Kathmandu, September 13
Operation of the much-hyped Nepal-China optical fibre link has gathered momentum as the concerned authorities of both the countries have started the test transmission of the project from late Tuesday.
According to officials of Nepal Telecom (NT), the test transmission of the project will be continued for a few more days to check the internet speed, fibre linkages and assess different other aspects.
“As the works to lay optical fibre along the determined route of the project have been completed recently, both NT and China Telecom are conducting test transmission of the project,” informed Shovan Adhikari, joint-spokesperson for NT.
According to him, the test transmission will identify prevailing weaknesses and problems in supplying Chinese internet bandwidth to Nepal. “Once all these aspects are assessed and resolved, NT and China Telecom will finalise the date for commencing the project commercially.”
Similarly, Adhikari also informed that both NT and China Telecom have set a target to operationalise the project within October. “We are hopeful that the deadline will not be missed this time,” he said.
Though both telecom companies had agreed to operate the cross-border internet link by December last year, the project is being delayed constantly following damage in the already laid optical fibre and obstruction in its repair by snowfall along Lhasa areas of China.
As the country is currently linked to the global internet connectivity through Indian telecom operators via different fibre connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, the commercial operation of Nepal-China optical fibre link will end Nepal’s sole dependency for internet with India. The country will get an alternative source to meet the growing demand of internet. Nepal will be connected to the world via Hong Kong through China Telecom following the commercial operation of this project.
Nepal Telecom has laid the optical fibre from Kathmandu to Rasuwagadi (approximately 90 kilometres) to link with China Telecom. Though NT plans to purchase limited internet bandwidth from China in the initial phase, it plans to increase the import volume of internet gradually.
A version of this article appears in print on September 14, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.