3 hill districts of Province 1 to get internet access soon

- Ananda Gautam in Taplejung & Dipendra Shakya in Sankhuwasabha

Mar 25, 2018-

All ward offices, schools and health centres in three hill districts of Province 1, Taplejung, Sankhuwasabha and Solukhumbu, will be connected with internet services within a year.

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) handed over the responsibility of connecting various locations in the three hill districts to Mercantile Pvt Ltd of Durbarmarg, Kathmandu. NTA is investing Rs200 million for this project.

Managing Director of Mercantile Pvt Ltd Aamod Pratap Rana said, “Survey works related to installing towers and setting up links are already complete,” adding, “The work of supplying necessary equipments is moving forward to meet the project timeline.”

Internet access to these three districts will be expanded by constructing radio repeater towers. These towers will be installed at 10 locations east of Sindhuli district. The company informed the project will take about a year as internet service will be expanded by setting up links along the towers.

According to the NTA’s Management Information System (MIS), 2.34 million new users were connected to the internet last year, which translates to more than 250 new users every hour.

As of December 2017, 16.74 million Nepalis had been connected to the internet. The spectacular growth in internet connectivity means that nearly 63 percent of Nepal’s population now has access to the internet.

Taplejung district has 61 ward offices of a municipality and eight rural municipalities. Fhaktalung rural municipality-7 Olangchungola and Mikwakhola Rural Municiaplity 5 Papung of the district are linked with China while Sidingwa Rural Municipality ward number 1 Kalikhola and ward number 7 Surumakhim are linked with India.

Internet access will be expanded to even the remote areas sharing borders with China and India. The contracting company has agreed with NTA to provide access to over 200 agencies, including ward offices, 56 community schools, seven institutional schools and 51 health centres.

The company will also provide internet service to 56 ward offices of five municipalities and five rural municipalities and 57 health centres of Sankhuwasabha districts. Internet service will be provided up to the border point towards China in Kimathanka.

Likewise, all ward offices, schools and health centres in Solukhumbu district will have internet access within a year. The district is known for the world’s tallest mountain Mount Everest, third tallest peak Kanchanjunga and the fifth tallest peak Makalu. Current, Solukhumbu district hardly has an internet access outside of the district’s headquarter.

Less than 30 percent of Nepalis used the internet in 2010. Cell phones are the main driver of Nepal’s internet adoption, with over 95 percent of the population living within range of a mobile tower.

The rapid growth of internet penetration has been facilitated by increasing mobile connectivity across the country and availability of browsers and data connection even on relatively inexpensive phones.

Published: 25-03-2018 08:53

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