Internet disruption grips Nepal amidst bandwidth dispute with Airtel

KATHMANDU: Internet services in Nepal have plunged into turmoil since Thursday afternoon, with widespread disruptions reported across the nation. The cause of this disruption, as cited by internet service providers, is attributed to actions taken by the Indian telecommunications giant, Airtel, which has purportedly imposed restrictions on bandwidth.

Reports pouring in from various regions of Nepal paint a picture of varying degrees of disruption, ranging from intermittent outages to complete shutdowns in certain areas. According to officials from the Internet Service Provider Association of Nepal, the issue stems from Airtel’s decision to curtail bandwidth allocation from India.

Speaking on the matter, representatives from ISPs revealed that Airtel has severed internet connectivity from India due to outstanding payments for bandwidth services. The dispute has escalated as Nepali ISPs owe Airtel over Rs. three billion, prompting the telecom giant to take drastic measures.

Airtel has long been a prominent supplier of internet bandwidth to Nepal, accounting for approximately 80 percent of the country’s total bandwidth supply. However, recent disagreements over unpaid dues have strained relations between the company and Nepali authorities, leading to the current impasse.

The predicament highlights Nepal’s heavy reliance on external providers for its internet infrastructure and the inherent vulnerabilities associated with such dependencies. The disruption’s ripple effects are felt across sectors, impacting businesses, educational institutions, and the daily lives of citizens.

As the internet blackout persists, stakeholders are urged to expedite efforts to address the underlying issues and restore normalcy to internet services nationwide. The disruption not only underscores the fragility of Nepal’s internet ecosystem but also serves as a wake-up call for diversifying and fortifying the country’s digital infrastructure to mitigate future risks.

In the meantime, citizens and businesses are left grappling with the challenges posed by the sudden and extensive internet outage, highlighting the critical role of reliable connectivity in today’s interconnected world.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday May 2, 2024, 09:47:00 PM |

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