Telecommunication Authority does not enter into contracts, it only does regulatory work: Chairman Bhandari

Bhupendra Bhandari, Chairman of Nepal Telecommunication Authority, has said that the authority will not be put on a contract any more and will only move forward in a regulatory role.

Speaking to the Technology Journalist Forum on Sunday, President Bhandari said that he will no longer work beyond the regulatory role.

‘Now we only do regulatory work. We do not go beyond the regulatory role,’ he said. He said that he will not touch any contracts other than those that are necessary, including the projects that are currently in operation.

The authority is preparing to make the MIS report accurate and public. Since there are doubts about some of the public data, Bhandari has started from the first day to make it accurate.

5G has been in the news for some time in Nepal. Nepal Telecom is conducting internal testing of 5G, but the common people have not yet been able to use it. He says that before introducing 5G, the situation of 4G usage and preparation and monetization of 5G should also be studied.

Emphasis on policy reforms

Bhandari has already started making the necessary roadmap to make the old laws up-to-date, improve them and strengthen the regulatory role.

Bhandari said that initially, he worked in policy making and foundations. “For the management and regulation of the telecommunication sector, various laws have to be made and amended,” he said, “we do not sit in a room and make laws.” We formulate the necessary policy rules after extensive discussions with the stakeholders. We work transparently.’

Giving an example of the various tools being used by the National Bank for tight management of the financial sector, Bhandari said that the law should provide for the use of the necessary tools for tight management and regulation in the telecommunication sector as well.

Bhandari was appointed as the chairman of the authority on February 6. He has the experience of working at the highest level of various telecommunication companies in the country and abroad. Since taking charge, he has emphasized improving the efficiency of employees to strengthen the regulation of the telecommunication sector.

Lately, projects such as Terramax and MDMS run by the authority are controversial. As a result, the morale of the employees has decreased. Bhandari says that he works transparently while increasing the morale of the employees.

Similarly, the authority has also prepared to survey wireline and wireless. A survey is being conducted to know the condition of the tower maintained by the telecommunication service provider. He said that after the completion of the survey, it will be easier to approve the tower and double investment will also be stopped.

He further said, ‘The survey will identify the places where the state should go and the places where the service providers should go. The state invests in areas where there is no service provider’s business for access to telecommunications.’

Currently, internet wires and other necessary infrastructure are placed on the poles of the Nepal Electricity Authority. If the pole falls, the internet will be blocked. That is why he thinks that a ‘redundancy network’ should be made using the Rural Telecommunication Development Fund to prevent ICT service from being blocked in the future.

He says that he is aware of the potential risks that may arise in the future if the regulator does not make a timely decision.

Youth-focused programs

Recently, the interest of the young generation in information technology has been increasing in Nepal. The young generation is also doing different kinds of innovations.

Keeping this in mind, the authority has emphasized the youth-friendly program. As a youth-focused program, the Authority has taken forward the Digital Champion program.

The Digital Champion program will help the youth to turn their ideas into reality. Bhandari says that by creating an incubation lab through Digital Champion, the youth will create an environment where they can work on their ideas. The expenses incurred for this will be borne by the authority.

Apart from this, the authority has planned to hold an ICT Innovation Exhibition to showcase the work being done in the field of information and communication technology.

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is senior ICT professional who talks about #it, #cloud, #servers, #software, and #innovation. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal. Facebook: rabinsxp Instagram: rabinsxp

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