July 24: The government has amended the Telecommunication Regulation to provide concession to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the context of the government imposing 13 percent Telecommunication Service Charge (TSC). A cabinet meeting on Monday (July 22) amended the regulation to internally adjust the TSC so that the customers would not have to face the burden of tax.
The amendment comes after the Internet Service Providers decided to collect the 13 percent TSC from the customers. Now, the government and the ISPs will equally bear the 13 percent TSC.
The cabinet meeting also agreed to give concession to ISPs on internet connecting charge, lease line, data connectivity and maintenance charge.
ISPs were considering increasing the Internet fees ever since the government imposed the TSC about a year ago. The ISPs and government held various rounds of talks on ways to adjust the issue of internet fees. The government finally fulfilled the demands of the ISPs after they decided to increase the Internet fees for the third time. During the previous two occasions when they had decided to hike Internet fees, the government had persuaded them not to do so by promising various concessions. The government, however, never fulfilled its promises until the recent cabinet decision.
The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology had forwarded a proposal to amend the regulation to the cabinet a few days ago.