Royal Government of Bhutan refers to the enormous challenges for LCDs
and developing countries in expanding full access among its population. In
Bhutan, the difficulties are varied : great concentration of population in
remote and rural zones, depending on agriculture; low literacy rate and even
lower ICT literacy; lack of adequate financial capital to stimulate the
socio-economic progress; shortage of human resources. With all these
conditions, Bhutan says that the promotion of ICTs is a complex process.
But, recognizing ICTs as an enabler for socioeconomic, cultural and
political development, it has introduced Internet and television since June
1999, has conducted studies on e-Readiness and media impact. The ministry of
Information and Communications is also involved in the incorporation of the
national language into major operating systems, to enable proliferation of
local content on the Internet. The implementation of the Rural Telecom
Master Plan 2003 is now active, to install the communication services into
the majority of its villages up to 2007.
Bhutan underlines anyway that ICTs can be a force of exclusion. While rich
countries are launching their next generation ICTs infrastructures, poor
countries are grappling with mere access to simple voice telephony. It
insists on the fact that cooperation is essential and hopes that developed
countries will continue to extend their generous technical and financial
assistance to developing countries in order to attain the goal of “An
Information Society for All”.