Nepal unviels plan to connect Everest Base Camp with free broadband

15th Feb, 2017 | Tourism Mail Crew

KATHMANDU, Feb 15 : Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has unveiled its plan to connect the Everest Base Camp and the famous Annapurna Trekking Route with free broadband.

The plan to connect the Everest Base Camp with broadband falls under the plan to connect all the district headquarters of Nepal with broadband informed the chief of Nepal Telecommunications Authority Chief, Digamber Jha.

"From this year we have started the process to connect everypart of the country with broadband, for that there is clear indication that the broadband policy 2071. So, at present broadband is only limited to certain cities and towns in Nepal. We want it to connect every Village Development Committee which is the local government or you can say local organization. So, for this we are going to have a broadband optical fibre cable from east of Nepal to west through middle of the hill we call it- Mid Hill Highway, it is also under construction but simultaneously we are going to lay the optical fibre of 96 core along that," NTA Chief Jha said in an interview with ANI.

Nepal's Telecommunication regulating body chief Jha briefed about the importance and the idea behind connecting the world's highest mountain's base camp with broadband.

"Starting from Everest Base Camp from Lukla to Everest Base Camp it is a trekking (route). So we want to connect it with optical fibre. Likewise, in Annapurna Trekking (Route) we call it Annapurna Circuit, if you remember two years back in October, the main season, trekking season there was "Hudhud" cyclone in India, thousands of Kilometers from here at the Odisha and the Andhra (Andhra Pradhesh) border (India) but after five days the side effect was, unusual rain and snowfall in Annapurna Circuit and so many people lost their lives due to lack of internet you can say. If they could have identified that the weather is not in favorable, they could have stayed in some safe place," Jha stressed.

With the concerns over the technology to be used in the region to achieve the ambitious project NTA Chief Digamber Jha claimed it to be different from other techniques with will not be damaged easily.

"We are going to start two things: from Lukla to Everest Base Camp we are going to lay potical fibre but that will be something different. I mean to say actually, the ITU standard, IQUT developed standard for rural telecom and it is very robust cable something like submarine cable and very thin, just like a ball pen, just like thin like a ball pen but it is covered with the steel also and it can bend also. So you have not to bury it in the ground, it will be laid along the track just to tie it with some tree or some stone. If a big stone also falls on that, that would not be damaged, it is robust. It is called ITU TL 1700, so we are planning to do that," Jha claimed.

The project which will be carried out under "Okamura" model, the Japanese Telecom Expert who also is leading the project is set to sign the MoU very soon which is undergoing preparation.

"In this way safety will increase there and even our tourism sector will be very benifitted because the tourist and send the live photos, pictures directly, they can talk there directly so in Annapurna Trekking and Lukla area we are trying from this year and we will do it," Jha claimed.

The NTA has planned to complete the project by end of this decade .i.e 2020 and has confirmed that the local internet service provider will be selected for providing the bandwidth. But the doubt over the completion of the project has immerged as NTA is yet to make an detail survey over the project.

"As you know Nepal is just like rectangular or you can say as a brick so from the middle of the brick it will be layed from one side to another side and Nepal there is 75 districts in Nepal so we are linking every district headquarter in South and North of that line. So it will be something like fish bone, the main bone of the fish will be Mid- Hill highway project and the thin bone will be connecting to the every district headquarter, 75 district headquarter," further adding "Not only that but it will also be connected with the East-West Highway which is in Terai Region, plain region of Nepal so this will be the main backbone and the second part we have also started it that every district, we are going to connect every school, every health post every local government, VDC we call it Village Development Committee and other organizations- government organizations, semi-government organizations on demand. But for this school we are going to connect them free of cost and for two years we will provide free of cost bandwidth for this and we are also going to, we are working with Sectoral Ministry like Education Ministry Health Ministry, Local Development Ministry, Home Ministry for the development of content and application," Jha laid the details of the plan to connect the parts of Nepal with internet.