Internet price in Nepal increases from Shrawan 1, 2076. Internet Service provider Association of Nepal (ISPAN) had already announced for the same before. The internet price hike goes by 13 percent which comes as per the Telecom service charge (TSC) implemented from FY 2075/76.
Update: As per the latest update, ISPs decide to roll back the internet price hike after some agreeement with the Government. So, the price hike will not come into effect for now.
ISPs had threatened at multiple times for the price increment. But after some negotiations and agreement between ISPs and Government, they settled the price hike issue.
Last year when Government introduced the TSC in internet service, ISPs increased the price and there was a big argument between them. Similarly, people also criticized the price hike heavily. Due to which, Government had agreed to provide subsidy in several issues to ISPs. With which, ISPs then agreed to revoke the internet price hike.
Similarly, the ISPs were to increase the internet cost from Poush 15. They reminded the government for the previous agreement and raised the issue of rent for NEA poles for their cables. Cables/wires are run through NEA and other poles for which they need to pay some rent to the owners.
As NEA increased the rent for using the poles, ISPs with their dissent went ahead to increase the price to make up for the price hike. That time also, the Government assured to implement the agreed points and listen to the demand by ISPs. Due to which, ISPs took back the internet price hike decision.
Recently, the Government assured the ISPs to bring down the TSC to half (that is 6.5%) and remove TSC for internet wires, cables, routers, leased lines, and repair cost. The pledge made the ISPs to revert their decision again.
Now that the government stands firm for the 13% TSC and no waive decision has been taken, so ISPs were bound to increase the internet price.
With the price hike, the internet subscribers have to pay 13 % extra for internet, which is a burden. The price increment is more than Rs 100 and according to the cost of the internet, package subscribed.
Several ISPs now inform their customer of the price hike. Let’s take an example of Vianet here.
Although Government and ISPs may sit for negotiations, chances are very rare for the way-out. So, the price hike will put an additional burden on the customers head.
But in all these circumstances, the general public will suffer for the extra amount to buy the internet service. We all believe that internet services revolutionizes the world we live in, making it better. So, making the internet not affordable has both a direct and indirect impact on the people using it.
For this issue, Here is what Nima Tenzing wrote on a Fb Group’s wall.
“What’s up with ISPs and their Association? They decide to increase internet service price again because govt. didn’t fulfill their beforehand agreement.J garda ni public lai nai dukha. Aren’t people working in ISPs also citizens of Nepal? Shouldn’t they be holding govt. accountable for their words and agreements?Internet is one of the most modern tools available to us today. ISPs and association could block certain sites, post pop up info and other regarding the govt. not fulfilling the agreement and to help them, to stand with them. Within a day public would raise voice against the govt. regarding the agreement as people don’t want their internet to be interrupted.
But no, they take the easy route, to just increase the price. They work as a syndicate to impose their price on customers instead of negotiating with govt. with their syndicate’s power.
The funny thing is neither ISP Association nor NTA monitors the service qualities provided by ISPs nor is there any lawsuit for the poor quality of service.
I believe the internet price should be cheaper but in Nepal, it’s happening opposite.
Looking at the work ethics, quality of service and the way Nepalese businesses handle some hurdles, it’s truly disheartening and disgusting.
With this kind of operational strategy, when will Nepal ever develop?