Internet connection in Nepal is slow, expensive and limited. It is advanced and improved compared to how it was a few years ago. But, it seems, we are taking yet another leap in terms of increasing speed and reducing price! Nepal Telecom is at the last phase of striking deals with two Indian companies that, I hope, will ‘revolutionize’ the Internet habit in Nepal. Fast connection in fewer prices! No need to wait for minutes to download a small file or upload a few KBs. No frustrations!
I started writing this blog three days ago and today I read very pleasant news in the Kathmandu Post. (I know you don’t need faster Inernet connection to write on MS Word but I will explain what kept me busy in the past few days in later paragraphs.) The Post report by Rupak D. Sharma says that Nepal Telecom will soon reduce the price of ISDN and leased line internet connection soon. I hope that also applies with dial up connection. NT will buy bandwidth from Indian companies BSNL and Bharati via the fiber optic lines and that will be cheaper by 75 percent. I am also eagerly waiting to have a Sky Phone card from Nepal Telecom which will let me use Internet on my laptop and make me mobile. Then, I hope, I can browse web sites from anywhere in Kathmandu! It seems NT will take couple of weeks to distribute such cards.
Currently, monthly tariff of 64 kbps leased line connectivity is fixed at Rs 18,000, while monthly tariff rate of unlimited and dedicated Internet access of 128 kbps through ISDN dialup is fixed at Rs 13,600. Once the decision is implemented, the monthly tariff of leased line connectivity will go down to as low as Rs 6,000 and monthly tariff of ISDN dialup will go down to around Rs 4,500. “The price reduction is expected to benefit companies engaged in development of IT applications and software for foreign companies, firms providing other IT related services at international level, Internet service providers and individuals, professional organizations, agencies and other business houses that require high speed data connection,” Bhattarai said.
The announcement to revise Internet tariff rates was made soon after BSNL, an Indian telecom company, gave its consent to provide bandwidth at a cost 75 percent less than that being provided by other international vendors. “The state owned Indian telecom company, has agreed to supply per mbps of symmetric bandwidth at a cost of US$ 1,800 using the East-West optical fiber link, compared to US$ 7,400 being charged by international vendors that use satellite to make the transfer,” Bhattarai said.
According to Bhattarai, NT will procure symmetric bandwidth of 8 mbps, each, in the initial phase using optical fiber links at Biratnagar and Birgunj, which will later be increased to 155 mbps. “An agreement to this extent would be signed between the two companies within a week,” he said. Bhattarai also informed that NT was in process of reaching an understanding with another Indian telecom company, Bharati Airtel, through which it plans to obtain 34 mbps of bandwidth. “We are waiting for the Indian government’s approval. As soon as the Indian government grants the permission to start inter-country data transfer service, NT will sign another agreement with the company,” he said. read in detail
Now, the original subject. Past few days were both interesting and not so interesting and I was busy, most of the time, and was super busy once. Trial and error is one phrase that could best describe the day of Thursday Nov 30. Learning by experience, doing foolish mistake and trying to correct that. As I was trying to set up Blogmandu (nepali.blog.com.np), at around 9 AM, I realized I had messed up with United We Blog! and, guess what, without eating for hours we were involved in fixing the site. We? International? Other partner in the noble effort of brining back UWB into life was Mahesh Poudyal in the United Kingdom. Actually, he was the one who did everything where as I was mostly sitting in front of my computer crossing fingers. Gmail’s chat service was useful for international typing conversation. The timing was superb, I had just downed the site and he had just woken up his body from the bed. Coincidently, he had paid for setting up the two sub domains (other will remain undisclosed for the time being) a day before. I was supposed to install Word Press on the new one but threw out the existing one from UWB. (I would also like to thank Sakar Bhusal in Texas for his generous offer to fix the problem. Also thanks to Prabesh Subedi for his initial suggestions.)
It was indeed a great learning experience for me as I realized the importance of a username inside the database system! I had deleted one of the usernames to make the site unusable. And while trying to reinstall Word Press, the site briefly went out of my control. I would also like to thank Rajib Dahal for giving me back the username and password of the newly installed WordPress minutes before Mahesh nullified that from Admin panel. I was pissed off to see a blog post on UWB filled with question marks (what happened?????????? or something like that) from Rajib who appeared to be confused about the site’s status. It took me for about 15 minutes to realize that Rajib possessed the control of the site unintentionally. Some people thought the site was downed again. As soon as Rajib knew the site was being fixed, he gave me back the username etc. (It was disturbed twice before. I still remember that day, or that moment, when I discovered the site was downed as a camera was capturing me trying to log in to the site. Japanese TV NHK camera crew was following my blogging and reporting activities and I was trying to post a blog in front of the camera. When I entered my username and password, an error message was displayed. What I told to the reporter? “Well, this site came into service only a few days ago and it seems I have forgotten the new user name and password. The reality was different and it was black!)
Then there was a challenge to upload the huge backup file but Mahesh managed to do that. Thank You! Also thanks to his 2 MBPS Internet connection 🙂 I think that would be almost impossible to upload if I were to do the same from my computer in Kathmandu. It’s a terrible connection here. When will Nepal Telecom bring the fiber optic cables that have already been put under the East West highway? Yes, that’s what we discussed about as I was struggling with the connection in Kathmandu. And you already know the latest if you have started reading this post from the beginning. So days ahead are bright, folks!