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

Monthly Archives: June, 2014

Sri Lanka jumps 41 places in e gov rankings for 2014

I’ve written about the e gov rankings before but in those instances, 2012 and 2010, the direction that Sri Lanka was taking was negative. But this year, miracles have been achieved. Sri Lanka has advanced 41 places in the biannual survey, erasing all the reverses I wrote about. Sri Lanka ranks first in Southern Asia, […]

Saving wireline

It is curious that the ICT4D people still have an affection for wireline, when even in the place where wireline telephony was invented, it has become an endangered technology, kept alive through lobbying and regulation. Sort of like making it mandatory to have at least one petrol/gas station that does not require drivers to pump […]

Modi to dwarf the Planning Commission of India

Narendra Modi has never been a fan of India’s almighty Planning Commission. It functions like the Soviet-styled command and control body since the country’s independence in 1947. Gujarat’s former Chief Minister was fed up with the Commission’s “high-handedness and hobbling states with one-size-fits-all policies.” Arun Shourie, an influential BJP member, calls the Planning Commission a […]

Myanmar: Hunger for ICT

It has always been the case that the demand for mobile telephony has been greater than envisaged in airconditioned rooms. But in Myanmar, the guys in the AC rooms seem to be thinking it’s going to be massive. Only a tiny number of people in Myanmar have mobile phones. Even fewer have access to the […]

Google should look beyond second submarine cable

Six years ago eyebrows were raised when Google announced the rollout of a transpacific undersea cable named “Unity”. Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corp., Pacnet and SingTel were members of Unity consortium. It was activated on April 1, 2010. Google wanted to bypass the cumbersome transcontinental supply chain of broadband, as Capacity Magazine highlights: Google’s […]

New thinking on regulation

I was of the view that all the innovations in regulation were occurring in the developing world (or by scholars working on developing country regulation). I was wrong. It appears that very interesting work is going on at Harvard, possibly in response to the US crisis in regulation: “Weak capture” (defined as special-interest influence compromising […]

Pakistan disbands international call termination cartel

Pakistan observes its independence day on 14th of August. On 13th of August in 2012, the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom (MoITT) issued a directive to establish “International Clearing House” or ICH. It allowed the international long distance carriers’ cartel to fix call termination rates at their whim. As a result, the hardworking Pakistani […]

Big data and the delivery of government services

The IDRC Asia Office was kind enough to permit publication of a part of a concept paper I wrote for them. Here is an excerpt: At present, the principal methods for understanding users or demand are quantitative research (representative-sample surveys) and qualitative research. The former is used primarily for understanding “what” questions and the latter […]

Mexico pours “tech-kill-ah” in telecoms bill

Governments behave like sheep when it comes to bad governance. And Mexico has decided to blindly follow the bad examples from both sides of Atlantic. In its raw form the bill extended government surveillance powers, while the police have new powers to seize and access user data without a court order. Police will also be […]

Iranian net sophisticates and a refreshingly candid Minister of Culture

I saw first hand the futility of the Mullahs’ efforts to prevent Internet access by Iranian youth when I was in Tehran at the height of the Arab Spring. But what is new is that it’s the Minister of Culture who is highlighting the hypocrisy and futility. According to “The Iran Primer,” a website and […]

Steps to ensure low-cost 24/7 electricity on both sides of the Palk Strait

In all network industries,the core problem is the peak. Peak is what drives investment and costs. But in Sri Lanka, even the valley is becoming a problem. The laws of physics require every electron that is produced and distributed over the grid to be also consumed. We lack adequate demand in the middle of the […]

Iraqis fight Internet blockade with FireChat

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has the history of not reading the writing on the wall. As the Isis militants advance leaving the trail of massacre, Maliki has bravely picked the mother of all soft targets – the Internet. Doug Madory of Renesys has graphically narrated how the Iraqi government refers “network maintenance” to Internet […]

Will Ooredoo rollout in August?

Carson Wolfer, head of business development, partnerships and CSR at Ooredoo Myanmar, has described how they are progressing at CommunicAsia. The lack of roads, electricity and fibre is well-documented, but even the mundane aspects of setting up a company, such as setting up bank accounts and trying to pay employees are more difficult in Myanmar, […]

Using CAP to minimize ill effects of false warning

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The 2014 LIRNEasia Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture focused on all aspects of the early warning ‘chain’ and what advances have been made in the ten years since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. On the whole the message that was conveyed was very positive. Tremendous progress has been made both in the science of understanding when […]

2014 Disaster Risk Reduction Public Lecture: Regional Readiness

Dr Stewart Weinstein

A lecture on disaster risk reduction was organized on Thursday 19th June at the Sri Lanka Foundation to consolidate knowledge on the subject in Sri Lanka and share it with other countries, private sector organizations and the general public. The keynote speaker at the event was Dr Stuart Weinstein, Deputy Director of the Pacific Tsunami […]

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