Government has decided to scrap three of the biggest optical fiber project in Nepal for Mid hill Information superhighway. The mammoth optical fiber project was worth Rs 10 billion. The project was initiated as a part of the RTDF Rural Telecommunication Development fund utilization. The government puts an end to the backbone fiber project citing no significant progress in the project for more than 1.5 years. The government had awarded the optical fiber project to Nepal Telecom (NTC), UTL and Smart Telecom.
Update: They didnot scrap the project and continued with Ntc and Smart. NTA tried to scrap with UTL but the SC court stayed the process. Read more on Why do we need information superhighway?
As per Naya Patrika, Government had to rethink of the project as the initial survey had not started for long. MOIC State Minister Mr. Gokul Baskota says to Naya Patrika, “4G expansion has to be expedited in the country,” but as the main backbone for such expansion, the optical fiber project is being put on the bargain, Government is compelled to come up with the decision to scrap it”.
Earlier Prime Minister had asked Ntc to stop the further works in the optical fiber project while asking for the improvement in their quality. Also, read more at PM Oli asks Ntc for improvement.
In order to expand the optical fiber to all parts of the country, NTA has started to work for the Mid hill Information highway. They made an agreement with three operators in different areas to provide the fund. Two years pass by and no significant outcome there, Government takes bold decision to put an end to all of the projects. Minister mentions of this to prevent the misuse of the public money, accumulated as tax.
The cabinet decides to put an end to all agreements done with Ntc, UTL and Smart Telecom for the optical fiber expansion works.
Information Superhighway project
Considering the broad availability of telecom services including broadband in all parts of the country, the Information superhighway concept was built. The project was mentioned to complete within two years of the agreement. On Baishak 2073, Development committee in Parliament had also asked to complete the works within 18 months. Until now, there was no progress in the Super highway project due to several reasons
Scrapped Mid hill Optical Fiber project
The scrapped three optical fiber projects are:
- Agreement no. 1:
- Mid Hill highway project agreement with NTC.
- Arughat of Gorkha to Chiya Vanjyang, Pachthar.
- Spans 2376 km of optical fiber.
- Amount: Rs 4 billion, 880 million.
- Agreement no. 2:
- Mid hill highway optical fiber project agreement with UTL
- Arughat of Gorkha to Burtibang of Baglung
- Spans 2147 km including ADSS
- Agreement no. 3:
- Mid hill highway optical fiber project agreement with Smart Telecom
- Musikot of Rukum to Jhulaghat of Darchula
- spans 2512 km of optical fiber
As Government has scrapped all of such optical fiber project aka Information superhighway project, they will initiate this project after including it in this year’s budget 2075 / 2076. Source: eNayaPatrika
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