The history of IT and computers in Nepal dates back to not more than a couple of decades. However, the growth of Information Technology here has been rapid. The major leap towards the advancement in this field started when the first computer IBM 1401, a second generation mainframe computer (image below), was used in the 1971 census, although an electronic calculator called ‘Facid’ was used before in the 1961 census. Again, another second generation mainframe computer ICL 2950/10 was used for the 1981 census.
The credit for introducing internet among the people mainly goes to the private sector. Although the internet was initially limited only to email services, in 1995, a company Mercantile Communications finally started the internet services in the country. In 1998, Nepal Telecommunications Authority (NTA), a telecommunications regulatory body, was formed as per the Telecommunications Act 1997. NTA holds the power to issue license to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Nepal.
Some of the major licensed ISPs in Nepal are:
- Mercantile Communications Private Limited
- Worldlink Communications Private Limited
- Nepal Doorsanchar Company Limited
- Broadlink Network and Communications Private Limited
- Hotlink Nepal Private Limited