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CAN, NTA, and ISPAN have condemned NEA (Nepal Electricity Authority) for cutting fiber cables. In a rare event, several entities have spoken against the electricity authority over the cutting of internet cables which have disrupted broadband services to thousands of households in multiple parts of the country.
Despite the running negotiations, NEA abruptly has cut off fiber cables at poles in Bharatpur, Butwal, Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Dharan, Dhankuta, Taplejung, Dhangadhi, etc.
In the latest developments, NEA has said that it will halt its wire cutting act citing public inconvenience. After public outcry and intervention from the government, the authority has taken a backseat in its infamous decision.
Kulman Ghising, MD of NEA, has confirmed that NEA will stop cutting wires of ISPs and cables for now. However, he remains adamant that ISPs and cable operators must conform to the pole charges and pay without excuses.
All CAN, NTA and ISPAN have released their notice criticizing NEA’s decision to cut off fiber wires at poles. Likewise, both entities have called on NEA to join the discussion with the flexibility to find a common ground.
A long-running dispute between NEA and ISPs has culminated in the former cutting off wires at poles. This has triggered a strong condemnation of both parties in conflict. As the acrimony intensified, NTA and ISPAN have both released their version criticizing NEA for their infamous act.
CAN (Computer Association of Nepal) Federation released a notice decrying NEA’s acts of cutting off fiber cables which have locked thousand of internet users of broadband connections.
It has called on stakeholders for dialogue to resolve the dispute. Pointing to the possible Rs.150 – Rs.300 hike on the internet due to pole charges, it has asked NEA, NTA, and ISPs to come to a resolution, ideally being previous pole charges.
CAN has continued its criticism of NEA for erratically begun cutting of fiber cables and wants legal action against NEA.
Likewise, CAN has requested PM, and MoICT for immediate intervention and play the role of a guardian in this conflict which has been a PR disaster for all the parties.
ISPAN (Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal) has accused NEA of acting above the law. Likewise, it has viciously criticized the electricity authority for disrupting internet service which has been listed as an essential service by the government.
“NEA has abrupted ISPs’ maintenance activities with its premediated fiber cables cutting at multiple venues. This has already cost a huge fortune for the service providers”, ISPAN Press Release reads.
ISPAN says that ISPs are facing an upsurge in meeting broadband demands due to increased internet consumption. Hotels, education, health, transport, and other essential services require a constant broadband connection for the flow of services. It claims only NEA should be held accountable for such an infamous act.
ISPAN has argued that NEA hiked poles charges on ISP by an exorbitant 7 times. It says the inflated pole charges would mean higher internet costs on the consumers. ISPAN says, it requested NTA, MoICT, and Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation to find a collective resolve. However, the association claims NEA ignored the ongoing discussions and began cutting off fiber cables.
ISPAN also warns, unless the stakeholders find a solution to the running fiasco, smooth internet access won’t be possible. However, it assures that they are working rigorously to find a common ground through discussion with NEA.
Meanwhile, NTA has also released a notice rebuking NEA’s fiber cutting decision. On a rare event, a state agency has been vocal against another one for an act that also reflects the gravity of the situation.
NTA has shared the same voice with ISPAN. Pointing to the ongoing discussions over the pole charges issue between ISPAN, NEA, MoICT, NTA, Nepal Electricity Authority has started disrupted communications by cutting off fiber cables. It says Telecommunications Act 2053 doesn’t allow any entity or organization to disrupt such service.
Check out: How to connect internet in Nepal?
NTA has even requested law enforcers to take legal action against those who have disrupted internet connection over the pole charges issue.
The telecommunications authority also hopes the related organizations find a common resolution and end the long-running conflict soon.
In the stubborn stance by the parties at conflict, it is the paying consumers who have suffered the lack of service. NEA and ISPAN may both have rationale to make their rationale. However, the internet consumers who have paid for their subscription and do not deserve a sudden disruption of internet access.
Internet is an essential service in Nepal and wire cutting can be deemed a gross violation of the government’s own policy. We hope that ISPAN and NEA soon reach a conclusion and restore a smooth flow of broadband service to the consumers.
There is a section that sides with ISPAN for not complying with the inflated pole charges by NEA. Then there are those accusing ISPs of playing a victim card to draw support. In all this, the general public has suffered must have been avoided in the beginning.
Who do you hold responsible for this scandalous situation in the internet sector right now? Do share your vital inputs in the comments below.