KATHMANDU: Parbat Gurung, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, has announced that the bandwidth of broadband internet will be increased in the eight districts most affected by the April 2015 earthquake.
As he said, plans are underway to sign an agreement between the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) and local levels to ensure access to high-speed internet connectivity for local governments, ward offices, community schools, and health facilities in those districts, thus promoting the aspiration for a “digital Nepal.”
Dolakha, Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Okhaldhunga, Kavrepalanchowk, Sindhupalchowk, Rasuwa, and Nuwakot will be included in the project.
During a virtual discussion with local government representatives held here today by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the Minister stated that the campaign will begin in the aforementioned eight districts.
It should be remembered that on February 11, 2021, the Council of Ministers agreed to make plans for extending the IT infrastructure from community schools to local councils to health centers in collaboration with the local levels based on need. The project will be carried out in accordance with the Telecommunications Policy 2060 BS (2004) and the Digital Nepal Framework.
Being based on the same decision, local levels will be entitled to a free internet facility for two years and the project will be supported by the NTA’s Rural Telecommunication Development Fund.
The decision of the Council of Ministers specified that the ability of internet services would be extended in a cost-effective manner through modern technology in the 11 districts, with the exception of the Kathmandu Valley, which was badly damaged by the earthquake, in consultation with the local governments concerned.
According to the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, the aim is to extend the internet to the local levels over the next two months through the signing of an agreement between the local level and NTA.
“This is the long-term action plan. Quality and stable internet will be delivered free of charge for the next two years, and we will make arrangements for the local level and the NTA to bear a certain percentage of the cost after that,” said Minister Gurung, who is also the government spokesperson.
The minister stated that the internet would be expanded to the local levels of these districts within two months of the agreement being signed. He also stated that an information center would be established at each local level, and that the issue of telephone towers in rural areas would be addressed.
Ashok Byanju Shrestha, central president of the Municipalities Association of Nepal, urged the government to make arrangements so that the work done at the local level can be accessed on an integrated platform via App.