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ISPAN Warns of Internet Blockage in Nepal if NEA Continues Monopoly!

ISPAN (Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal) has issued a press release addressing the interruption of internet service due to NEA’s (Nepal Electricity Authority) alleged unreasonable activities.

Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal has appealed to relevant Ministries of the Nepal Government and the Human Rights Association to help solve this issue which will allow ISPs to deliver uninterrupted internet service to its consumers.

In a press meeting organized on January 02, 2023, ISPAN accused NEA of cutting off the internet wires of ISPs in the pretense of wire management.

ISPs are dependent on infrastructures like electricity poles and OPGW (Optical Ground Wire) to provide internet service.

According to ISPAN, NEA has a monopoly upon these infrastructures and therefore they have unreasonably hiked the rent of these necessities.

ISPAN’s Chairman Sudhir Parajuli says that if NEA keeps on showing the monopoly, they might resort to internet blockage and the internet connection might get interrupted at any time.

Similarly, NEA has also been cutting off electricity lines of ISPs data centers and operational points in the pretense of rent, say ISPAN. According to ISPAN, NEA has cut off internet lines of ISPs in Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Inaruwa, Kakarbhitta, Gauriganj, Pokhara, Dharan, Khotang, Surkhet, Kailali, Butwal, Tikapur, Bhairahawa, Doti, Lalitpur, Dhankuta, and Duhabi.

ISPAN Accuses NEA of Neglecting Committee Report on Revised Pole Rental Charge

NEA hiked the rent of electric poles and OPGW up to 600-700 percent without the consent of the Electricity Regulatory Commission, Nepal Telecommunications Authority, Consumers Committee, and ISPs.

In the wake of this issue, a committee was formed and a report was issued that directed NEA to collect rent according to the rate of 2075-76 and 2076-77. However, NEA has neglected this report and has been collecting rent as they wish and has been forcing ISPs to pay the hiked rent.

The chairman of ISPAN, Sudhir Parajuli said that NEA has not been cooperative which has led to interruptions in internet service all over the country. This issue has not been given enough attention even after multiple requests to relevant organizations. He further says that the solution to this issue should be an utmost priority.

ISPs use electric poles and other necessary infrastructure to provide internet service. For this, they have to pay a certain fee to NEA. However, there have been some disputes between ISPs and NEA in recent years.

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Find the official press release from ISPAN down below.

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