Reports On ICT Access And Use In Asia And The Global South Launched

On Thursday at Hotel Himalaya, Internet Society Nepal in association with Central for Law and Technology (CLT) has launched a report on “ICT access and use in Asia and the global south.” Personalities from different sector showed their presence in the event.

LIRNEasia surveyed preparing the report in collaboration with After Access. As per the report, 72 percent of people aged 15-65 have the mobile phone ownership.

The report was launched in total 18 countries including Nepal. Helani Galapaya, CEO at LIRNEasia informed in Nepal total of 72 percent uses smartphones, and 40 percent has access to the general phone.

The report also states that 46% of the population in Nepal is aware of the internet and only 34 percent have access to it. Similarly, 38 percent of the urban population has access to the internet whereas, 26 percent of the rural population uses the internet. The total of 27 percent female population uses the internet in Nepal.

The report launching program also had a session for Panel discussion regarding ICT access and used in Nepal. Total of 6 panelists was there, and the meeting was moderated by Ujjwal Acharya, Co-coordinator, IFJ South Aisa (Media)

Subash Dhakal, undersecretary, Ministry of Communication Information and Technology said “we are trying our best to improve the quality of internet accessibility. In the upcoming two years, the nation will be carrying massive improvement in availability. We are even talking with the Ministry of Education to push digital literacy. If every school has a digital lab, then we will have a lot of positive change in the field of ICT.

Ananda Raj Khanal, Senior Director at Nepal Telecommunications Authority, said “we need to have a specific policy for better accessibility of the internet. Our system is not good at all, at present we are even not able to mobilize our service providers. Infrastructure is still a big challenge for us. There is a considerable lapse between government and NTA, these both of the organizations don’t have proper coordination with each other.

Binay Bohara, Former ISPAN President & Owner, Vianet Communications, informed, “In last two years Internet Service Providers (ISP) doubled and tripled its customers. Each day the internet consumers are increasing extremely. In most of the urban areas, there is a good reach of Fiber to Home (FTH).  The problem of infrastructure in rural areas is still a big challenge for entire ISP companies. The government needs to prepare a proper policy to overcome all these problems of infrastructure.”

Rina Dangol, Manager at Nepal Telecom, stated “Recently, we have been able to form a good relationship with service providers. We have extended our services from east to west”. Dangol also informed “Thousands of customers are growing every month. The use of data is increasing significantly. We are not able to extend our 4G network service as expected.

Santosh Sigdel, President of  ISOC Nepal (Civil Society) talked about the tax issue on the internet that has increased recently. Since there are many problems with ICT, he questioned, “Have we failed to implement the plan mentioned in the policy?” Sigdel as a president of Civil Society said “Our role is to make people aware and recommend them regarding ICT stuff. “People are still unaware about the content available on the internet; their internet use ends with Facebook,” added Sigdel.

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