ThimphuTech was the first technology blog in Bhutan. We started writing it in 2009, just as broadband and mobile internet started to take off. (Although internet in Bhutan was launched in 1999, it was either super-slow or super-expensive, and was only used by a selected few).

In the blog, we wrote about technology and food, but also about plenty of other stuff. The blog became popular and influential in Bhutan. A companion bi-weekly column -- Ask Boaz -- was published for many years in the Kuensel, Bhutan's national newspaper. (The complete Kuensel columns are available as an ebook, Blogging with Dragons).

We stopped updating the blog when we left Bhutan in 2014, but the information within the posts can still prove useful, and thus we decided to keep it online.

We thank all our readers.
Tashi Delek,
Boaz & Galit.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The New Internet Gateway

Bhutan's international connection to the Internet was, until now, via a single gateway in Phuentsholing. Today, however, all this is supposed to change, and a second international link in Gelephu will finally start operating, according to the Kuensel ("2nd International Gateway: Bhutan will have 24/7 connectivity once this link is ‘lit’').

But will this provide a true 24x7 redundancy?
Toward the end of the article, we read that
The Phuentsholing, and soon to be launched Gelephu gateway, both route through Siliguri, then the city of Mumbai, eventually the Atlantic Ocean.
A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Since the two cables eventually merge in Siliguri and from there the link continues to Mumbai, then a single failure along the Siliguri-Mumbai connection will again disconnect Bhutan. Unless, of course, that Indian part of the link is also redundant. But that is not clear from the Kuensel story.

The link speed, which is of vital importance, is not mentioned in the story, but previous articles specify it at around 300 Mbps. If the network is set up correctly, we should start experiencing a faster response time when surfing to international websites. 

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