National telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) is expected to finalise its long-overdue broadband policy ‘within the next week’, the Himalayan News Service quotes NTA director Ananda Raj Khanal as saying. Given that the policy is deemed vital for the overall development of the Kindgom’s information and communication technology (ICT) sector, Khanal says the NTA is doing all that it can to ensure the broadband policy put forward is as comprehensive as possible. Once finalised, the watchdog will submit its draft policy to the Ministry of Information and Communications for an official endorsement.
The NTA official did not divulge any specifics of the policy but it is believed the draft will include clarification on the minimum speed (kbps) for broadband (downstream and upstream), wherever it is offered. Further, it will also guarantee the quality of service — whether supplied to an end user on a shared or dedicated basis — on products that a broadband access provider offers. As it stands, such standards are not regulated or defined within the country’s telecoms legislation, and according to the recommendations provided by a working committee formed in December 2008, always-on broadband in Nepal can mean anything with a minimum download/upload connection of between 64kbps (TeleGeography defines this as sub-broadband) and 256kbps.