With the enactment of the Bhutan Telecommunications Act 1999, the erstwhile Department of Telecom (DoT) was corporatised as Bhutan Telecom Limited. By the same Act an agency called Bhutan Telecommunications Authority (BTA) was established in the year 2000 as a separate agency to regulate the telecommunications industry in the country. Later in 2003 BTA was renamed as Bhutan Communications Authority (BCA) and put under the newly established Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC).
When the Bhutan Information Communications and Media Act 2006 was enacted BCA is again renamed as Bhutan InfoComm and Media Authority (BICMA) and formally de-linked from MoIC as of 1st January 2007.
BICMA’s responsibilities include:
- Enabling a secure, efficient and reliable delivery of ICT and Media services at affordable prices;
- Managing access to the radiofrequency spectrum and monitoring their usage;
- Support the continuous technological advancement to improve the standards of information, communications, media and entertainment ;
- Improve and monitor the choice available in the content of the media and entertainment for news, current affairs, religious knowledge, art, culture, science, technology, social sector concerns, music, sports, drama and other subjects of public and national interest;
- Licensing of cable TV, broadcast media, printing presses, publications, entertainment licenses, ICT facility and service licenses.
- Maintain a dynamic and progressive regulatory system to promote market development, manage competitions while protecting consumers and other users;
- Facilitate the establishment of an integrated, efficient and high quality ICT infrastructure in the country;
- Issuance of filming permits, review and certification of films and accreditation of journalists;
- Develop rules, guidelines and appropriate standards for uniform ad consistent enforcement and efficient utilization of available resources.
- Set appropriate technical standards and rules to ensure interoperability, efficient use of radio spectrum and telephone numbers.