As part of his attempt to raise $1.5 million for the charity Comic Relief, British climber Daniel Hughes decided to climb Mount Everest. The reason Hughes is making headlines, however, was not his successful summit bid, but rather what he did once he reached the top. At approximately 29,029 feet, the climber made the first live video call from the roof of the world—an event aired live by BBC World on Sunday morning.
The nearly three-minute call was made using an HTC One smartphone on Inmarsat’s Broadband Global Area Network, and it breaks the record for the world’s highest live video. In the footage, you see Hughes putting the first Red Nose (a symbol of Comic Relief) on Mount Everest.
"This project has been two and a half years in the making and it's hard to put into words how amazing and surreal it is to be speaking to London from the highest point in the world," Hughes said in the video.
While HTC might have been thrilled, Nepalese authorities were not. After seeing the footage on BBC, government officials complained that Hughes and his team had not paid the necessary fees for the call. Mount Everest climbers who take satellite phones up the mountain must pay an additional $2,200. To film or produce audio or visual materials, climbers are required to pay $10,000.
"The company concerned is found to have taken permission only for taking walkie-talkie for communication," said a senior official at the Ministry of Information and Communications, according to the Nepalese newspaper Republica.
Nepalese officials said the Ministry of Information and Communications and Sagarmatha National Park can take the necessary legal action against Hughes based on existing legislation.