Have you wondered who is responsible for undergrounding the cables that tarnish the beauty of those cities? The options could be NEA, Ntc, ISPs or the Metropolitan or the Government agencies. Now the Government has made Nepal Telecom responsible to manage the aerial cables as a pilot project in Kathmandu. Though we expected to have a breakthrough in the long-pending work, there is already a roadblock as ISPs are against this decision.
At first, Cabinet decided to let NTA start the work of making standards for the undergrounding the overhead cables. Then NTA awarded the work to Nepal Telecom to manage the cables laid by ISPs and cable service providers.
ISP Association of Nepal (ISPAN) objects the decision to make Nepal Telecom sole responsible for the project. They ask for their role in the project as they feel left out in the process although being a key stakeholder. ISPAN writes a letter to NTA with the objection and also demands to protect their investment.
Although they agree on the need for undergrounding cables, they oppose the idea of giving the whole responsibility to Nepal Telecom.
Earlier, KPMG (India) got the tender to develop norms for underground cables in Nepal. As known, NTA has already received the study report from KPMG. The report identifies 15 areas to bury the cables underground, along with the standard. The standard to run the wires/cables in highways, city roads, narrow alleys, and even customer premises has also been devised for now.
To sync with that standard, the consultant has also recommended revising the building construction code. As we move ahead for smart cities, all the infrastructure needs to be made broadband friendly. After this, there will be norms for where to put the cables either in public places or people’s homes.
Ntc underground pilot project
As a pilot project, Ntc will underground the cables along a 70 km route inside the ring road area of Kathmandu. They will need some time to prepare well in advance for the proper implementation of the pilot project. As the cables have live services from different operators, they need to manage it with a proper plan and with good coordination with all stakeholders.
Among those cables shown in the picture above, the majority of them are telephone wires and cables of TV providers/ISPs.
Similar Pilot project works of undergrounding electricity cables are underway by NEA, in the areas under Ratnapark and Maharagjung distribution center.
We have seen a lot of entangled cables in the poles which not only damage the looks of the city but also cause accidents in the road. So, it is indispensable to manage the aerial cables in the city areas like Kathmandu to preserve its beauty and avoid accidents.
After the successful implementation of this Pilot Project, they will perform the cables/wires undergrounding works along other routes.
Tell us what do you think of ISPs objection on the decision to make Nepal Telecom responsible for the undergrounding cable project?