The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have withdrawn the internet fees hike. Following the widespread criticism from the public and under pressure from the Government, the ISPs have agreed to roll back the decision to raise internet fees.
Earlier this month, it was stated that the ISPs are likely to increase their charges by 14% from the new fiscal year in line with the Government’s decision to impose 13% telecommunication service charge on the internet. Following the Government’s decision, the ISPs had raised the internet fees by almost 14% from mid-July.
The Government formed a committee last week with the representatives from ISPs in order to discuss the internet fees hike; if it was really necessary to raise the internet fees. During the discussion, the Government had pressured ISPs not to raise internet fees in the backdrop of international bandwidth price plummeting significantly in the past few years. According to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority, the global bandwidth price that used to cost almost $50 per Mbps per month some four years back has dropped to almost $10 per Mbps per month at present.
Submitting its report to the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) today, the committee stated that the hike in internet fees was not necessary. And as a result, the ISPs decided to revoke the decision of internet fees hike.
The spokesperson for MoIC, Ram Chandra Dhakal said, “ISPs today signed an agreement on not raising the internet fees.” He further added,” As the majority of ISPs were yet to issue bills of the ongoing month, the earlier decision of ISPs would have less impact on the internet subscribers in terms of cost.”
Meanwhile, ISPs have said that though subscribers will not be compensated for the additional internet fees they paid for the last 10 days, ISPs will charge previous internet rates from Friday onwards.
A source has stated that the raise on internet tariff has been withdrawn for the home users only and the 13% tax will stand for the corporate customers.
Reference: The Himalayan Times