Nepal may let China log into Net services, end India's monopoly
Nepal is likely to get internet connection through Chinese optical fiber from next month, ending India's monopoly over the online services in the landlocked Himalayan country.
Nepal has relied on India for internet services for long as the country is optically connected with the southern neighbour through Bhairahawa, Birgunj and Biratnagar.
However, the connection with China will end the monopoly of India in supply of internet bandwidth.
The long-awaited internet connection from China is expected to be completed by the end of July as the work of laying optical fiber on the Chinese side has resumed.
Nepal has already completed the task of laying optical fiber on its side for the connection.
The task of laying optical fiber was about to be completed in early June. But it could not take place after an avalanche disrupted the work on the Chinese side, an official said.
"Connection test was already conducted. Nepal would have already been connected with Chinese internet if the work was not halted in June," the official at the Nepal Telecom said.
Shobhan Adhikari, deputy spokesperson for the Nepal Telecom, said that the local government of China had suspended the work of laying optical fiber after a worker collapsed due to high attitude sickness. Now the work has already resumed.
"The work has resumed in full pace since the last week and if things go as per the plan, Nepal will be connected with the Chinese internet from the beginning of August," he added.
Adhikari said that after the disruption of work by avalanche at the altitude of 4,000 meters on the Chinese side, the optical fiber was laid through an alternative route.
"According to the Chinese company, the new route is almost 20 kilometers longer. The sudden change in the plan has delayed the project by almost a month," he added.
Once the work to lay optical fiber is completed on the Chinese side, Nepal will test the connection and subsequently work on purchasing Internet bandwidth from the northern neighbour, Adhikari said.
"With Chinese companies entering the Nepali market, users here will be able to enjoy internet at lower rates," he said.
Meanwhile, China's state-run Global Times on Thursday said the Chinese internet services will be available from August 1 in Nepal, "ending India's bandwidth supply monopoly in the country." pti
Nepal, Bhutan reach out to NPCI for collaboration
Nepal and Bhutan have approached the National Payments Corporation of India for collaboration to make use of its digital payments services, NPCI Managing Director and CEO A P Hota said on Thursday.
The NPCI had sought permission from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow it to provide the services to the two neighbouring countries, he told PTI from his Mumbai office.
"Nepal and Bhutan are the two countries where specific requests have come for collaboration - means they would like to make use of our digital payments services. They would really like us to help them," he said. NPCI was started by RBI with a mandate to develop an Indian payments switch to drive financial inclusion in the country.
With ten banks as its initial shareholders, the company developed the RuPay debit card payments platform, National Automated Clearing House for cheque clearance and the Unified Payments Interface.