13pc hike in internet fees from July 17: ISPs

Kathmandu, July 10

The Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal has announced that internet fees will be raised by 13 per cent w.e.f July 17.

As the government failed to implement the previous agreement reached with internet service providers, all ISPs will raise internet fee from July 17, Bhoj Raj Bhatta, chairman of ISPAN, told THT.

In mid-July last year, ISPs had decided to raise internet fee by 13 per cent following the government’s decision to impose 13 per cent telecommunication service charge on internet services w.e.f this fiscal. However, they revoked their decision following the government’s assurance of subsidising 6.5 per cent of the TSC and waive TSC on internet wires and routers, leased line data connectivity and repair costs.

However, ISPs have decided to raise the internet cost once again as the government failed to implement its commitment to share 50 per cent of TSC imposed on internet services.

“The government had assured us that it would share half of the TSC burden imposed on internet services. However, we are compelled to raise internet cost by 13 per cent as the government failed to keep its word,” said Bhatta.

With the increment, internet subscribers will have to bear additional burden of at least Rs 100 on a minimum package, while other internet packages will be costlier depending on the packages, he added.

Meanwhile, Rishi Ram Tiwari, spokesperson for the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, urged ISPs to sit for discussion and not pass additional financial burden on to customers by raising internet cost.

“Internet cost should not be hiked further. We shall hold a discussion with the ISPs soon,” he said.