First Business News Portal in English from Nepal
KATHMANDU: With an aim to enhance digital access in the country the government has provided broadband internet to 10,387 institutions through the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF). As of mid-July, the government has been able to provide internet connection to 466 local levels, 3,910 ward offices, 3,220 secondary schools and 2,772 health institutions.
According to Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), only 6,233 locations including 235 local levels, 2,042 ward offices, 2,377 secondary schools and 1,579 health institutions are left to be connected with internet services. A total of 16,601 locations have been identified for internet installation under 18 packages for which the authority is working on now.
NTA Spokesperson, Min Prasad Aryal, said that all necessary works of the designated sites in 46 districts have been completed through 12 packages. Meanwhile, 50 percent of work under each package has been completed in four districts.
According to the authority, it has selected various network service providers to install network and broadband connectivity in 20 districts under four packages and other sites of the four districts through the remaining package.
The government is also speeding up the work of Information Highway, connecting the district headquarter sand Mid-Hill highway, by categorizing it into three packages.NTA had signed an agreement with Nepal Telecom (NT) and UTL to complete the work of all the three packages in two years.
As per NTA, Nepal Telecom has completed the installation of 298 km of optical fiber, Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) connection and installation of 28 core router devices in Provinces 1, 2 and 3 under one of the packages by mid-July. The Provincial Acceptance Test (PAT) is currently underway.
Similarly, NT is also working in Karnali and Sudurpaschim Provinces. Nepal Telecom has said that the procurement process has been started by inviting separate bids for the microwave transmission network and ADSS optical fiber network.
Meanwhile, NTA decided to cancel its contract with UTL citing that it had failed to do the necessary work in Gandaki Province and Province 5. UTL filed a case at the Supreme Court against this decision. At present, the work of laying the optical fiber has been affected after the court issued an interim order stating that no further action should be taken by any party until the writ petition is settled.
As of now, NTA has paid more than Rs 2.46 billion for the broadband project. The financial progress of the project is 46.76 percent. As per the authority, the contract amount of the broadband project is more than Rs 5.26 billion.
The authority stated that the agreement amount of Information Highway is more than Rs 9.890 million. It also said that only advance payment has been made for packages 1 and 2 for the Information Highway.
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