English | Dzongkha Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Research and education communities to get high capacity and high-quality internet

Sonam Pem
Aug 20, 2019

Bhutan will now be connected to the global academic community through Asi@Connect Bhutan project that was launched today. The European Union co-funded Asi@Connect project provides a dedicated regional high capacity and high-quality internet network for research and education communities across Asia-Pacific and Europe.

Along with the project, a high-speed network called Druk Research and Education Network (DrukREN) for research and education communities in Bhutan was also launched.

DrukREN will be supported by the Asi@Connect project, which is designed to support countries to develop and deploy new network services, facilitate human capacity building and knowledge exchange and improve public internet access in the least developed countries among others.

“This connection shall facilitate the participation of our researchers in world-class collaborative research projects such as radio astronomy, telemedicine, crop research, etc outside Bhutan. It will also help support cost-effective and then saving e-learning initiatives, making education more flexible and accessible. I am pleased to inform everyone that the ministry of information and communication is expanding the DrukREN backbone to cover all the 20 districts of Bhutan in providing high-speed data access to 160 plus research and education institutes including schools in our country,” informed Karma Donnen Wangdi, Minister for Information and Communications.

And with the launch of DrukREN, it will provide a high-speed network to colleges under the Royal University of Bhutan and hospitals including schools and vocational training institutes. Currently, DrukREN has its presence in eleven districts and interconnects 25 research institutes. DrukREN was started as a national project in 2014 funded by Asian Development Bank. DrukREN was operational in April last year.

The project is implemented by the Department of Information technology and Telecom to promote a green and self-reliant economy sustained by an IT-enabled knowledge society guided by Gross National Happiness.

Meanwhile, as part of the launch, a live streaming of endoscopy was arranged as part of the technical session on telemedicine through DrukREN with the Kyushu University Hospital of Japan.

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