KATHMANDU, July 2: The long-awaited Internet connection from China is expected to complete by the end of July as the work of laying optical fiber on the Chinese side, which was halted in early June, has resumed.
Nepal has already completed the task of laying optical fiber on its side for the connection.
According to Shobhan Adhikari, a deputy spokesperson for the Nepal Telecom (NT), the local government of China had suspended the work of laying optical fiber after a worker collapsed due to high attitude sickness.
"The local government of China had suspended the work saying that giving continuity to the work at the time was unsafe for workers. The work was halted for more than 10 days. The work has resumed in full pace since the last week and if things go as per the plan, Nepal will be connected with the Chinese Internet from the beginning of August," Adhikari told Republica.
The task of laying optical fiber was about to complete in early June. But it could not materialize after an avalanche disrupted the work on the Chinese side. "Connection test was already conducted. Nepal would have already been connected with Chinese Internet if the work wasn’t halted earlier,” he added.
According to Adhikari, NT had planned to connect Nepal with Chinese Internet by May.
“After the disruption of work by avalanche at the altitude of 4,000 meters on the Chinese side, the optical fiber was laid through an alternative route. According to the Chinese company, the new route is almost 20 kilometers longer. The sudden change in the plan has delayed the project by almost a month,” he explained.
Nepal has relied on Indian Internet for long as the country is optically connected with the southern neighbor through Bhairahawa, Birgunj and Biratnagar. The connection with China will, however, end the monopoly of India in supply of Internet bandwidth.
Adhikari further added that optical fiber has already been laid on the Nepali side. “Once the work to lay optical fiber is completed on the Chinese side, we will test the connection and subsequently work on purchasing Internet bandwidth from the northern neighbor,” he added.
He said that once the country is connected to the northern neighbor, Internet users will be able to use uninterrupted Internet services even when connection with Indian side is disrupted for any reason. The connection with China is likely to provide various alternatives for users as they can purchase bandwidth with different Chinese companies.
“With Chinese companies entering the Nepali market, users here will be able to enjoy Internet at lower rates,” Adhikari told Republica.
According to the state-owned telecom operator, users in Nepal will not face any problems in using Google and different other social networks because the company is planning to purchase bandwidth from Hong Kong. Nepal will be connected to Hong Kong via China Telecom Global (CTG). Both the country will be optically connected through the Jilong (Rasuwa) border gateway.
NT had signed an agreement with CTG in December last year.