The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has invited me to speak at “Regional Expert Consultation on Connecting Asia-Pacific’s Digital Society for Resilient Development” in Colombo during 5-6 September.
There I presented that Asia’s wholesale prices of Internet bandwidth remains six-times expensive compared to the Europe and USA. Participating experts have overwhelmingly endorsed my proposal of laying fiber along Asian Highway to build an open-access transcontinental terrestrial network. It has been captured in the outcome document of the conference stating:
Experts recommended that various bilateral, regional and transcontinental initiatives continue to be pursued, while also exploring new ways to reduce infrastructure costs by synchronizing the roll-out of terrestrial fibre optic cables with other infrastructure development, notably highway construction, for example, using regional connectivity offered by ESCAP’s intergovernmental agreement on the Asian Highway. Experts also noted that open access principles are a key requirement in bringing down costs for universal access to broadband connectivity, as proposed in LIRNEasia’s Longest International Open access Network (LION).
Here is the full text of outcome document.