Nepal ends India's internet monopoly, gets new Chinese bandwidth (Representational Image)
Nepal on Friday ended India’s decades-long monopoly on internet access and started using Chinese bandwidth to connect with the cyberspace.
State-owned telecom company Nepal Telecom (NT), in collaboration with the China Telecom Global, launched the new services after completing the process of acquiring internet bandwidth.
"This will give us an alternative to India for cyber connectivity and ensure uninterrupted connections," Reuters quoted Pratibha Vaidya, a Nepal Telecom spokeswoman as saying.
For decades, Indian telcos such as Bharti Airtel and Tata Communications Ltd were the only internet service providers to the citizens of the Himalayan nation.
Nepali officials said internet dependence on India has made connections in the country vulnerable to network failure.
After the new Chinese link, "Consumers can now look forward to a reliable service," Vaidya said.
Indian cyber experts feel the development is a big loss for India not just revenue wise but strategically too.
“It is indeed a loss for India, both revenue wise and strategically too. Now India needs to set up a cyber army like China has, should be prepared for non-state & state actors targeting our computer systems,” Cyber Expert Pawan Duggal said.
Recently, a study conducted by the 'Consumer Voice' – a voluntary action group working for consumer rights – had found that the internet speed in India is among the lowest internationally.
The study claimed that “the internet speed the service providers are giving to the users are far below what they claim.”
"The poor level of internet speed requires the government and the telecom regulator to devise a mechanism to improve internet speed in one way or another," the study said.