The work of laying optical fiber in Provinces No. 5, 6 and 7 has started under the digitization campaign announced by the Government of Nepal. The work of laying fiber from Nepalgunj has been formally started on Wednesday morning.
Under the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, the government had given the responsibility of laying the fiber to Smart Telecom. Accordingly, Smart Telecom and CCS (China Communication Service Nepal) have started work.
Inaugurating the project, Chairman of Smart Telecom Sarvesh Joshi informed that Smart Telecom has started laying fiber in collaboration with Nepal Telecommunication Authority under the government’s digitization drive. That said, it will play an important role in expanding internet access and communication in rural areas.
The target is to complete the work of laying fiber in some districts of Province No. 5 and 19 districts of Province No. 7 within a year. Fiber Banke will be extended to Bardia, Surkhet, Dailekh, Jajarkot, Dolpa, Jumla, Kalikot, Mugu, Humla, Achham, Bajura, Bajhang, Doti, Kailali, Kanchanpur, Dadeldhura, Baitadi and Darchula. There is a plan to lay fiber in about 2500 kilometers.
Once the fiber is laid, it can be used by any private, government or other organization. They do not have to invest separately. After paying a certain amount, they will be able to expand their services through this structure.
To complete this work, the government has provided about Rs. 3 billion from the Rural Telecommunication Fund as a subsidy. Fiber Smart will build, operate and manage it for 25 years. The project will be handed over to the government after 25 years. Smart will also have to build, operate and maintain the fiber.
NEA has given the responsibility of laying fiber in seven states to the service providers on the basis of competition. Reaching fiber in remote areas will also help in expanding internet access and telecom services. This also improves the quality. This will help the government’s digitization drive. The government will be able to run various programs including e-governance, e-health, e-commerce and e-education. Fiber is also the backbone of the country’s development. It helps in the access and expansion of internet, telephone, television and phone.
At present, public access to mobile is only 49 percent in Nepal. Only 11.2 percent have access to fixed broadband. Fiber expansion will help increase this percentage. According to Chairman Joshi, the main objective of Smart is to support the government’s announcement to link information technology in the campaign to build a new Nepal. After the expansion of fiber, the general public will be able to get telecom related services cheaply and easily.
In case the private sector does not want to build the structure for fear of not raising investment, its expansion will make access to all aspects related to information technology easy and accessible to all.