NTA, NT ink pact to lay optical fibre in Karnali, Sudurpaschim

Kathmandu, December 5

Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) and Nepal Telecom (NT) today signed an agreement to lay 2,500-kilometre-long optical fibre in the Karnali Province and Sudurpaschim Province along the East-West Highway, Mid-Hill Highway and Postal Highway.

Purushottam Khanal, chairman of NTA, and Dilli Ram Adhikari, managing director of NT, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to lay the optical fibre cables within two years. After detailed study of the project, the NTA and NT will sign construction agreement within a month.

Following the construction pact, NT will be responsible for laying optical fibre cables in both the provinces in areas stretching from Musikot of Rukum to Jhulaghat of Baitadi district. NT will lay minimum 96 core optical fibre cables along the aforementioned three highways and 48 core optical fibre cables along routes connecting the highway with the headquarters of 20 districts. Similarly, it will lay 24 core optical fibre cables in routes connecting the highway with different municipalities in these districts.

“As per the government’s plans to make a communication super highway, we have accelerated the fibre laying works,” Khanal said, also expressing hope that the entire project will be completed within the set deadline.

Khanal further said laying the optical fibre along various highways and connecting areas is part of the government’s long-term target to expand broadband network across all district headquarters, municipalities, schools and health centres.

He said that the agreement for laying optical fibre cables will play a crucial role in achieving the goals set through the Broadband Policy 2015 and the National Information and Communication Policy.

NT Managing Director Adhikari expressed his commitment to complete the project on schedule. According to him, the company will soon call a global tender and award the contract to lay the optical fibre in the two provinces.

In June 2016, NTA had signed another agreement with NT to lay optical fibre cables along the East-West Highway and the project is nearing completion.

Citing snail-paced work and lack of significant progress in laying fibre cables in Karnali and Sudurpaschim, NTA had scrapped its earlier agreement with Smart Telecom on October 28. Smart had been awarded the contract in September 2017, with the completion deadline of two years.