LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

IBM’s view of the smart and resilient city

Was surprised the Rio operations center from 2010 is still Exhibit 1. Has nothing much happened since? I can’t find any reports in the past tense about Bangalore water supply other than the para below. Guess it is still work in progress. A different view of resiliency considers the creation of “smart” infrastructure that is […]

Making the university relevant: Open University lecture now on Youtube

On April 10th, I delivered the sixth Distinguished Lecture of the Open University of Sri Lanka on the subject of making the university relevant. In an increasingly complex world where difficult decisions have to be made by those in government, there is demand for evidence to support political and policy choices. The university is the […]

Practical applications of the ability to identify communities using mobile network big data

I’ve been putting a significant amount of my time in the past three months into Constitutional reforms because an unusual “policy window” or Constitutional Moment opened up as a result of the outcome of the Sri Lankan Presidential election of January 8th. The Common Candidate of the opposition included in his manifesto a series of […]

How poor legal drafting can blunt the power of RTI

A few days back, I included the following in a guest column for the Financial Times: Most of the 192 words specifying the Right to Information (RTI) as a fundamental right are superfluous. There is an entire bill in third draft that probably includes the very same language (if it does not, the Constitutional language […]

LIRNEasia and RIA quoted by opponents of Facebook.org

That Quartz piece sure has legs. Ask Helani Galpaya, a researcher with policy think tank LIRNEasia, who in 2012 came across a curious anomaly while researching “bottom of pyramid” telephone users in Indonesia. When asked questions about the Internet, most of the respondents said they didn’t use it. But when asked about Facebook, most of […]

Preconditions for growth of high-value agricultural exports

In our work on agricultural supply chains, we looked at how small holders could participate in export value chains because these were the most difficult cases and also where the money was. At least at the beginning of the adoption process, the greatest demand for ICT based innovation is likely to come from these supply […]

Making all stakeholders equally unhappy: Test of good solution for a class of policy problems

In 1998, I was in the middle of an intense interconnection fight. It was worse than zero-sum. The Japanese incumbent telco which had purchased 35% of the shares of the Lankan incumbent telco had created a mindset that was extremely hostile to the competitive fixed telcos the government had licensed a year back. Interconnection disputes, […]

The First Smart City in India – Is it Really a GIFT?

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT)- The first smart city in India- is under construction at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The proposed city plan includes ICT enabled infrastructure such as smart grids and automated waste collection. India has allocated 60 billion rupees form its annual federal budget for this financial year towards developing smart cities. Going by numerous […]

Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Bill improved through consultation

Last week I did a colloquium at LIRNEasia based on the second revision of the RTI Bill. Before I got around to doing a post, the third revision made its way out of the bowels of government. Sigificant improvements have been made, for which the Secretary of the Ministry of Media and Information should be […]

Network economics and regulation

Sri Lanka has decided to fully liberalize a white-elephant airport, an unusual act in this network industry which is riddled with protections for national flag carriers. Taking a respite from the Constitutional matters that preoccupy most Sri Lankans these days, I shared some ideas on the prospects for the fully liberalized airport with a journalist. […]

Outraged India rejects caste system of Internet

A public consultation, invited by TRAI, on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services has encountered furious netzines’ barrage in India. Comedy superstars of All India Bakchod (AIB) have produced a 9-minute video that brilliantly explains why net neutrality should be defended. It has also detected conspicuously bad elements in TRAI’s consultation document. The video ends […]

Big data contributes to breaking of silos and reinvention of social sciences

With two MIT alumni on staff, LIRNEasia keeps an ear out for the good things happening at this premier engineering school. They have just announced the creation of a new Institute for Data, Systems and Society, intended to bring together researchers working in the mathematical, behavioral, and empirical sciences to capitalize on their shared interest […]

LIRNEasia’s big data research reported in a leading weekly newspaper in Sri Lanka

The research was done in Sri Lanka, but it was first reported on in India, then in Bangladesh and now the Sri Lankan English-language Sunday newspaper with the largest circulation has chosen to reprint what Nalaka Gunawardene wrote for SciDev. Now we need to work on Pakistan and Nepal. City planners need to know where […]

Auditor General’s time is different from infrastructure builders’ time

In the early years of TRAI, the Authority had to defend itself against strictures from India’s Comptroller and Auditor General that it was not maximizing revenues to the government, connectivity be damned (relevant to present day debates on spectrum prices). I had to convince Sri Lanka’s Auditor General that we should pay replacement costs to […]

Baby’s day at the office!

That

Every day is not baby’s day at the office, but at LIRNEasia, it certainly can be. The formal commissioning of the “Multipurpose Room” occurred yesterday, amid elevated decibels of squeals and laughter from an enthused group of children, ranging in age from one to six. For those in our staff with young children, this child-friendly […]

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