NEA reduced the budget, emphasized on internet quality and broadband expansion from land purchase to new programs

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NEA reduced the budget, emphasized on internet quality and broadband expansion from land purchase to new programs

The Telecommunication Authority of Nepal (TAN) has decided the program for the coming Fiscal Year 2078/79 focusing on broadband expansion, improvement of internet quality and mobile device management system.

Continuing the program of the current fiscal year, a budget of more than Rs. 14 billion has been allocated for the coming fiscal year. However, NEA has allocated less than next year’s budget for the current fiscal year. Last year, NEA had allocated around Rs 16 billion in the budget.

Chairman of the Nepal Telecommunication Authority, Purushottam Khanal, said that the program for the coming year was focused on improving internet quality, broadband expansion and mobile registration.

“This time we are continuing last year’s program,” Khanal told ICT News. “In addition, we are focusing on improving internet quality, expanding broadband and mobile device registration.”

The policy and program prepared by NEA for the coming fiscal year has been approved by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Now the authority is in the process of getting approval from the board.

NEA has allocated about Rs 6.5 billion out of the average budget of Rs 14.5 billion for NEA’s own program. NEA has allocated around Rs. 3 billion to buy land and other things to build its own office. Similarly, a budget of Rs 7 billion has been allocated for rural telecommunication development, Khanal said.

“The priority now is to expand broadband,” Khanal said. “So we’ve made it a focused program.”

At the same time, NEA has decided various programs emphasizing on quality improvement. Saying that there are many complaints about the lack of quality in the internet, Khanal said that there are many problems in improving the quality. He said that it needs to be addressed now.

“Our main objective is to test the Internet in a reliable way and improve them,” Khanal said. “We have made programs to find and improve the shortcomings of the operators.” The authority is preparing to test the internet quality measuring equipment at a certain place.

NEA has allocated about Rs 6.5 billion out of the average budget of Rs 14.5 billion for NEA’s own program. NEA has allocated around Rs. 3 billion to buy land and other things to build its own office. Similarly, a budget of Rs 7 billion has been allocated for rural telecommunication development, Khanal said.

Similarly, NEA has also made a plan on how to reduce the bandwidth money. Bringing bandwidth from India now costs देखि 4 to डलर 16. Khanal said the program focused on how to bring it to डलर 4 or less.

Similarly, NEA is going to implement Mobile Device Management System (MDMS) from July 1. This too will be fully implemented in the coming Fiscal Year.

Due to the corona infection, many of the programs scheduled for the current fiscal year are incomplete. NEA says that the programs of the current fiscal year have to be given more continuity due to COVID-19.

He said that even the Supreme Court had given continuity to last year’s program as Covid’s time was called Zero Hour.

Covid has also affected the import of essential materials. As it affected not only the situation in Nepal but also abroad, there was a big problem in transportation of goods.

He said that he had to wait for six months at the port when the mobile monitoring van was brought. Khanal said that despite this, work has been done on Forge expansion and broadband expansion. He said that the demand for communication has also increased as everyone needs communication during Covid.

It is yet to be reviewed how much progress has been made in the current fiscal year, but the initial estimate should have been 40 to 50 percent, Khanal said. The lack of progress in the fiber backbone, especially in the mid-hill highways under the big project, has had an overall impact.

He said that the budget has been sized this time as it focuses on programs that can be spent rather than frozen. Also, amid rumors of a third wave, the program is likely to be affected.

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Rabins Sharma Lamichhane

Rabins Sharma Lamichhane is the owner of RabinsXP who is constantly working for increasing the Internet of Things (IoT) in Nepal. He also builds android apps and crafts beautiful websites. He is also working with various social services. The main aim of Lamichhane is to digitally empower the citizens of Nepal and make the world spiritually sound better both in terms of technology and personal development. Rabins is also the first initiator of Digital Nepal.

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