KATHMANDU, July 6: Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has started the process of providing WIFI service free of cost at Mount Everest Base Camp (EBC).
The NTA has stepped up efforts toward this direction amid growing complaints from the mountaineers that the internet service in the region is too expensive and of low quality. According to the telecommunications regulatory body of Nepal, it has awarded the contract to Everest Link Pvt Ltd for installing equipment for free internet service in the region.
For this purpose, the NTA is investing Rs 69.9 million. Apart from the EBC, free internet service will be made available in Lobuche, Monjo, Namche Bazaar, Phakding, Feriche and Tengboche, among others, according to the officials of the NTA.
Currently, trekkers have been paying, for one time use, up to US $ 10 for the internet service offered by the lodges and restaurants. Alternatively, the trekkers can also use the mobile internet data connection of the telecommunications companies like Nepal Telecom and Ncell or buy the Everest Link Card, a wireless prepaid broadband internet service. However, the network of these companies stops working with the increase in elevation, according to the trekkers.
The EBC Trek has been recognized as one of the world’s best adventurous treks. A number of surveys have shown that the visitors use the internet in the EBC Trek mainly for posting their photos on social media like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook and Viber, among others. A number of trekkers use WIFI to connect with their families and friends.
The NTA has targeted to complete the installation work in the next eight months.