Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) and Nepal Telecom (NT) today signed an agreement to lay optical fiber along the Mid-Hill Highway.
As per the agreement, NT will lay optical fiber along 2,376 kilometres of the Mid-Hill Highway covering 32 districts. Meanwhile, NTA will bear all the cost of the project through Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF).
An agreement to this effect was signed between NTA Chairman Digambar Jha and Managing Director of NT Kamini Raj Bhandari.
Following this agreement, NT will be responsible for laying optical fiber cable in areas stretching from Chiyo Bhanjyang in Panchthar district to Arughat in Gorkha district within the next two years. NT will lay 96 core optical fiber cables along the Mid-Hill Highway and 48 core optical fiber cables along routes connecting the highway with the headquarters of 32 districts. Similarly, it will lay 24 core optical fiber cables in routes connecting the highway with different municipalities in these districts.
The two organisations had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) of the project in June. Addressing the agreement signing ceremony, Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said that laying the optical fibre along the Mid-Hill Highway and connecting various areas is part of the government’s long-term target to expand broadband network across all district headquarters, municipalities, schools and health centres.
“The agreement means that the government fund, which had remained unused for a long period of time, will now be utilised to provide information and technology services to the people of the 32 districts,” said Thapaliya, adding that it also gives NT a historic responsibility and opportunity to complete the project within the prescribed period.
On the occasion, NTA Chairman Jha said that optical fiber laying agreement with NT will play a crucial role to achieve goals set by the Broadband Policy 2015 and the National Information and Communication Policy. “We will be able to take broadband connectivity across every city and village of these 32 districts within the next two years, thereby providing internet facilities to people in the region,” Jha said.
Similarly, NT Managing Director Rajbhandari expressed her commitment to complete the project on schedule. According to her, NT will soon call a global tender and award a company the project to lay optical fiber along the Mid-Hill Highway.