Nepal’s telecoms regulator the Nepal Telecommunication Authority (NTA) has called on the Ministry of Information and Communications (MoIC) to open up the country’s market to allow voice-over-broadband (VoB) services. Republika reports that such services form a core part of the IT development project supported by the Asian Development Bank, which requires that Nepal gradually opens up the market for VoIP. The paper quotes NTA spokesperson Kailash Prasad Neupane as saying the watchdog is recommending that the government select firms that can feasibly operate VoB services in at least 25 districts, including 1,300 village development committees (VDCs). Under current legislation telecoms operators can use the internet to make calls abroad, but are barred from receiving VoIP calls from other countries. According to Neupane, the NTA has developed the infrastructure needed to distribute internet access services at a minimum speed of 256kbps, adding that would-be VoB providers would be given access to the national VoIP gateway for data and voice services.
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