Some internet service providers (ISPs) have started paying pole rental charges to Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) after being cut off from the power supply which led to disruption in their services. Classic Tech, Vianet, and Subisu have become the first ISPs to The move could finally pave the way for easing the tensions running high between the electricity authority and ISPAN, ISPs’ umbrella union in Nepal.
The two entities have been at loggerheads for a long stretch over the pole rentals with both standings adamant on their stand. In fact, Nea had not been able to receive pole rentals from the ISPs since 2075/76 BS. But in a turn of events, the authority has been able to finally draw fees from the ISPs. Last year in 2078, NEA cut off ISPs’ fiber internet cables of ISPs drawing criticism from CAN, NTA, ISPAN .
This year on Poush 8, 2079 NEA cut off the power supply to ISPs’ equipment which caused internet outages in many parts of the countries. This led service providers to use power generators as a backup. CAN, ISPAN again condemned the actor of NEA for depriving ISPs of power supply. Nta suggested that act of disrupting internet service was a human right violation. But it stood unmoved from its ground. As a result, ISPs have been forced to pay their bills. Subisu, Classic Tech, and Vianet have paid their pole rentals conforming to the hiked prices of Nea for the use of utility poles. ISPs use Nea-operated poles to run their internet cables to customers’ houses and also expand their services.
When NEA enforced a new procedure in 2075/76 with raised pole rental fees, ISPs asked for a month’s time. But on Poush 8, NEA cut the power supply to ISPs. An agreement was reached between NEA and ISPs. The agreement stipulated how much each ISPs had to pay at specific rates within the given 1-month period to avoid power supply loss.
ISPs start paying pole rental fees to Nea which could be the start of easing off the conflict
The deadline is ending on Magh 8 but some ISPs paid their pole rentals before the date. Anita Subedi, Deputy Director of Nea, Bagmati Province shared that some ISPs have fulfilled their agreement by paying even ahead of the 1-month deadline. “We calculated and submitted them their dues according to the new pole rent charges effective from Bhadra 1, 2077. Accordingly, they have come to an agreement “
She also shared that almost all ISPs have come to an agreement and new companies will also comply soon.
NEA has also released criteria for service providers to use poles. And with ISPs finally coming to terms with pole payment, we could see the long-running tension between the authority and ISPAN ease off in the coming days.
The resolution between Nea and ISPs seems to be on its path. The customers have suffered with threat and internet ourtage due to the rift between the two. However, with ISPs paying their pole rental bills, end customers will benefit with a consistent telecom services.
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Can we be hopeful of the two to be making ammendments over the pole rental charges? How do you see the latest development? You can share in the comments below.
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