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Nepal’s Own Fiber Cable To The Sea Could Soon Be Possible

Nepal could soon lay its own optical fiber cable to the sea which could drive down the internet costs in Nepal.

Nepal government has urged NTA to proceed with the long-awaited plan to lay Nepal’s own optical fiber to the sea.

The plan to lay the fiber to the sea has long been in the news but never gained momentum. However, the government seems very firm in making significant progress.

After the Ministerial Development Action Committee (MDAC)’s meeting and the evaluation of Q1 FY 078/79, NTA has been tasked to spearhead the project immediately.

Also read: NTA Preparing The Roster of Cyber Security Auditing Firms

Nepal’s Own Optical Fiber Will Bring Cheaper Internet

International internet runs via undersea cables forming a large network across the world. Nepal, being a landlocked country has not yet been able to connect itself with international vendors beyond India and China. Nepal depends upon the two neighboring countries for its internet bandwidth. Nepali ISPs buy their bandwidth at various ranges from Indian and Chinese companies which have kept internet prices high for Nepali consumers.

The expensive internet has been a long discourse among the Nepali public. This could, however, subside when Nepal establishes its own fiber connection with the network of international companies.

When Nepal lays its fiber optics to the sea, it will have the option to buy internet bandwidth from foreign vendors. The biggest advantage is Nepal could purchase the bandwidth at wholesale in bulk for cheap. This will not only relieve the authorities, but the price will also drop for the mass internet consumers.

Besides, bringing the internet over its own fiber optics could help Nepali authorities take better control over Nepali internet consumption. We can expect better user data management, better cybersecurity, and a safer internet sphere for internet consumers.

Must read: Cost per GB Data Ranking 2021: Where Nepal Sits?

NTA Sets The Budget

Lowering the internet price is one of the objectives behind NTA’s regenerated urge to lay optical fibers to the sea.

While the plan has long-stalled, the study has continued and is in the final stage. When conclusions reach, NTA will prepare a ToR (Terms of Reference) and call for a bid to lay the cables.

NTA has also sanctioned a 30 crore budget for the project for the current FY 078/79.

The ambitious project faces constraints due to Nepal’s geographical complexities. However, World Telecommunications Union grants rights to Nepal to lay its own fiber optics to the sea. That means Nepal is fully entitled to have its own fiber optics laid to the sea.

Check out: What is an information highway and Why Nepal need it?

If the project undergoes, Nepal will escape its reliance on Indian and Chinese carriers for bandwidth. Being able to buy huge bandwidth from international carriers will also drive down the internet price for the ISPs and more importantly, the internet consumers in Nepal.

Various ISPs have upgraded their internet services lately after CG Net burst into the internet scene. Nepali internet consumers now have many high-speed internet plans available. However, in terms of pricing, they are still in want of improvement.

The internet price continues to remain a hot topic. Nepali consumers are still paying higher than many Asian countries per capita though the quality internet is still a wish for many. In this, Nepali consumers are understandably dissatisfied with the ISPs.

What is your honest opinion on the price of the internet in Nepal? Are they justified or should come down? Do share your insights on the topic in the comments section below.

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