MoIC decision on new fibre-optic programme coming ‘soon’

5 Mar 2012

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) of Nepal says it is close to making an announcement concerning the government’s much-hyped District Optical Fibre Programme, Himalayan News Service reports. Its endorsement of the plan would finally allow the independent regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) to utilise Nepal’s Rural Telecom Development Fund (RTDF), it said. The state-backed project, which has stalled due to the MoIC’s heel-dragging in taking a decision over it, now looks likely to move forward after all the necessary arrangements were finalised last month. It is understood the NTA will invest NPR3.15 billion (USD40.8 million) to deploy the new fibre-optic network.

Further, the MoIC has confirmed it will provide that it would provide a 90% subsidy to any telco if they expand their optical fibre networks in the Kingdom’s mid-western and far-western regions – both of which are currently unserved by such technology – and a 60% subsidy to operators if they expand their fibre-optic networks in central, western and eastern regions that currently have no access to broadband services.