According to the Ministry of Information and Communications, the government is still waiting for official correspondence from the Government of India on the third internet gateway tariffs.
As stated by an official from the ministry, there has been no new development and the communication is still awaited.
Foreign Minister Dr Tandi Dorji was verbally informed by India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr S. Jaishankar, during his two-day visit to Bhutan on April 29, that India has agreed to provide Bhutan with the Third Internet Gateway at the price requested by Bhutan.
The major purpose of the Third Internet Gateway will be to improve the dependability of international connectivity.
The 12th FYP prioritizes connecting Bhutan to the Third International Internet Link from Bangladesh. In 2015, efforts and negotiations to link Bhutan began.
Nevertheless, Bangladesh has granted a very good friendship rate of USD 3 per mbps to the country.
Bhutan’s proposal is to acquire the Third Gateway via the existing link from Bangladesh to Agartala and then take a line to Gelephu, which has been pending for three elected governments’ terms, with the main impediment being the high costs demanded by various parties to transport the internet through the narrow Indian stretch.
In addition, to being essential for providing Bhutan with a backup link in the event of a natural disaster, the Third International Internet Gateway is also necessary for Bhutan’s IT sector because international IT companies demand Bhutan possess redundancy or a backup line that is at least 100 kilometers apart.
Three elected governments have made requests so far but there has not been much progress on the ground.