2006 May

US scraps long distance tax

Posted by on May 31, 2006  /  1 Comments

by Patrick Neighly – 26/5/2006 04:40:00 Weblink to article The US Treasury has scrapped a 3 percent federal excise tax on long-distance calls and promised taxpayer refunds covering the past three years. The move follows a series of federal appeals court rulings against the government, which had tried repeatedly to preserve the US$6 billion generated annually by the tax.
by Patrick Neighly Weblink to article EU Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding has accused continental governments of lagging on telecom advancements that could be used to fuel European economies. “It is worrying that in ICT research, Europe continues to lag behind its competitors, investing about half as much as the US,” she said in a presentation, urging governments “not to shy away from cross-border competition in the telecom sector.” Reding said that the impact of ICT on European productivity growth has fallen over the past decade and lashed out at economic reform programs that “fail to give a new impetus to information society policies or to cover drivers of growth such as the convergence of digital networks, content and devices.” Said Reding, “Only through stronger investment in ICT research and effective cross-border competition will we ensure that the great potential of ICT is used to lift our competitive performance across the economy.”
In May 2006 Airtel launched a Tamil SMS solution developed by MicroImage, a Sri Lankan software firm, in the State of Tamilnadu. Tamil and Sinhala SMS are offered in Sri Lanka by Dialog Telekom and Celltel Lanka. The service is based on a key-entry system enabling a customer to type the SMS as fast as in English and “a one touch function guiding them using the key pad to type Tamil letters”, according to Airtel. “The subscriber needs to download the application free of charge from ‘Airtel Live’ on to their handsets. Those receiving the Tamil SMS also need to download the application in order to read it in Tamil.
The following news item talks about SLTL’s plans to give 100,000 ADSL connections (more than the total number of main lines in 1990!). This is good news indeed. But it would be even better news if the network were to be properly dimensioned so that customers could get the speeds they pay for. :: Daily Mirror – FINANCIAL TIMES :: SLT is also shifting its focus to non-voice data services and delivering broadband technologies.
The debate described below will have implications for all. Now that language standards have been talked about to the limit (with a lot of light, in addition to heat, being produced) we invite our active visitors to engage with the important issue of the architecture of the Internet. BBC NEWS | Technology | Web inventor warns of ‘dark’ net Excerpt: “But telecoms companies in the US do not agree. They would like to implement a two-tier system, where data from companies or institutions that can pay are given priority over those that cannot. This has particularly become an issue with the transmission of TV shows over the internet, with some broadband providers wanting to charge content providers to carry the data.
The Daily Star Web Edition Vol. 5 Num 704 Submarine Cable: BTTB given unlawful control over network Other ISPs will be discriminated against Abu Saeed Khan The government violated the law by allowing the state-run telecoms monopoly to own and operate the country’s only submarine cable network. Bangladesh Telegraph and Telephone Board (BTTB) built the SEA-ME-WE4 submarine cable and its associated infrastructure from the earnings of its other telecoms ventures and the law explicitly prohibits such practices of subsidisation. Subsection C of Section 49 of the telecoms law says, “If an operator provides more than one service, but there exists competition in the market in providing one of such services and no competition in case of another service provided by him, then subsidy from the earnings of the service which is subject to competition shall not be allowed for the other service which is not subject to competition.” BTTB built the cable’s landing station in Cox’s Bazar and from there it deployed an optical fibre link up to Chittagong from the earnings of its fixed telephony, Internet and data connectivity services.
A report on the Indicators Workshop held in New Delhi by LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is available here [PDF]. The report provides a review of international initiatives and best practices, examines some of the difficulties regarding standardising indicators across the region, the challenges of measurement and collection of indicator data and the process of developing an indicators manual for the South Asian region.
This article shows that government’s instinct to ban cellphones from conflict zones because of the belief that it will be used by militants/terrorists to further their cause, actually neutralizes one of the security agencies most potent weapons to track subversives. I doubt that the Sri Lankan government will allow cellular service to be available any time soon in the North. But at least it gives the security agencies some food for thought. The Indian government was similarly reluctant to have cellular service in Kashmir, but the Indian security agencies are their biggest proponents now. ———— Troops in Kashmir master new weapon: cell phones Reuters By Sheikh MushtaqSun May 21, 1:53 AM ET Minutes after a bomb exploded recently in Kashmir and wounded Indian soldiers, a senior member of an Islamist rebel group called local newspaper offices to claim responsibility for the blast.
