Kathmandu, October 9
Four internet service providers (ISPs) have expressed interest to deliver free internet in Singha Durbar area, Padma Kanya (PK) Campus area, and Sanchargram (Media Village) premises.
According to Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), Subisu, WorldLink, BroadLink and Vianet have submitted proposals to provide free internet via wi-fi in the aforementioned areas.
With an objective to offer free internet services in all public places in Kathmandu Valley, the telecommunication sector regulator had sought applications from interested ISPs on August 20 to provide free internet in the selected places in the first phase.
Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA, informed that proposals of these ISPs will be evaluated shortly before awarding the contract to the competitive ISP.
Of the four ISPs that have submitted the proposals to give free internet in Singha Durbar, Padma Kanya Campus and Sanchargram premises, Vianet is the lowest bidder and has proposed to give free internet in these areas at Rs 2.15 million. This means that NTA is likely to award this contract to Vianet.
Similarly, WorldLink has proposed to complete this project at a discounted amount of Rs 2.5 million. While BroadLink has submitted a proposal to deliver free internet in these places at Rs 8.7 million, Subisu has said that it would complete the project at Rs 7.3 million.
NTA had estimated that the project cost to deliver free internet in the aforementioned three places would come to around Rs 9.5 million. However, ISPs have expressed their interest to complete the project at much lower rate compared to NTA’s estimation.
“As Vianet is the lowest bidder, it might get the award following the technical evaluation of its proposal,” said Aryal.
Earlier, NTA had announced that the contract would be awarded to ISPs on ‘low cost subsidy’ basis, meaning that the lowest bidding proposal will be awarded the project and it will be fully funded.
As per NTA, the selected ISP will have to give free internet access in these places for a period of two years and can charge customers a minimal amount after that. Similarly, the selected ISP will have to start delivering free internet service in these places within two months of being awarded the contract by NTA.
This project of NTA to deliver free internet at Singha Durbar, Padma Kanya Campus and Sanchargram premises is a part of NTA’s broader plan to roll out free internet service in all public places in the Valley.
A version of this article appears in print on October 10, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.