2005 May


On behalf of LIRNEasia, LIRNE.NET and the School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University, it is our pleasure to extend to you a special invitation to participate in the 7th LIRNE.NET course on Telecom Reform in Singapore, September 25-30, 2005. The course, Catalyzing change: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence, is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of senior decision makers in the telecom and related sectors in Asia and elsewhere. Previous Telecom Reform courses have been offered in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
May 26, 2005 (Economic Times via NewsEdge) India’s Ministry of Finance has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate a 3G spectrum to mobile operators through the auction route. According to the ministry, it is DoT’s responsibility to price spectrum as per international practices, citing the example of Europe and the US, where governments fetched billions of dollars in revenue by auctioning spectrum. The ministry has also said that pricing of spectrum should not be in TRAI’s domain. The finance ministry has taken the position that pricing of radio spectrum is not a regulatory issue, and hence, should not have been referred to the telecom regulator. Instead, it has argued that receipts from radio spectrum should accrue to the government as non-tax revenue.
LIRNEasia and Vanguard Foundation, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka National Committee of Large Dams, have conducted an Expert Consultation as the basis for developing a concept paper on an Early Warning System for Dam Related Hazards. Most of the Sri Lankan experts on dam management and safety were invited to this event. The event was kicked off by Chandra Jayaratne, Director of the Vanguard Foundation and Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia with a welcome address and opening remarks. The first presentation titled, Nineteen years later, what lessons have been learnt from the Kantale breach (and what changes have been implemented)? by D W R Weerakoon, Former Director General of Irrigation and Secretary, Presidential Commission on the Kantale Dam Breach.
Harsha de Silva & Payal Malik 20 May 6pm PM: specifically looking at subsidy mechanisms for diversification, hence ‘moving beyond the market . Instruments looking at are hte universal service obligation fund (USF) and hte access deficit charge (ADC). There has been a diminishing of market efficiency gap (i.e, efficiency is improving). Slide # 3 shows the major improvements in efficiency in the market.
Samarajiva and Zainudeen had an article published in this issue of E-Gov, the full PDF of which is linked to below. In 2002, the-government of Sri Lanka embarked upon a broad development strategy, with a focus on services. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) were identified as one of the key drivers of national integration and economic growth. The eSri Lanka Initiative (eSL), which was designed in 2002-03, was intended to �take the dividends of ICT to every village, to every citizen, to every business and transform the way Government works � [to] develop Sri Lanka�s economy, alleviate poverty, and improve the quality of life and the opportunities for all of our people� . R.
Activities Report
LIRNEasia‘s next colloquium is on May 20th at 6:00PM SL Time/2:00PM Copenhagen/10:00PM Canberra/Singapore 8:00PM/5:30PM India/6:00PM Bangladesh/09:00AM Montevideo at LIRNEasia’s premises (SLIDA Campus, 28/10 Malasekera Mawatha) and via live blogging on this web site. Payal Malik & Harsha De Silva will present their progress on the research project titled Diversifying Participation in Network Development: Moving Beyond the Market which is being conducted under this year’s WDR theme–Diversifying Participation in Network Development. The researchers will present their preliminary findings from their review of the current subsidy mechanism for expansion of rural telephony in India. This mechanism is implemented through two instruments: (a)Access Deficit Charge (ADC), which is a surcharge on Interconnection fees to compensate the [primarily] the incumbent for below cost regulated tariffs in the rural areas and; (b) Universal Service Fund (USF), a fund created through a statute to finance network expansion in net high cost rural areas. The disbursement from this fund is made through a competitive least-cost subsidy mechanism.