The first phase of the Last-Mile Hazard Information Dissemination (HazInfo) project funded by IDRC, was completed recently with the training of trainer component. LIRNEasia is implementing this project along with its project partners Sarvodaya, the largest community organization in Sri Lanka and TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP), a non-profit media organization working in the Asian region. LIRNEasia has undertaken a number of initiatives in the area of ICTs disasters and early warning post the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster of 2004. However, this is by far the largest project undertaken LIRNEasia in this area to evaluate the suitability of a number of ICTs (information and communication technologies) deployed in varied conditions for their effectiveness in the last-mile of a hazard warning system.
ReliefWeb » Document Preview » SouthEast Asia: Earthquake & Tsunamis Quarterly Report Appeal No.28/2004 Operation Update No. 59 “With support of the Federation delegation, PMI’s [Indonesian Red Cross/Red Crescent] role in the development of Indonesia’s early warning system (EWS) gains increasing acceptance by the government as the national society’s strength in community-level education and awareness building becomes ever more recognized. This has been formalized in the final draft of disaster management law submitted by PMI to the government.
By Divakar Goswami & Onno Purbo, March 2006 LIRNEasia’s latest research paper is available for comment. The paper looks at the deployment of Wi-Fi in Indonesia, under the 2005 WDR theme, ‘Diversifying Participation in Network Development.’ Download paper: indonesia wi-fi study 2.0 [PDF] Please post your comments below. Executive Summary With their low-cost and quick deployment time, wireless Internet technologies like Wi-Fi offer last-mile access network solutions to developing countries with limited network infrastructure.
BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4988492.stm More than 30 countries around the Pacific Ocean have tested a system to warn them of approaching tsunamis.
The link below is to a comprehensive article by a geo scientist on Sri Lanka’s seismic monitoring capabilities. Paper Articles – The Island “The seismic monitoring equipment available at the University of Peradeniya with peripherals at other national universities needs to be operationalized properly as a national network. The entire system must be maintained with the involvement of a competent group of scientists. The data processing centre at Peradeniya should be linked to the Geological Survey and Mines Bureau enabling independent data processing and interpretation at both these locations. Further, the coordinating centre of the security forces should have a direct link with the network to receive real time information.
Links were formed between LIRNEasia and the Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA), Philippines, an organization involved in a project to develop a set of standard indicators for the ICT sector for the Philippine Statistical Development Plan. The emphasis of FMA’s work is on developing indicators which are relevant to the Asian context, specifically the ASEAN countries. This has direct parallels with LIRNEasia‘s multi-component, six-country study on measuring telecom (ICT infrastructure) sector and regulatory performance in South Asian and Southeast Asian countries and developing a sustainable supply- and demand-side data collection mechanism for South Asia. The researchers involved in this project at FMA have communicated with LIRNEasia‘s Filipino counterpart, and both have shared background papers. FMA is also conducting research into access, use and ownership of ICTs using household survey data and other types of survey data available from government sources, and at the same time, trying to examine available data from private groups (i.
Interesting link between ICT network growth and LIRNEasia’s interest in applying ICTs to disaster preparedness: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Mobile masts signal rain showers “The signals from mobile phone masts have been used to measure rainfall patterns in Israel, scientists report. A team from the University of Tel Aviv analysed information routinely collected by mobile networks to make their estimates. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers say their technique is more accurate than current methods used by meteorological services. The scientists believe the technique can also measure snowfall, hail or fog. “It may also be important because if you know there is heavy rainfall – you can warn about floods,” Professor Hagit Messer-Yaron, of the University of Tel Aviv, told the BBC News website.
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