First IXP established in Thimphu, Bhutan

15 Jan 2019

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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The telecommunications infrastructure is a physical medium through which all Internet traffic flows.

Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).

One of the main sociocultural issues is content policy, often addressed from the standpoints of human rights (freedom of expression and the right to communicate), government (content control), and technology (tools for content control). Discussions usually focus on three groups of content:


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