KATHMANDU, Jan 18: Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) has sought to hike the fee for its infrastructure being used by the internet service providers (ISPs), which is likely to take upward the cost of internet use in the country.
According to the ISPs, the NEA has stepped up to increase the rental charge of its infrastructure including the optical fibers up to double of the previous amount. Sending a letter to each of the ISPs recently, the power utility has sought to increase the service fee through revising the contracts with the ISPs, the deadline of which ended on Friday.
The ISPs have been using the NEA’s infrastructure including the transmission lines and electricity poles to expand their internet services in rural areas. The NEA has sought to fix the rental charge of fiber core equipped transmission lines with capacity of 66 KV and more at Rs 32,000 per core per kilometer per year from Rs 16,400.
Similarly, the charge for ADSS optical cable with capacity of 33 KV or less has also been doubled to Rs 30,000 per core per km per year.
There are 37 ISPs using the optical fibers to provide internet services to their customers. As of mid November, more than one million internet users have been enjoying the service provided through optical fibers, according to the government records.