Nepal mulls infrastructure sharing plan

26 May 2015

Nepal's government is considering a plan to implement telecom infrastructure sharing arrangements in areas hit by the recent devastating earthquake and its aftershocks.

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA) has suggested a plan to use resources from the existing Rural Telecommunication Development Fund (RTDF) to build passive telecom infrastructure including towers and fiber, the Himalayan Timesreported.

These assets would be used by the nation's telecom companies on a cost-sharing basis. Under the proposal, the company building and sharing the infrastructure would charge a monthly fee fixed by the regulator for access.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal on April 25, causing extensive damage to telecom infrastructure. Aftershocks have caused further damage. This is forcing operators to rebuild in affected areas.

But the regulator is concerned that for areas that are not commercially viable, the operators might not be motivated to complete repairs without sharing arrangements.

Infrastructure sharing would allow operators to share the costs of rebuilding in earthquake-afflicted areas, helping to finally restore service quality to pre-quake levels.

The NTA has sought proposals from telecom companies on the infrastructure sharing project, the report states. The regulator plans to select the company that proposes the least amount of subsidies needed to complete the project.

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