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2019

The South Pacific island nation of Tongo lost access to the Internet as the undersea fibre cable that serves its citizens was severed possibly by a ship anchor. The outage left citizens unable to accesssocial media, air travel bookings, educational and banking transactions. An interim Internet connection has been established through a satellite dish. The repair of the fibre optic cable is expected to take at least one week.

The most significant effort in advancing Industry 4.0 is the development of digital infrastructure. According to a recent report, private and public sector representatives who took part in the 2019 edition of the ASEAN Digital Infrastructure seminar organised by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council in Thailand, announced the expansion in the country’s Internet infrastructure.

Minister of Digital Economy and Society of Thailand, Pichet Durongkaveroj told reporters during the seminar that Thailand is all set to become a full-fledged broadband nation by the end of 2019 by providing Internet access to an additional 50 000 villages this year.

A new report from Germany’s NetzPolitik says Facebook is working with Aeronautics giant Airbus, to test drones in Australia. This is an attempt to revive the social media giant’s ambitious programme to beam Internet across the globe using drones which was abandoned last year. NetzPolitik obtained a document, requested under Australia’s Freedom of Information Act, that showed that the two companies spent last year planning on how to collaborate and schedule test flights in November and December 2018.  According to the report, Facebook wants to use the drones that operate at an altitude of 20 kilometres from the Earth’s surface to bring connectivity to some 3.8 billion people who do not yet have access to the Internet.

Zimbabwe authorities extended a communications ban to cover e-mails on Friday morning, following the Internet shutdown earlier in the week. Econet, the largest mobile operator in the country, stated they were served with another directive for total shutdown of the Internet until further notice. Later in the day Econet stated that it had received an instruction from the government to open up Internet access, except for some social media applications.

The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) intends to notify mobile network operators (MNOs) that offering Internet packages of shorter duration that seven days is prohibited due to numerous complaints received about the mobile services. The BTRC also plans to rank mobile operators based on service quality and make the ranking publicly available for increased consumer protection.

Bhutan has launched its first Internet exchange point (IXP) called the Bhutan Internet exchange (BtIX). According to the Kuensel online news platform, the BtIX will serve as the single hub to keep all local traffic by Internet service providers (ISPs) and content delivery networks, separating them from expensive and distant third party networks.

According to officials of BtIX, the infrastructure will improve the overall Internet quality experience in Bhutan by reducing delays. It will also reduce the average public delivery cost of Internet services since networks will interconnect directly through the exchange.

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