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MoCIT demands NEA to stop ‘disrupting’ telecom services

The Ministry of Communication, and Information Technology (MoCIT) has released its statement over Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) hampering telecom services. The ministry has made its stand clear wishing that NEA stops cutting internet cables.

The ministry sent a letter to another ministry the ‘Ministry of Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation’ asking it to stop the actions of NEA which has resulted in internet outages for many customers lately.

Earlier, ISPAN called on the government to intervene in the ongoing ‘pole’ issue alleging that NEA was bullying the ISPs into accepting the ‘inflated’ pole rental charges.

The electricity authority has been cutting off fiber internet cables and power supply lines for the ISPs over the charges of pole rentals. Besides, it has also set criteria for service providers for running their cables.

Previously, various bodies condemned NEA for cutting off internet cables in many parts of the country.

Both ISPs and NEA have been at loggerheads in recent months as both remain unflinching in their respective positions. As the crisis seemed to only escalate, ISPAN called on MoCIT to step up efforts to subdue the spiraling conflict which was only impacting the user’s services in the end.

Do read: NTA calls internet cable cutting a human rights violation

MoCIT finally speaks on NEA ‘disrupting’ telecom services by cutting off cables

MoCIT has asked the energy ministry that the internet service be provided without any disruption caused by NEA. The ministry referred to telecom services as being one of the ‘essential services’ in Nepal. It also pointed toward the reinforcement of the Digital Nepal Framework and the new government’s goal of providing efficient services through digital means.

Internet outage
Representative image

The ministry said that many services public and private are only possible through the electronic system. Citizens have a fundamental right to enjoy the services internet technology-based services without interruption. Based on these premises, it has requested NEA to immediately stop its latest actions to ensure continuous telecom services.

The ministry has reminded all to find a resolution based on the report by a committee formed to devise measures to solve the conflict. The committee was formed after a meeting on Ashoj 17, 2078, that took place under the coordination of the Energy Ministry.

Also read: New Pole Charges by NEA will Increase Internet Prices!

The pole rental issue has dragged on due to the lack of cooperation between NEA and ISPAN. NEA has been justifying that cutting off unnecessary fiber cables is to ‘beautify’ cities and avert possible risks. On the other hand, ISPAN remains firm that the new pole charges are excessive and irrational and has refused to conform.

ISPAN has warned that due to NEA cutting off the power supply for ISPs, internet service could shut down anytime in Nepal.

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