Indian firms Tata, Airtel warn to block internet bandwidth in Nepal

Published On: March 26, 2022 02:00 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 26: Indian companies Tata and Airtel have sent letters to Nepal's Internet Service Providers (ISPs), warning that the internet bandwidth entering Nepal will be blocked as they have not received payment for five months.

As the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has not recommended payment in dollars to ISPs citing their arrears, Indian companies Tata and Airtel have not received their payments for the last five months. The payment up to Rs 500 million per month has been stuck.

The ISPs in Nepal are buying international bandwidth with Indian companies Airtel and Tata. However, as the ministry has not recommended to pay to the companies in dollars, the payment for bandwidth has been stopped. Tata and Airtel have written letters to Nepal's ISPs, warning them to stop bandwidth if the payment is not made in time.

However, the Communication and Information Technology Ministry has maintained that it will not recommend payment in dollars until the ISPs clear their arrears since 2018/19 as pointed out by Office of the Auditor General.

The Indian companies had sent the letter to Nepali ISPs on February 9 with an ultimatum of 30 days. They have warned that the service may be interrupted without any notice after 30 days, which has worried Nepali ISPs. 

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