Nepal has started accessing internet from China after commercial operation of Nepal-China optical fibre link via Rasuwagadhi gateway across Himalayan Mountains became operational.
The commercial operation of Chinese bandwidth project now ends Nepal’s sole dependence on India for internet bandwidth. It is considered as loss for India, both revenue wise and strategically.
The actual volume of Chinese internet bandwidth that Nepal will receive has not been disclosed. It believed that initial speed by Chinese fibre link will be 1.5 Gigabit per second (gbps), less than 34gbps provided by India.
Chinese internet bandwidth will provide alternative source for Nepal to meet ever-increasing bandwidth demand as use of Internet has been increasing rapidly in the Himalayan country.
Chinese Internet gateway is also expected to facilitate service providers in Nepal to establish bandwidth connection with other countries via China. It is also considered as milestone for developing internet infrastructure in Nepal and boost bilateral relations between both countries.
Nepal is currently linked to global internet connectivity through Indian telecom operators via different optical fibre connections in Biratnagar, Bhairahawa and Birgunj, among others. This gave India complete monopoly in supplying internet to Himalayan nation. In December 2016, state owned Nepal Telecom (NT) had signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with China Telecom to acquire internet bandwidth. NT had begun test transmission of project from September 2017.