February 18: Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) is planning to revise the telecommunication policies including the Broadband Policy 2015 and the ICT Policy for their effective implementation. NTA will form a new single policy by incorporating major ideas of these policies for their effective execution.
Speaking at a program organized by the Society of Economic Journalists Nepal, Director of NTA, Min Prasad Aryal said that there is a need to revise the broadband policy and the ICT policy in accordance to the huge changes technology has gone through.
The Broadband policy 2015 had set the target of reducing broadband price to 5 percent of monthly GNI per capita. In 2019, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) had changed the target to 2 percent of the monthly GNI per capita for developing countries. Likewise, other targets set by broadband and ICT policies were achieving digital literacy of 75 percent, broadband penetration of 90 percent and increasing internet penetration to 100 percent.
Dilliram Adhikari, managing director of Nepal Telecom, also stressed on the need of revising these policies to make them contextual and timely. Shedding light on the progress of 4G expansion and progress of laying optical fiber along the Midhill Highway, he said that services such as telecom and internet should be made consumer-centric for sustainability.
On behalf of the Internet Service Providers, former president of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Nepal (ISPAN) Binaya Bohara urged the government to reduce various kinds of tax being levied on internet service and rental charge for using poles. He also stressed on the need to establish a new infrastructure company to end duplication of network and to ensure quality of service.
SEJON had organized an interaction programme on ‘internet delivery, issues and challenges’. Representatives from the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Nepal Telecom, ISPAN, Ministry of Finance and Nepal Electricity Authority spoke on various issues in relation to internet service delivery.