage and boost business opportunities through online commerce and trade, like selling and buying online. DNT will develop various apps for the convenience of every Bhutanese which will help close the digital divide.