The most frequently asked question regarding internet service is why we do not get the internet speed as promised by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Ever since the internet existed, the problem regarding the internet followed. Now, we have reached in that era where the internet has become an inevitable part of our lives. Technology has advanced enormously as for 2020, but as an internet user, we still struggle with slow internet speed problems.
People who buy internet connection from ISPs, getting attracted to the fast internet speed, get disappointed after not being able to use the assured internet speed. People generally complain about slow internet speed to their respective ISPs but, the complain spiked so much during this specific lockdown period that we need to understand where the root of the problem lies. Recently, few telecommunications experts gathered in a webinar to discuss the reasons behind the slow internet speed in Nepal and its solution.
The speakers for the webinar were Binay Saud, CEO of Subisu, Binay Bohora, MD of Vianet, and Ananda Raj Khanal, Telecommunications expert. They tried to answer some common questions of internet service users and gave some insight on slow internet issues.
Do Check-out How to get an Internet connection in Nepal?
What affects internet speed?
Believing that once you have access to an internet connection, you will receive the internet speed as much as you desire is delusional. Various factors affect the internet speed. Some of them are as follows:
Number of devices connected in a router
We should know that the internet speed is inversely proportional to the number of internet users connected to a single router. If the number of internet users increases, internet speed decreases. So, one of the reasons for slow internet speed is the high number of devices connected to the access point.
Quality of the devices used for internet connection
The quality of the router and the device you’re using to surf the internet also affect the internet speed. Sometimes, low-quality router devices leak the bandwidth, and users are unable to consume as much internet speed as promised by the ISPs. Since the ISP itself installs the required router during an internet connection, saying that the device may be the cause of slow internet speed perhaps makes no sense to the speaker Ananda Raj Khanal.
The content streamed on the internet
When people stay at their homes, they use various online platforms for a long time, such as Facebook, Youtube, Tiktok, PubG, etc.
Tiktok is said to be one of the causes of internet slowdown lately since data usage is high in Tiktok. The use of Tiktok spiked during the lockdown, and it created a bandwidth congestion problem. ISP’s are no claiming to have resolved the internet speed issue due to TikTok usage. Similarly, gaming apps of HD quality and 4K video streaming also consume higher bandwidth. So, what content we are using on the internet also affects the speed of the internet.
Internet usage during peak hour
Internet sharing is prevalent in Nepal. Though it is a better way of using the internet at minimal cost, it compromises internet speed if used heavily during peak hours. During the lockdown, internet usage increased rapidly, and internet traffic surged heavily. So, when many people are using the internet at the same time, it is apparent to internet speed to slack.
As odd as it may sound, wifi is considered one of the causes of sluggish internet. If you compare the internet speed of wifi and cable internet connection, then you will notice that the internet speed is high on the wired internet than in wifi. The internet speed comparatively reduces in wifi connection, which is not something ISP can mend for a better experience.
Less Internet bandwidth transmission from ISPs
All the points mentioned above are probably the problems seen at the user end, but what if the problem is the ISP itself? If ISP sends lesser internet bandwidth than they promised they would, then the users will obviously suffer from slow internet.
According to the speakers of the webinar, ISPs generally transmits the bandwidth as promised, but, due to high competition among the ISPs, some may overpublicize their schemes and exaggerate about their internet service packages. So, if the ISP transmits lesser internet bandwidth, then the internet speed decelerates. Read How to check the internet speed on your mobile or PC?
What to do to increase internet speed?
Here are some of the ways to increase internet speed in Nepal.
Efforts from a higher level to enhance the internet experience
The government and high authorities of our country need to draw attention to the status of the internet in Nepal. It is clearly visible that the collaboration is weak between the regulator, higher-level authorities, and local operators. As ISPs are not the only stakeholders involved in the process of distributing the internet in the country, all the concerned bodies should show interest in resolving problems existing in the system for long.
Other than providing some bonuses and offers, the authorities have not come with any new plans or alternatives to improve the internet experience. There are many loopholes in the telecommunication system of our country that needs attention to enhance the quality of internet service.
Use the internet efficiently
One of the things that we internet users can do to increase internet speed is to use the internet efficiently. During the lockdown, internet usage spiked mainly due to the rigorous usage of the internet and heavy apps. If we minimize the streaming of HD videos on the internet and reduce the use of heavy apps that demands a lot of data, then we can speed up the internet. Find some of the methods to efficiently use the internet in Nepal.
Reduce Home internet sharing
Home internet sharing is popular in Nepal as it is pocket-friendly but what people seem to overlook is its drawbacks. Home internet sharing causes internet traffic congestion during peak hours and puts a load on ISPs to manage internet traffic.
Experts during the webinar said that they are not in a situation to fulfill the high demand for internet bandwidth due to lockdown, so complaining about slow internet speed due to internet sharing among multiple families is going to be useless. Thus, one of the things we internet user can do is to reduce home internet sharing if we want to increase the internet speed.
Proper knowledge and communication
The webinar was interactive and productive. What we can take from the discussion is that awareness and communication is the key to most of the internet issues. The communication barrier among authorities, operators, and consumers is one of the factors that is keeping us from improving internet service in Nepal.
Most of the people have no idea how internet infrastructure works, which factor affects internet speed, how to solve internet issue, and so on. So, there should be a robust communication medium to provide information to consumers. The experts admitted that they lack the communication skill that helps to spread awareness among internet consumers.
Earlier NTA had directed the ISPs to provide the internet speed details to customers, which we believe shall be implemented in a matter of some time.
It is evident that Internet speed is very weak in Nepal. During the webinar, the speakers admitted that they have failed to provide the promised internet speed as much as they have agreed with customers due to various flaws that appeared due to sudden lockdown situation.
We got an insight into the status of ISPs in Nepal, how they are working to provide quality internet, and how consumers lack awareness about the internet speed. There are various factors and reasons behind the slow internet, which we discussed above.
Some issues regarding internet slowdown can be reduced by government and high authorities. For which they need to regulate some rules and implant some plans to improve the internet experience. Internet users can improve internet speed at their homes by using the internet efficiently and also using several methods (related to router, cable, hacks, etc). So, do you find the reason behind the slow internet speed at your home? Tell us in the comment section below.
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