One of the major assignment findings on a recent event “Broadband policy and regulation in Nepal” was merely 2.6% of the universal service funds collected in Nepal has been used – mind that over a significant 17 years of duration. Assess the likelihood of success of the following elements of the Broadband Policy Draft of the NTA, by assembling evidence on the past performance of the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF) (including disbursement efficiency (i.e., what percentage of money was spent within a defined time period) – LIRNEAsia.
The fund that is supposed to be used for the rural telecommunication has always been neglected. This extraordinarily low disbursement rate of the universal service fund generated at the rate of 2% of the telecom authority licensees for the Rural Telecommunications Development Fund (RTDF) over the last 17 years has just surprised concerns of ICT for Broadband.
Lack of clear definition of ‘rural’, among other factors, has also affected the use of RTDF. Normally, VDCs are considered as rural areas. Participants in the workshop said that with the government recently adding municipalities, the number of VDCs has come down. However, the government should check if the areas that have been listed as municipality really have telecom service connectivity.
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