Internet Connection in Nepal and Web Sites Problem

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!

15 thoughts on “Internet Connection in Nepal and Web Sites Problem

  1. Impressive! reminds me of another blog esp the WSJ in ur language. Hope this sleek look lasts long this time! No unwanted Intervention..ever!!

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  2. Ah.. MP ji,

    Thanks again for pointing out the error. I just corrected it. I am always confused about the spelling of Poudel even as my great grandfather, whom I call father, is Poudel. And he uses that spelling!

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  3. So, the thing was this and here I was wondering what happened to this Wagle’s site! Nways!, it’s nice to to see you back in site (photo hot chha bhanau bhane feri lamo chalphal suruhola🙂 ) with photo and new design of site is quite good and impressive.

    Nepal’s internet connection? don’t ask! one who uses dial up, s/he knows how terrible it is when s/he gets phone bill. It makes feel that i am about to get heart attack!

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  4. Comment Box,

    Thanks for your words!

    Yes, lets not get into “photo hot chha” or Chhaina debate because that’s not hot! Nevertheless the credit for the photo goes to Shailendra Kharel, a photo journalist. We did a small photo session for this a few weeks back. But you know what, all the photos were accidentally deleted and we had to re shoot. I had to repose etc etc. Felt like being a model!

    About internet connection. Yes, it sucks. I don’t even want to remember how it felt using interent with UTL phone that gave me data transfer speed of 19 kbps! Now I have Nepal Telecom’s CPhone that’s far better, better than usual dial up from land lines. Its nearly 115 kbps. Still it’s slow when it comes to serious browsing and uploading files.

    For those who want improved connection and fed up with dial up, I suggest to buy NT’s Cphone (Rs. 10 thousands, I think. Forget the exact figure because it was months ago I bought the phone!). Its portable too because it’s wireless and you pay only for datas that you download or upload. Rs. 3 per 1 MB. No seperate telephone charge and no ISP charge too. It’s quite cheap and very fast compared to dialup. (That way your heart will have some comfort🙂 ) For those with laptops, wait for a few weeks, like me, to have that sky phone card!

    I hope prices for all kinds of connections will come down and the speed will go up, up and up!!

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  5. Didn’t want to disturb the usual Wagle- Comment Box Dialogues..but couldn’t help commenting on the New Stylish WSJ ..

    Well, unlike Comment Box m not blinded by Wagle’s good looks ( as it seems) so for the Hot pic thing..I think its good but hot is sth I would say…sth totally different.. but the photoz good nevertheless, shows ur peculiar, peircing look!!

    N talking of the CDMA service, I agree. I recommend anyone seeking fast internet service should get it. The price is around Rs 9000 or so..but yah depends on the services you demand like for internet you pay extra Rs 250.

    I hope prices for all kinds of connections will come down and the speed will go up, up and up!!

    I wish for more ppl to have access to internet first, ani tespachi more ISPs bhaihalcha and even for surving competition speed ta increase nahune kurai chaina.

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  6. Last sentence of Comments!!

    I am not a student of economics but I think more users will not automatically mean more ISPs. And More ISPs won’t mean better speed (though competition between them will have some impact. But the existing ISPs had already started curtailing.)

    Now that Nepal Telecom is striking deal with Indian companies to buy bandwidth via fiber optic line, we can expect significant increase in speed and reduce in price because of fiber optic. Now it’s satellite bandwidth which is expensive itself. So Internet connection price is also expensive. Plus, dial up system makes users pay double: to phone company and to Internet company. ISPs in Nepal have been long demanding that Nepal Telecom (the telephone operator company) share its revenue with the ISPs in response to the extra calls (and revenue) they generate for NT. That hasn’t been implemented, as far as I know.

    So for the time being, I am not thanking to any ISPs, not even NT, but to the Fibre Optic technology!

    By the way, you might be interested in following interesting debates on cell phones habits of Nepali youth in Zade Xpress: here and here.

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  7. I am not a student of economics but I think more users will not automatically mean more ISPs. And More ISPs won’t mean better speed (though competition between them will have some impact. But the existing ISPs had already started curtailing.)

    Well if you are not, Then I am. The very basic principle of Economics ( its not hardcore) is more the demand, increase in supply which results in competition. resulting in competitive prices and better quality goods.. more users will surely mean more ISPs if you get it, look at the noodle market in Nepal for instance. So much demand for it and you can clearly see it in the rise in number of noodle companies to meet the demand….

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  8. Oh.. student of economics ji,

    demand, increase in supply etc are okay. But it would not be correct, I think, say that more users will not automatically mean more ISPs.

    And competition between ISPs will not automatically ensure price reduction. The main problem (for expensive price) lies not in uncompetitiveness of ISPs but in the medium of bandwidht (satellite). Now that the medim has been changed to cheaper one (fiber optic), we can have cheaper net connection.

    Plus, this cheaper medium also happens to be equiped with faster data transfer capacity.🙂

    So, thanks to fiber optic, again!

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  9. more users will not automatically mean more ISPs.
    might materialize into reality only if the Govt goes autocratic or else in a free market that’s what happens more users, promote more suppliers. simple as that

    And competition between ISPs will not automatically ensure price reduction

    Not at all convincing! That is possible if the companies together decide for carteling.. and for this

    The main problem (for expensive price) lies not in uncompetitiveness of ISPs but in the medium of bandwidht (satellite).

    True, but why would suppliers be encouraged to bring in new technology if there was no increase in demand for it. Requires ppl to demand, machines don’t do that!

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  10. We are talking about speed and price. Government policies are vital. But in this case more important was fiber optic line (without that no policy would have made the connection faster and cheaper) I think your points are valid but mine are no less so!! (so I claim)🙂

    Again, the point is we will be having faster net connection in cheaper price. We hope to see competition among ISPs which will, again hope, bring down the price further!

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  11. 3.5 years old post and I still remember the day how angry wagle was! Wagle was thinking that I hacked his site!!!! I was surprised and gave him nice replies before giving user id and passwords that i had mistakenly created, which were of no use to me………….just to say time keeps on moving!

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  12. I’m thinking when will be better internet service in Nepal? Hopefully we will get better internet connection in soon. People pay expensive for slow net service. God somebody have to look into it.

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