This paper examines information access in Nepal, its current limitations, and opportunities for expansion, particularly in rural areas. It argues that government policies and the regulatory environment have failed to create the competition necessary for rapid expansion of information access through information and communication technologies (ICTs), particularly in rural areas. Furthermore, restrictive approaches to licensing and exorbitant fees have hindered the ability of civil society organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to provide information access at the local level. This has resulted in very limited access to information outside a few urban centers and created some of the world's highest access costs in one of its poorest countries. To successfully address this situation, the newly installed republican government will need to create an environment that promotes competition in less lucrative rural markets while negotiating the demands of existing license holders.
- information access
- rural development