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

Monthly Archives: November, 2016

LIRNEasia at Myanmar USO consultation, A4AI workshops

CEO Helani Galpaya gave the opening presentation at the Alliance for Affordable Internet’s workshop on ICT and Gender in Myanmar. Her slides can be found here. The following day, Helani participated in a public consultation on the design of the Universal Fund in Myanmar where she called for a design of a fund with a […]

U-turn on calling apps shouldn’t excite Bangladesh

Government dictates the rate of international calls being terminated in Bangladesh. And it is always way above the hyper-competitive international wholesale voice rate. The regulator also takes away 40 per cent of the gross international revenue. Both the elements have been strongly incentivizing illegal bypass. Moreover, the international gateway (IGW) operators have been allowed to […]

Are platforms “information society services” or just another way of providing transport, commerce, etc.?

I recall telling the story of the US court that required a man with a light (and maybe a bell) to walk ahead of new-fangled motor cars to Sri Lanka’s Solicitor General. Was it apocryphal or true? But it worked. I prevented him from giving me a ruling that would have basically killed satellite-based personal […]

LIRNEasia at Digital Citizen Summit, Bangalore

LIRNEasia CEO Helani Galpaya was an invited speaker at the opening panel at the Digital Citizen Summit (http://dsummit.defindia.org) organised by the Digital Empowerment Foundation (India) and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit. The event was held in Bangalore, India 11th of November 2016.  The opening panel focused on data, citizenship and freedoms online.  She also spoke in 2 other […]

Is low digital literacy in Myanmar a result of no government programs?

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Despite a few errors such as the claim that Ericsson had “subscribers” (said to be 35 million), Buzzfeed had an interesting story on Myanmar’s experiences in fast takeup of Internet. Myanmar has a “low media and information literacy rate,” according to an interview given by an unnamed official in the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and […]

Will India make crisis the opportunity to leapfrog into electronic payments?

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I frequently use the phrase “a crisis is too valuable thing to waste” usually attributing it to Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s first Chief of Staff. So I was intrigued by this column in the New Indian Express. The writer looks ahead beyond the blame game. The deed is done, however messy. Now how to make something […]

Representation at the International Chemical & Process Engineering Conference

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  Sri Lanka’s first ever International Chemical & Process Engineering Conference was organized by the Department of Chemical and Process engineering of the University of Moratuwa in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on 25th of November 2016 from 1 pm to 5.30 pm at BMICH. The conference was organized under four main […]

A review of tech solutions for broadband in developing world

As is common with people in this line of business, all the emphasis is on technology, not on business case. Mundane stuff like revenue streams, customer care, etc. are ignored. Also bad reporting: no one in Sri Lanka has “seen” Internet service over Loon in 2016. But hey, there’s about 40 days left. Challenges: The […]

Evidence-based policy in a post-truth age

The CEO of the Campbell Collaboration, perhaps the leading promoter and facilitator of systematic reviews, has written a short comment on the prospects of evidence-based policy in the aftermath of Brexit and Trump. It has been our observation that the really big decisions that are taken at the political level have never been based on […]

Lecture on Indian Constitution based on work done with Elections Commission since 2015

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As a civic duty more than as the more mundane CSR, LIRNEasia has been assisting the Elections Commission on Sri Lanka since 2015 March by donating intellectual work on various aspects of improving the functioning of the electoral system, including a Constitutional changes and the working through of a strategic plan. Thus when I was […]

Sri Lanka budget provisions on data taxation questioned

So the Daily Mirror, the leading English language daily, carried my comments on the illogical tax proposals. “Around 2010, the Government considered the complexity of taxes affecting the telecommunication sector and exempted telecom from the Value Added Tax. Instead a twenty percent tax was imposed for telecommunication which was remitted to the Government” said Former […]

Budget Proposals for Agriculture: Five Important Points

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    The 2017 budget proposals for agriculture speak many right and necessary words. However, one would wonder whether they carry the essential implementation characteristics. The attempt of the article therefore is to critically evaluate five most significant agricultural budget proposals of 2017. Please read more from the below link: http://www.ft.lk/article/581650/Budget-proposals-for-agriculture–Five-important-points

Finally, a voice to balance the discussion on big data

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Europe has been the fount of data protection absolutism. Not a problem for anyone else but countries such as Thailand and Indonesia are well on the way to model their legislation on the European model. But Chancellor Merkel has seen that the absolutist approach poses dangers to European consumers and businesses as well. Europeans are […]

Why Agricultural Value Chains Fail? A Transaction Cost Explanation

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  Research shows many reasons for agricultural value chains to fail. Some popular reasons are: lack of motivation, lack of financial strength, lack of planning, little evaluation of market opportunities and even lack of business management skills. However I argue that transaction costs are the main reasons for agricultural value chains to fail. LIRNEasia’s research […]

LIRNEasia is source of Myanmar smartphone data in Measuring Information Society 2016 Report

I understand that smartphone penetration is even higher according to the 2016 survey, where the analysis is almost complete. But here is what the ITU says about Myanmar’s ICT progress, using LIRNEasia’s 2015 data: These improvements in affordability and network availability help to explain the country’s fast Internet uptake, supported by two other trends that […]

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