Telecom Authority directs ISPs to make provisions for customers to monitor internet connectionThe number of complaints regarding slow internet spiked during the lockdown.
Nepal Telecommunications Authority has directed internet service providers to make provisions to let customers know whether they are getting the proper internet service and speeds as per the agreement.
The move comes amid criticism from users who are promised a reliable high-speed internet service in the agreement, but internet service providers (ISPs) fail to deliver.
The Internet Service Providers’ Association said that providing such service will take time as it needs to install technical devices.
With the number of complaints regarding slow internet service rising, the authority directed internet service providers to make provisions so that customers can check if they are getting the proper service and speeds they signed up for, said Min Prasad Aryal, director at the authority.
Bhoj Raj Bhatta, president of Internet Service Providers’ Association of Nepal said that due to the lockdown, it will take time for ISPs to implement such provisions. He added that ISPs have already started discussions regarding the matter.
ISPs have already rolled out the service for corporate houses while residential customers are still waiting for the feature.
Bhatta said that 70 percent of the problems occur between the router and connected device due to several factors such as incorrect placement of the router, resetting the device time and again, quality of router and connecting more devices. In case of issues, internet service providers can provide the information of service used, he said.
Though information on real-time bandwidth can be obtained, internet utilisation is another thing, with no system in place to access it.
Except for a few apps, customers do not have the option to check the speed and information regarding their internet connection. If customers find that their internet speed is not according to the agreement, they can complain to their service provider.
Meanwhile, the global speed test report of Ookla in May ranked Nepal 119th, down one position compared to March in fixed broadband, with a download speed of 18.58 mbps against the global average speed of 76.94 mbps. Nepal’s upload speed was measured at 17.80 mbps compared to the global average speed of 41.09 mbps.
Since the government imposed a nationwide lockdown, internet utilisation across the country has jumped 25 percent. With more people staying and working from home, ISPs ran out of bandwidth quickly, resulting in slow internet and a spike in complaints.
According to the association, internet companies have started bolstering their networks by adding additional international bandwidth capacity. Internet utilisation after the lockdown has reached 500 gigabytes, an increase of 30-40 percent.
Internet service providers who used to manage their network load by dividing it during peak hours and working hours are struggling to provide stable internet during the lockdown as users are using the internet 24 hours, with greater usage during the daytime