Overview of Internet Developments in Nepal Hiranya K. Bhattarai Manager, NTC History v In 1991 testing of E-mail through Internet was done by a private company, Mercantile Communication Pvt. Ltd. (MCPL) and Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology (RONAST). v In 1992 commercial E-mail through Internet was launched by MCPL. v In 1993 Text based Internet was explored by MCPL with 9.6 Kbps International Leased line to Singapore v In 1994 Internet with full graphics was introduced by MCPL for general public. v In 1995, MCPL was formally registered with His Majesty’s Government of Nepal as an Internet Service Provider (ISP). v Nepal Telecommunications Corporation, NTC, started internet service both as an ISP and a network service provider in May 2000. v Till April 1999, ISP’s had to rely on Nepal Telecommunications Corporation for international connectivity for Internet. v In April 1999, His Majesty’s Government of Nepal liberalized its policy on the use of VSAT that facilitated many private companies to enter into the business of VSAT operation. Present situation of Internet Ø At present, there are 15 registered Internet Service Provider’s in Nepal but only 10 ISP's are in operation. Ø There are about 115,000 internet users. Ø Most of the ISP’s now use privateVSATs for International connectivity for Internet. NTC uses its own Satellite Earth Station for the internet connectivity. Ø The average connection speeds available to consumer and businesses are 33.6 Kbps and 56 Kbps. Ø The current international bandwidth for internet in Nepal is 12 Mbps downlink and 5 Mbps uplink. Ø Leased line connectivity is available from 9.6 Kbps to 2048 Kbps (provided by NTC) Estimated breakdown of the users Type No. of Users Home Users 20% Commercial Users 30% NGO/Non-profit Org. 15% Educational Institutes 10% INGOs 20% Government 5% Cost of Internet Usage Increased competition among mushrooming ISPs has led to reduced prices. Leased line connection 64Kbps .....................US $ 1000 per month Dial up Customer ........................................ US $12 – 25 per month Following Services are Provided by ISPs in Nepal Email Web Designing Internet Domain Registration Fax to Fax Intranet E-Fax Global Roaming Web Hosting Besides, ISPs in Nepal are involved in GIS (Geographical Information System), Medical Transcription and E-commerce as well. Key points for the Growth of Internet in Nepal 1. The release of a national IT policy in Nepal, supporting electronic commerce, IT education, and e- government in December 2000. 2. Setting a target of NRs 10 billion in IT exports in 5 years. 3. The launching of an online directory and resources by The Nepal Industrial Development Corporation to promote smaller Nepali companies on the Net. 4. The provision of IT education being offered by 4 universities, about 25 colleges and 1000 training institutes. 5. Recently, rate of international connectivity has dropped significantly due to the decision of NTA to allow direct international connectivity to private parties.
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