Internet service was disrupted on 10th April in Nepal by Internet Service Providers’ Association of Nepal (ISPAN). ISPAN is an umbrella organization of Internet Service Providers (ISP) in Nepal.
ISPAN says as a part of protest program internet service has been disrupted for an hour (1pm – 2pm) on 10th April. According to ISPAN, “the ISPs are being held liable for the misuse of the Internet service by their customers. Even though the police have not built even a single successful legal case against ISPs, they are misusing their privilege to hold anyone in custody in the course of their investigation and targeting ISPs. The threat of unwarranted police action has created an environment of fear among ISPs and is hampering our ability to provide our services and conduct business.”
According to ISPAN, “In last few months the directors and staff of ISPs are being held in custody and taken to court when a customer of a respective ISP has been identified to be operating illegal call bypass. ISPAN condemns such act of misuse of authority by concerned authorities. This has adversely affected the daily operation of ISPs and has created fearful environment over job security and investment to expand the services”.
ISPAN disrupted internet service by saying, they need a safe environment to do business. ISPAN demanded, ‘They want a safe environment free from the fear of unwarranted police action to conduct their business and provide the services that they have been licensed to provide’. ISPAN had submitted a memorandum to the regulator – Nepal Telecommunications Authority on 8th April about this protest.
Is it Legal/Ethical to shutdown Internet Service?
Though they are facing problem from police and government bodies, but does it mean that internet service should be disrupted? I don’t think its ethical to shutdown internet services.
And one of the ISP, Broadlink says, “We highly regret the inconvenience caused to our valued customers due to our protest programs. However, we firmly believe that you will also support us in our endeavor to make Internet, a healthy service and help us to operate in peaceful environment”.
So, Do I support them or switch to any other alternatives? But one thing is that, ISPAN issue should be addressed immediately by Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA). And at the same time, ISP should become responsible to their loyal customer.
Further More why NTA / ‘Nepal Government’ is not addressing this issue of ISPAN? ISPAN have submitted their memorandum on 8th but till today NTA is not addressing issue of ISAPN, WHY? It seems ISPAN’s demands are legal, as they say whoever (individual/customer) have done call bypassing should be punished by authority not an ISP. Though theirs demand sounds legal but they shouldn't had disrupted internet services. It’s pathetic idea to disrupt an Internet Service in this age. ISPAN demonstrated corporate irresponsibility which cannot be accepted.
At last, I would like to condemn the ‘ISPAN internet outage’ and hope this issue will get high priority in NTA and solved immediately.
ISPAN has called off their protest program after NTA has formed a committee to investigate about this VOIP issue.
Further More [Details] : ISPAN launches protest program