Parliamentary Committee instructs to connect every wards with free internet services in year

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KATHMANDU — The meeting of the Development Committee under the Legislature-Parliament here today has instructed bodies concerned to ensure that all the wards of rural municipalities would have an access to free internet services within October 31, 2018.

The meeting held in the office of Committee at Singha Durbar issued the instruction towards the same in the light of mandatory development and promotion of information and technology for the rapid growth of local level units as the country entered into federal set up.
The directive of the Committee has come at a time as the government was supposed to avail fast internet services for free of cost to users in all villages in the country within two years but to no avail.

According to the Nepal Telecommunications Authority, the expansion of optical fibre was being expedited to ensure free internet services for the public in every nook and corner of the country within a year.

Committee’s President Rabindra Adhikari said that the instruction was given instructions to make sure the telecommunications and internet services are penetrated in every 753 local units, in community schools and public health facilities among others

A year has elapsed since an agreement between the NTA and Nepal Telecom to install optical fibre in three provinces namely province no 1, 2 and 3 with an intent to expand broadband internet services in the rural areas.

But the NT failed to work in compliance with the agreement, said President Adhikari.

On the occasion, Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Bahadur Basnet reaffirmed his commitment to address the issues relating to the NT poor network in several places in the country.

Minister Nepal also said that instructions were given to accelerate the expansion of optical fibre.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, former ministers Hitraj Pandey and Shanta Manabi stressed the need for amending the Telecommunication Act.

The optical fibre needs to be laid in province no 1, 2 and 3 (from Chirubhangjyan in Panchthar to Aarughat in Gorkha) in order to expand internet services to local levels, rom Chirubhangjyan in Panchthar to Aarughat in Gorkha).

The NTA and United Telecom (UTL) have already inked an agreement worth Rs 2.1 billion some five months ago to install optical fibre in Province 4 and 5.

Likewise, the Smart Company awarded contract worth over Rs 3 billion lay optical fibre in Province 6 and 7.

The government has allocated Rs 4.98 billion for development and promotion of information and communications for the fiscal year 2074\75 BS.

The number of people availing of Telecom service is put at around 7.6 million on the basis of usage of whole service, while approximately 8.42 million people are using its service on the basis of using only data and internet.

At least two years of free internet service will be provided at local levels, said NTA’s Chairperson Digambar Jha. RSS