May 12: Television and Internet service providers’ have threatened to shut down television and Internet services across the country due to the hike in the rental fees by the Nepal Electricity Authority for using its poles.
The state-owned Nepal Electricity Authority has asked the service providers to clear their dues by Tuesday, warning that it will cut off the wires from the poles if the y failed to clear the dues. The NEA had hiked the rental charges of poles on July 17 last year.
Meanwhile, the Internet and television service providers have protested against the decision of the NEA to hike the rental charges saying it is against the understanding reached with the government. They said that the government will be responsible for the shutdown of the services throughout the nation.
According to Bhoj Raj Bhatta, president of the Internet Service Providers’ Association of Nepal, the shutdown of the service will directly hit the banking and other institutions.
“The NEA should be ready to face criticism from consumers and institutions,” he added.
According to the service providers, the pole users had to pay Rs 205 per pole in a municipality and Rs 50 in a rural municipality. The committee says the charges have been hiked by almost three folds for core wire, while the charges for fiber cable have been hiked by almost five times.
The Internet service providers also claimed that the charges have been increased by 500 percent in Kathmandu valley, and 2,100 percent in rural areas.