It started in Rohan Samarajiva’s room at Islamabad Serena Hotel during April 2010. I explained him the fundamental barrier to affordable broadband across developing Asia. I also showed him the way to solve the problem – laying fiber along Asian Highway to build a transcontinental open access terrestrial network. Rohan was on board. He would later briefed ESCAP, the UN outfit that fosters Asian Highway.
ESCAP invited LIRNEasia to “Regional Expert Consultation on Connecting Asia-Pacific’s Digital Society for Building Resilience” at Colombo in September 2012. There I presented the concept of “Making broadband affordable in Asia.” LIRNEasia and ESCAP entered into a partnership to review and strengthen the latter’s policy recommendations. LIRNEasia is also assisting the ESCAP secretariat in developing well targeted and policy relevant briefs that lead to actionable recommendations aimed at senior policy makers. Timeline of LIRNEasia-ESCAP collaboration is, by far, as follows:
- Building E-Resilience through ICTs and Space Technology. (20-21 November 2012, Bangkok, Thailand)
- Expert Consultation on the Asian Information Superhighway and Regional Connectivity. (24-25 September 2013, Manila, Philippines)
- Expert Consultation on the Asian information superhighway and regional connectivity, (3-4 December 2013, Baku, Azerbaijan)
- Expert Group Meeting on Macroeconomic Outlook and Challenges and Regional Connectivity for Shared Prosperity in the ESCAP Region. (16-17 December 2013, Bangkok, Thailand)
Every member state of Asian Highway is by default the member of International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Therefore, the synergy between ESCAP and ITU has always been central to our recommendations. Incidentally, ITU has invited Rohan and me to moderate and participate in Telecom World 2013. There, we came to know about ITU’s public consultation on strategic plan for 2016-2019.
LIRNEasia has decided to respond and here is our submission.
(This blogpost is dedicated to Mel Gunasekera)