Nepal is scheduled to get Chinese internet services from August ending India’s monopoly over the same, a Nepali daily reported. Currently, the tiny Himalayan country accesses internet using Indian bandwidth through Bhairahawa, Birgunj and Biratnagar. English-language daily Republica reported that with Chinese firms offering services, Nepali people will now have alternatives to choose from alongside Indian firms.
The work of laying optical fiber on the Chinese side had been halted after a ‘worker collapsed due to high altitude sickness.’
“The work has resumed in full pace since the last week and if things go as per the plan, Nepal will be connected with the Chinese Internet from the beginning of August,” Shobhan Adhikari, a deputy spokesperson for the Nepal Telecom (NT) told Republica.
The work of laying the optical fiber should have been completed by May if not for an avalanche on the Chinese side that halted operations.
“After the disruption of work by avalanche at the altitude of 4,000 meters on the Chinese side, the optical fiber was laid through an alternative route. According to the Chinese company, the new route is almost 20 kilometers longer. The sudden change in the plan has delayed the project by almost a month,” Adhikari was quoted saying.
China linking Nepal with optical fibre cables is seen as yet another attempt to ratchet up its presence in the south Asia region challenging India. India has already made its opposition clear to the economic corridor it is building in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) apart from the Belt and Road Initiative.