Internet services in Nepal remained disrupted for an hour on Sunday as a mark of protest by internet service providers (ISPs) against the government's crackdown on 'illegal call bypass'.
The ISPs allege that government authorities have been arresting or threatening to arrest their directors and staff blaming them of being hand in glove with illegal call bypass operators. The Internet Service Providers Association of Nepal (ISPAN) has threatened to increase the duration of such disruptions from Monday if the government failed to address their grievances.
Internet users across Nepal were greeted with an ISPAN announcement when they tried to access websites or use other services. The disruption lasted from 1 pm to 2 pm.
In the recent months, the Nepal Telecommunications Authority has unearthed several illegal call bypass rackets, which have caused heavy loss of revenue by routing international telephone calls through Internet. Due to the heavy fee for such calls charged by licenced voice operators (mobile phone service providers), illegal operators route these calls through the net.