Nepal | July 08, 2020

Government mulls over ‘auto-pricing’ in internet

Sujan Dhungana
Share Now:

ISPs say the plan is ‘infeasible’

Kathmandu, July 18

The government is preparing to implement ‘auto-pricing mechanism’ in internet.

If this happens, internet price in Nepal will be determined on the basis of international bandwidth cost.

Minister for Information and Communications Gokul Baskota said that automatic pricing mechanism in internet cost is necessary as internet service providers (ISPs) in Nepal seem reluctant to cut internet fees though international bandwidth cost is constantly plummeting.

Citing that ISPs do not have logical right to increase internet fees despite government’s decision to levy 13 per cent telecommunications service charge (TSC), Baskota vowed to slash the internet fees which ISPs have raised recently.

“ISPs have been purchasing international bandwidth at minimal rates these days following continuous fall in global bandwidth cost. However, internet fees have remained the same in Nepal,” informed Baskota, adding that ISPs passing on the TSC to customers amid plummeting bandwidth cost is not justifiable.

As per Baskota, a directive will be issued within a week telling ISPs to adjust internet fees in line with the international bandwidth cost.

Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for Nepal Telecommunications Authority, informed that local ISPs are buying international bandwidth at around $8 per Mbps per month at present against almost $50 per Mbps per month some four years back.

Despite the government’s decision to levy TSC on internet services, ISPs were not necessarily required to hike internet fees, Aryal noted.

Citing that TSC on internet services will add to their financial burden, all ISPs including telecom firms, had raised internet fees by 14 per cent on all packages effective from Monday.

Since the past few days, the government is also facing public criticism for its decision to impose TSC on internet service, with number of protests held urging the government to roll back its decision.

Meanwhile, ISPs said that implementing auto pricing mechanism in internet price is infeasible as bandwidth price is determined in consensus between ISPs and the bandwidth company.

“It is due to plummeting bandwidth cost that ISPs today are able to provide high speed internet packages at cheaper rate,” said Sudheer Parajuli, former president of Internet Service Provider’s Association of Nepal.

Parajuli claimed that a 20Mbps monthly internet package today is available at almost Rs 1,200, though ISPs had been charging the same rate for 1Mbps monthly internet package a couple of years ago.

“Along with diverse e-content, ISPs have been providing high speed internet to customers instead of slashing internet fees amid plummeting broadband price,” he reasoned.

Moreover, ISPs claimed that the internet service available in Nepal, in terms of fees and speed, is one of the cheapest in the world.

A version of this article appears in print on July 19, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Transport entrepreneurs deposit vehicle keys at banks in Pokhara

POKHARA: After failing to deposit the loan installment in the wake of extended lockdown, transport entrepreneurs handed-over vehicle keys to bank officials in Pokhara, on Monday. As many as ninety entrepreneurs associated with Prithvi Highway Bus Association handed over the keys to officials Read More...

Protecting the Economically Vulnerable Population

Kathmandu, July 7 What started as a health crisis in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic has now unfolded into a global economic and livelihood crisis. While the ubiquitous quarantines and lockdowns may have saved many lives and provided an additional benefit of  environmental improvement, their e Read More...

Tottenham Hotspur

Keane own goal gives Spurs win over Everton

Keane own goal gives Spurs win Mourinho secures 200th Premier League win Son and Lloris have halftime bust-up LONDON: An own goal by Michael Keane proved the difference as Tottenham Hotspur beat visitors Everton 1-0 in a dour clash on Monday to move up to eighth in the standings an Read More...

Actor Depp takes on UK tabloid in court battle over 'wife beater' claims

LONDON: Johnny Depp begins legal action against a British tabloid on Tuesday in a case that is likely to delve into the private lives of the Hollywood star, his ex-wife actress Amber Heard and a number of other well-known figures. Depp, the 57-year-old star of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" f Read More...

Yanqi-Nepal meet China’s bid to keep NCP united?

Kathmandu, July 6 China’s Ambassador to Nepal Hou Yanqi yesterday met Madhav Kumar Nepal, a senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), raising eyebrows as the meeting took place at a time when the internal rift within the NCP is heading towards a climax. Nepal’s former perma Read More...

Student union asks guardians not to pay school fees

BHOJPUR, JULY 6 Nepal Student Union, Bhojpur, has asked guardians not to pay any fees to schools for the lockdown period. At a time when PABSON and N-PAB- SON have asked guardians to pay fees to schools even for the lockdown period, NSU, Bhojpur, has asked guardians not to pay fees for the loc Read More...

175 suicide deaths in Sudurpaschim during lockdown

DADELDHURA, JULY 6 As many as 175 people have died by suicide during the nationwide lockdown in Sudurpaschim Province. Police said that suicide deaths have been reported from all nine districts of the province from March 24 till date. Police said suicide deaths were more common among males com Read More...

Indian side admits constructing embankment in Dasgaja area

RAUTAHAT, JULY 6 A joint survey team of Nepal and India gauged the Dasgaja area with a global positioning system which showed that the Indian side had constructed an embankment on 200 metres of encroached land in Dasgaja area. India had built a 10-metre tall embankment at Banjaraha of Ishnath Read More...