Broadband internet service across Nepal ‘in two years’
Jun 11, Kathmandu
The government in the budget for the current fiscal year too has 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. “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 Rs4.98 billion for Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) development, a big chunk of which will be invested to connect the entire nation to broadband internet network.
According to Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) Chairman Digambar Jha, the government has already designated Nepal Telecom to lay optical fibre network in province 1, 2 and 3. The state run telecommunications service provider will cover area starting from Panchthar in the east to Dhading. United Telecom Limited is responsible to initiate the process in province 4 and 5; starting from Gorkha to Rukum. After the first phase of tender call was scrapped, the 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 with 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, north-south highway will be connected with main network giving it a shape of fish bone. “We plan to connect all district headquarters and nearby municipalities with optical fibre network.”
Jha added that the fish bone network, once connects all the major district headquarters, will form a ring of optical fire network through which internet network can be established in every nook and corner of the country. Given optical fibre 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 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 too is being expedited, the NTA stated.