India’s monopoly on internet access in Nepal ends on Friday. Nepal opens a new optical fibre link across the Himalayan Mountain to China. China makes inroads into the internet arena in Nepal where India was the lone player till Friday.
The inauguration of the link during a ceremony in Kathmandu is also seen as the growing influence of China in India’s backyard.
Nepal’s information and communication minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet and Chinese ambassador Yu Hong inaugurated the link on Friday.
Nepal pays a substantial amount as fees and royalties to India for access to internet through connections at Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj. The country is acquiring bandwidth from telecom giants Tata and Airtel and BSNL etc.
On Friday, Nepal’s government-owned telecom service provider Nepal Telecom has acquired bandwidth from China Telecom Global Limited. The Chinese company has its head office in Hong Kong. Nepal Telecom has signed an agreement with the Chinese company in December 2016 for acquiring bandwidth.
The optical fibre link of the Chinese company enters Nepal at Rasuwa. Rasuwa is situated 175 km north of Nepal’s capital Kathmandu. Before the beginning of the operation on Friday, the company conducted a successful test link last week.
Inaugurating the link Nepal’s communication minister Mohan Bahadur Basnet said, “This will add new dynamics to Nepal-China ties.”
Basnet further said infrastructure has been created to extend the Chinese railway network to Nepal.
Nepal Telecom’s general manager Kamini Rajbhandari said, “Nepal’s internet dependency on India has ended from today and we are able to diversify our business.”
Chinese Ambassador Yu said China is the second largest investor in Nepal and also send many tourists to the country.