Kathmandu, May 17
Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) — the telecommunications sector regulator of the country — has said that it will focus on the development of rural telecommunication services in a bid to enhance Nepal’s position in the ICT Development Index in the coming years.
As today (May 17) marks the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD 2017), NTA officials said NTA is at present solely focused on promoting telecommunication services in rural parts of country to enhance domestic ICT sector.
Nepal is at the 142nd position in the ICT Development Index 2016, which is published annually by International Telecommunications Union (ITU). “As we have been promoting different telecommunication services in recent times through the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF), we are optimistic that telecommunication services will reach rural parts of the country soon,” said Min Prasad Aryal, spokesperson for NTA, adding that Nepal can improve in the ICT Development Index.
Nepal was ranked as the 136th nation in ICT Development Index in 2015 among 175 countries who are members of ITU. The ITU publishes annual ICT Index of its members based on people’s access to telecommunication services in the respective country, ICT awareness and ICT policies.
As per ITU report, South Korea, Denmark and Iceland are ranked first, second and third in ICT Development Index.
Aryal informed that NTA has undertaken a project to expand broadband facility across all village development committees (VDCs), health and educational institutions, and government offices by 2020. “We have also started work to lay optical fibre along the major highways across the country to ensure that every region of the country is connected with internet facility.”
Aryal opined that Nepal’s ICT sector will take a giant leap forward within a few years after the completion
of the optical fibre laying process in different places and nationwide expansion of broadband service.
The WTISD 2017 is being observed across the world today with the theme of ‘Big Data for Big Impact’, focusing on the power of ‘Big Data’ for development and to explore how to turn imperfect, complex and often unstructured data into actionable information in a development context.
A version of this article appears in print on May 18, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.