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

Monthly Archives: August, 2006

Bangladesh High Court declares VAT on mobile phone SIM card illegal

Extortion in the name of tax is taxtortion. That’s what I challenged when Bangladesh government imposed VAT on every new mobile conection last year. Last Thursday the High Court division of Bangladesh Supreme Court has declared it illegal. Read the details in this link  

Competition improving service and attitudes

Competition in emerging Asia has spectacularly succeeded in extending connectivity and, now, is also bringing down prices. But there has been little improvement in service. It looks like that too is happening in the US which has facilities based competition between cable and conventional telephone companies. “When workers from AT&T and Verizon visit homes to […]

Nepal Parliament directs unlicensing of WiFi frequencies

There has been considerable discussion in Sri Lanka about the need to unlicense the 2.4 GHz band used for WiFi. The Director General has assured that a Gazette reducing the license fees to LKR 100 is on the way (it would good if this can be posted on the TRC website). While this constitutes significant […]

5 LIRNEasia Researchers Presenting at Digital Opportunity Forum, Korea

At the upcoming Digital Opportunity Forum organized by KADO (Korean Agency for Digital Opportunity & Promotion) and the ITU being held in Seoul, Korea, five researchers from LIRNEasia have been invited to present. Rohan Samarajiva will be giving the keynote speech on Bridging the Divide: Building Asia-Pacific Capacity for Effective Reforms and will act as […]

Summary of achievements of first cycle of research

LIRNEasia’s 2005-06 research program laid bare the policy and regulatory conditions necessary for the successful mobilization of ICTs to serve the needs of people in specific emerging-economy contexts.  The research has identified hitherto unknown aspects of telecom use by low-income users, analyzed various non-optimal, but best-available, workaround options to connect people to access networks in […]

Baseline Sector Analysis of Sri Lanka’s BPO industry

The current potential global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market of USD 11.5 billion is expected to grow ten-fold to around USD 120-150 billion in the near future. However, Sri Lanka only recently started emerging as a potential destination for outsourced work. Given that the BPO industry is in its infant stages in Sri Lanka, there […]

Colloquium on Digital Opportunity Index Applied to Indonesia: Assessing ICT Policy and Regulatory Environment

Discussion of the paper to be presented by Divakar Goswami at the Digital Opportunity Forum, South Korea on August 30, 2006. The DOI measures the magnitude of the digital divide in a country, and uses the percentage of population covered by mobile cellular telephony, internet access tariffs and mobile cellular tariffs as a percentage of per capita […]

Standardizing Sinhala for IT Part 4

Please continue your discussions on the above topic here. The previous thread is archived here.

Marking the Shift from Relief to Disaster Prevention and Mitigation

Developing countries have tended to focus on disaster relief and rehabilitation at the expense of strategies to prevent or mitigate effects of disasters in the first place. To a politician, the political payout from handing out relief materials to the disaster affected appears greater than investing in a national early warning system that may not […]

Net readiness index: South Asia slides; Sri Lanka slides more

The Network Readiness Index is out. All the measured South Asian countries saw their rankings decline, but Sri Lanka, dropping 12 positions, was the worst peformer from the region this year. Indonesia, dropping 17 positions, was the worst in Asia. “The Report uses the Networked Readiness Index (NRI), covering a total of 115 economies in […]

$100 laptops to debut with Thai kids

Thursday, August 17, 2006 Posted: 1431 GMT (2231 HKT) (AP) — The ambitious project to provide low-cost laptop computers to poor children around the world is about to take a small step forward. More than 500 children in Thailand are expected to receive the machines in October and November for quality testing and debugging. Read […]

More on Google’s Wi-Fi service

In developed markets where the foundation of a high-capacity data transmission network exists, WiFi overlays are likely to be very effective. In emerging economies, where the foundation is yet being built, the same solutions may not as effective. But it is worth following the action, described in the NYT article below. “Google has deployed 380 […]

Regulator Slashes Telstra’s LLU Fee

The article raises some interesting points with regards to the potential impacts of regulatory intereventions (in this case on the issue of LLU). Subsequent to being forced to reduce its LLU fee, Telstra stock has stumbled. Can anyone with more regulatory experience on this blog share their thoughts on this article? Is this a case […]

Talk is cheap and getting cheaper

With so many options becoming available to consumers to circumvent their mobiles and fixed phones, I wonder how much longer we can expect a single tier internet. The linked BBC article examines some new VOIP companies which are providing last mile access (for PC/PHone to phone communication) for free.

Fiber to the home, thanks to competition

In the 1990s, I was involved in intense debates in the US about how to incentivize telcos to bring fiber closer to the home. It’s finally happening, and guess what is driving it? Competition. “Verizon will spend about $20 billion by the end of the decade to reach 16 million homes from Florida to California. […]


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