According to local press reports, Nepal’s national PTO Nepal Telecom (NT) is preparing to launch high speed data services using the fibre-optic network it has built along the East-West highway. The Kantipur Report says that once the system is up and running, the average cost of internet access services could drop by as much as 50%. Although NT is currently offering voice services over the link,it has yet to introduce any data transmission services. The fibre-optic link has resulted in a significant drop in tariffs for international calls to India, by contrast the restriction on data transfer has forced prices up for ISPs and NT itself, which have been made to purchase more expensive satellite bandwidth. The optical fibre link was built two years ago with the backing of the Indian government and links Bhadrapur in the East and Lamahi in the West to Indian telcos BSNL and Bharti Airtel. NT is said to be planning to buy 155Mbps of bandwidth from one of them in an effort to gain access to their submarine optical cable links with Singapore, the US and Europe.