Nepal Telecom announced that Nepal is now receiving optical fibre connectivity from China. This project ends country’s dependence on the Indian monopoly for Internet bandwidth. The construction works were delayed several times due to an avalanche and other problems connected with operations in high altitudes and mountainous terrain. It is yet unknown whether the new Internet connection will be without restrictions that are imposed on the Internet by Chinese government in its own country.
The telecommunications infrastructure is a physical medium through which all Internet traffic flows. Therefore, there are number of related policy issues including reaching out to end user - especially in the rural and remote areas, liberalisation of the telecommunication and services market, investments in the development of further intercontinental fibre backbone links, and the establishment and harmonisation of the technical standards. Since the telecommunication infrastructure is predominantly privately owned, there is a strong interplay of corporate sector, governments and international organisations in global debates.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).