ISPs Urged For A Deal With NEA To Disentangle Cable Issue

Nepal Electricity Authority has appealed the Internet service providers to come to an agreement with it with the record of the amount of cables each company is using to provide Internet, telephone and television.
Issuing a statement on Sunday, the state-owned electricity monopoly said that it is always ready to resolve any grievances regarding the use of the structure through dialogue.
However, it said that regardless of the structure of the state, every citizen and service provider has a mandatory obligation to submit revenue as specified but some service providers have been using our structure for the past five years without paying any rent and charging customers.

Expressing concerns over the comments on the implementation of the new rental charge on the use of utility poles as recommended by a government committee a couple of years ago, NEA said that the cables were cut in a symbolic act.
“Some service providers have been using the utility poles without signing an agreement with the NEA, some have not renewed the agreement by submitting the GPS coordinated maps and documents specifying the distance and hesitated to pay the new rental charges,” read the statement.

Companies including Nepal Telecom, Ncell, CG Net, Dish Home, Fiber World Communication have signed agreements with the NEA and paid the rent as per the increased rates.
It defended its act saying that the wires were cut just to raise the dues from the service providers and not to deprive the consumers from using the facility. According to it, the disconnected wires have been restored.
NEA had revised its Optical Fibre Cable Service Operation Directives to implement new rental rates in 2018 July but had formed a committee to recommend the charges in December next year.

The committee coordinated by a joint secretary of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, and comprising chairman of Nepal Telecommunication Authority, joint secretary of the Ministry of Energy, managing director of Nepal Telecom and deputy executive director of the NTA had suggested to revise the rental charges.
In response, the NEA had reviewed the fees and decided to implement new rates from August 2020.

According to it, service providers did not responded to the multiple calls of the NEA to pay the rental charges as recommended by the government committee.
“New rental charges were implemented as per the ‘Bright and Clean City’ campaign as well. NEA aims to manage the wires entangled on the poles,” read the statement.

As per the new rates, per kilometer charge for ADAS backbone cable stretched on the poles of 33KV and 11 KV transmission lines is Rs. 14,000 (excluding taxes) per year. Earlier rate was Rs. 300 (excluding taxes) a month.
Likewise, smaller capacity poles carrying optical fiber cable will cost Rs. 9000 and 7,000 per km per year in urban and rural areas respectively for up to 24 core cables. The new rates were increased from Rs. 1,200 per km per month.

Similarly, 25 to 48 core cables cost Rs. 15,000 and 7,000 per km per year in urban and rural areas. Earlier rate for the same caliber cable was Rs. 1,900 per km per month.
However, OPGW fiber rent for the cables stretched on 66KV or higher voltage transmission lines is increased to Rs. 32,000 per km per year from Rs. 6,000 km per km per month.

Source : TRN,