LIRNEasia exploits the wisdom of the crowd, or at least of the informed crowd. Its launch, back in 2004, was at an Expert Forum that brought in knowledgeable regulators, policy makers, stakeholders and researchers to discuss seeds of research ideas and give ideas for new research. Keeping with that tradition, we brought in a number of experts to discuss some initial cuts on papers being developed in the context of the Ford Foundation funded project, “Facilitating and enriching policy discourse on increasing broadband access by the poor in India”. The meeting was attended by senior officials of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Chairman Dr Rahul Khullar and Advisor Mr Sudhir Gupta.
The topics covered included regional specificities of broadband development, contributions that could be made to an improved investment environment by licensing policies, the opportunities presented by the “digital dividend” repurposing of frequencies for broadband development and metrics to assess efficacy of broadband policies.
The results of the intensive discussion has been reflected in the summary report, and draft papers/ presentations given below. It is expected that they will become key elements of the documentation that will be key product of the project. The new areas of work suggested by the group included net neutrality and a greater focus on demand-side factors.