International postal service was inaugurated in 1963; there are direct postal, telex, and microwave links to India. In 1997, Bhutan had over 6,000 telephones. Telephone service is said to be very poor.
In 1998, there was only one radio station. It is government-owned and includes broadcasts in Dzongkha, Nepali, English, and Sharchop. From 1989 to 1999, the government had imposed a ban on private television reception. Television broadcasting was reintroduced to the country in 1999 through the government's creation of the Bhutan Broadcasting Service, which broadcasts locally produced and foreign programs. The same year, the government allowed for the licensing of cable companies. In 2001, there were about 10,000 cable subscribers. Druknet, the nations first Internet service provider was also established in 1999. By the end of 2000, there were about 1,820 subscribers, including Internet cafés in three major cities. In 1997, the country had an estimated 11 radios per 1,000 population.
A weekly government-subsidized newspaper, Kuensel, publishes simultaneous editions in Dzongkha, English, and Nepali, with a total circulation of about 11,162 as of 2002. Indian and other foreign publications are also available.
There are no legal provisions for the right of free expression in Bhutan; the government is said to restrict criticism of the King and government policies of the National Assembly.