English | Dzongkha Sunday, February 23, 2020

Blocking PUBG- technically very difficult, according to ISPs

Oct 7, 2019

Bhutan Telecom and Tashi Infocomm say making the online game, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG),  completely inaccessible in the country is not possible as it appears technically very difficult.

The online game PUBG which was released in February last year is known to have huge negative impact on the lives of young people.

It has come to the notice of the Authority that the increasing number of youth are indulged in playing the online game PUBG. Bhutan Telecom says immediately they cannot comply with the directives issued by Bhutan Infocom and Media Authority (BICMA). The Chief Executive officer, Karma Jurme said that he had asked his technical team to study the feasibility of complying with the directives immediately.

“We are in the preliminary stages of trying to see how we can comply with the directive that we have received from BICMA to block the applications and try to make the game inaccessible in the country. it is appearing technically very challenging but we are working to see how we can get to that, how to comply with the directives that we have to make this inaccessible in the country. BICMA has mentioned in the letter that it is not a positive thing that is happening. So we would like to support BICMA  and comply with the directives in blocking this application. But the study is in the preliminary stage and we cannot say that it will be technically possible to completely make it inaccessible in the country,” said Karma Jurme, the CEO, of Bhutan Telecom.

Likewise the Managing Director of Tashi Infocom limited says technically there must be ways but it needs further huge investment.

“We can comply with the directives from BICMA but not immediately because there are technical issues involved in this. Just to block PUBG is difficult. The applications come in a package, there are We chat and Tiktok, all this are provided by one company called Tencent, so if we have to block one, we have to block all. Therefore, today we don’t have technical resources to block just PUBG. We should be given time to study and get resources in place. We need to acquire solutions to do this,” added Tashi Tshering, the MD of Tashi Infocomm Ltd.

However, BICMA says they cannot ban anything in the country, this is simply a regulatory measure to look at what services are good or bad.

“Let me clarify here, we, BICMA cannot ban any services in the country. what we can do is we can talk with service providers and look at what services are good or bad and then accordingly deal with this. This particular case is also about a game, PUBG. We received several complaints from people and BICMA has been following this subject for a long time, almost for over 6 to 7 months. So we had to take this temporary kind of measure to look at the effects of this game. So this is not a ban in the country. BICMA cannot ban anything in the country, this is simply a regulatory measure to look at what services are good or bad,” said Jigme Wangdi, the Director for BICMA.

The authority, on October 1st, directed Internet service providers to block the online game, PUBG and make it inaccessible within the country immediately.

Choni Dema

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