Broadband internet service across Nepal. Image Source: inheadline

Broadband Internet Service across Nepal ‘in two years’

The Government has hastened the process of connecting the entire nation with broadband internet service across Nepal within two years. The move is in line with the long-term plan devised by the Ministry of Information and Communications for increasing communication accessibility.

The Government has also stated that all the district headquarters municipalities and rural municipalities will be connected by optical fiber laid down beside the national highways and road connecting district headquarters within two years.

“The Broadband Internet Service will be expanded to ward-level. Telecommunication service providers will be encouraged to get merged in order to make the telecommunication service more systematic and competitive,” the budget announced by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Krishna Bahadur Mahara states.

The Finance Ministry in the budget for the fiscal year 2017-18 has allocated NPR. 4.98 billion for the Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) development and a big part of it will be invested to connect the entire nation with broadband internet service.

According to Digambar Jha, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) Chairman, the Government has already chosen Nepal Telecom to lay optical fiber network in province 1, 2 and 3. The state-run telecommunications service provider will cover areas starting from Panchthar in the east to Dhading. United Telecom Limited is responsible for initiating the process in province 4 and 5; starting from Gorkha to Rukum. After the first phase of tender call was scrapped, NTA is currently in the process of choosing Telecom Company to undertake the task in province 6 and 7. Smart Telecom has submitted Letter of Intent (LoI) for the purpose and is likely to be awarded a contract.

“We are developing an information highway. That’ll look like a backbone and gradually evolve to fish bone,” Jha explained. This means the NTA will develop information highway starting from Chiya Bhanjyang in Panchthar to Jhulaghat in Baitadi. After the completion, the north-south highway will be connected with the main network giving it a shape of a fish bone. “We plan to connect all district headquarters and nearby municipalities with an optical fiber network.”

Jha added that the fish bone network, once connects all the major district headquarters, will form a ring of optical fiber network through which internet network can be established in every corner of the country. Given optical fiber network will ensure high-speed connectivity, people living even in the remote areas can access voice, video and data service through this network cutting off sole dependency on a satellite-based network.

“Places which do not have telecom tower will be provided with microwave link based network,” Jha said.

The task of connecting 14 earthquake affected districts with broadband internet service is also being expedited, the NTA stated.

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Reference: Kathmandu Post