I have been invited to speak at an event in Dhaka on March 10th intended to improve the understanding of the complexities of telecom policy and regulation by Bangladeshi journalists. I am here responding to a question whether speaking at events such as this organized by operators could create a negative perception about LIRNEasia.
Is it better to have journalists who understand the technical aspects of the industry and the practice of regulation, than not? I think the answer is clearly yes. Does this fall within LIRNEasia’s mission, yes. Then the only issue that remains is that of sponsorship. Will LIRNEasia’s image be compromised by my speaking at an event sponsored by Grameenphone, the largest operator in Bangladesh? I do not deliver a script written by Grameenphone, so I see no problem. I spoke at a similar event in 2007 organized by Sri Lanka Telecom, Sri Lanka’s incumbent operator. Have not noticed any negative outcomes.
Looking at the post I wrote after that event, I see that I had said that we were tempted to organize such events in all the countries we worked in. This could be described as yielding to that temptation!