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NEA Cuts Electricity, ISPAN Warns of Internet Outage

NEA recently cut electricity used by ISPs in its data centers and PoP in many areas leading to a possible internet outage in many areas. ISPAN has issued a warning that the internet shutdown could follow anytime anywhere in the country.

Nepal Electric Authority started cutting power cables of ISPs in various areas again. This follows a series of conflicts between NEA and ISPAN over the rental usage of utility poles. Just back in April, the electricity authority had abruptly cut off fiber cables in some parts of the country.

However, a multilateral effort and condemnation from leading organizations forced NEA to stop. But the issue has not dissipated with either side ready to take a backseat.

This time, NEA also cut the power cables of house owners of ISPs. ISPAN says this has made it very difficult for the service providers to resume internet service from internet points.

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The NEA and ISPAN conflict on the surface again

NEA and ISPs have sparred over the rental usage of utility poles for fiber cables. The former has demanded due payment clearance from ISPs. But on the other hand, the ISPs have self-announced that they have paid their bills. The companies have though been critical of NEA for raising utility pole charges that it considers unreasonable.

In October last year, a high-level committee was formed under the facilitation of the Nepal Telecommunications Authority and MoCIT.

The committee submitted the report to recommend the use and payment of electric poles. ISPAN alleges that NEA hasn’t adhered to the recommendation despite many high-ranking officials showing their approval for it. And this has created uncertainty.”

ISPAN further says the infrastructure management and rental charge recommendation committee has not sat for a single meeting to assign new rentals on utility poles.  

According to ISPAN, the internet service providers have submitted a letter requesting the NEA to pay the rent at a fixed rate. Also read: How to Get Wifi Internet Connection at Home in Nepal?

Concerns over class 12 exams

Likewise, class 12 exams are ongoing at the moment. Any internet disruption could disrupt the examinations for thousands of students. This is because NEB is also sending question papers through email for the exams.

NTA has urged all internet service providers to provide uninterrupted internet connection as per the letter from National Examination Board. But ISPAN admits it has not been able to do so as NEA cut off power cables vital for its service.

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The ISPAN warning of another possible internet outage has come after NEA cut the electric wires of ISPs. Do you think the government should intervene to settle the dispute between NEA and ISP and keep the internet free of such troubles? Do let us know in the comments below.

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