Television and Internet providers coordination committee has threatened for the shutdown of their TV and internet services. Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has increased the rental fees to all those using their pole for distribution of services. They had also asked them to make a fresh agreement by Friday. Irked with the decision, TV and Internet providers says the government will be responsible if the services close due to the cable cut.
The coordination committee includes Nepal Cable TV association, ISPAN, and Dish media network. With their organized decision, they say they will not follow the NEA’s decision to hike the rental fee for using the poles for their cables/wires.
Sources say two of the major telecom operators Ncell and Nepal Telecom have agreed NEA’s new rental fee and have already done a pact.
Cable TV providers, ISP’s and Telcos make use of the NEA poles for the distribution of their service to the customers. Compare to the cable TV and Internet service providers, telco operators have lower usage of NEA’s infrastructure like poles.
NEA vs Service providers
NEA stick to their former decision to cut the cables if they do not agree on the hiked rental fees. Mr. Kulman Ghising (NEA MD) himself has been outspoken for the issue claiming the price hike to be rational. He says they have been using their Poles from many years.
Meanwhile, the coordination committee’s chairman Mr. Dinesh Subedi accuse the new fee will ruin their business. They also convey their inability to provide services with such huge rental fees. As a matter of fact, they hint of possible price hike in their own services, shifting ultimate pressure to the customers.
The TV and ISP businesses tell that they hiked the price hike by 5 fold at once. But NEA says they have just made the fee scientific and appropriate.
Earlier they have raised their concern to several ministries including PM himself. Internet service providers (ISP) had also threatened the government to increase the internet price for the same reason but settled there. But with the no-decision in their favor until now, the businesses have no option but to protest the price hike. NEA had given deadline up to Friday for the agreement based on new fees.
NEA had already warned of possible cable cut if they do not abide by the new fee. The TV and Internet providers now express that they will not be held responsible if the services are interrupted due to the cable cut.