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

Monthly Archives: February, 2017

Social media are the public square of the 21st Century

In 1997, twenty years ago, I wrote an overview piece on what I thought would be the “horizon” issues telecom regulators should think about. It was a book chapter in a book edited by Bill Melody: Samarajiva, R, (1997). “Telecommunication regulation in the information age,” in Telecom reform: Principles, policies and regulatory practices, ed. W. […]

Jens Arnbak, a friend of LIRNEasia, passes

Jens Arnbak was a former Chairman of the Dutch telecom regulatory authority. Before and after his stint in regulation, he taught at Delft University of Technology. He taught at the early LIRNE.NET courses. I recall being with him in September 2001, when we were teaching together at the ANRT, the Moroccan Regulatory Authority. 9/11 happened […]

Bangladesh undersea cable connectivity: History repeats

They can lay cable under the sea, but over land seems to be difficult. Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Ltd (BSCCL) is going to inaugurate its second undersea cable connection from Turkey to Kuakata in the country today, but its back link connectivity from the landing station to the main land is yet to be established. […]

Sri Lanka produces one of the world’s earliest GSM based disaster warning systems

Sri Lanka has always been prone to natural disasters; more commonly droughts, floods and landslides. However, the 2004 Tsunami caused the most devastation we had witnessed in a very, very long time. LIRNEasia’s stance in the aftermath, apart from contributions in cash and kind for immediate relief, was a more longer term solution using our […]

Pratap Bhanu Mehta on constitutionalizing socio-economic rights

A good friend of LIRNEasia, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, delivered a public lecture relevant to the ongoing discussions on a new Constitution for Sri Lanka. He also interacted with key actors in the process and gave interviews to the media. The event was organized by Advocata Institute, Sri Lanka’s newest think tank. LIRNEasia connections were many. […]

Kenneth Arrow who shed light on information and markets passes

Much of what we work on involves information in markets. Transaction costs, information asymmetries feature large in our work. We hope to address insurance in our future work. In all these areas, Kenneth Arrow’s influence is immense. We mourn his passing. Professor Arrow anticipated the modern analysis of markets in which buyers and sellers do […]

Broadband course alumnus writes on Google X’s Loon in Sri Lanka

Informed writing on highly technical subjects is not easy to do. That is one reason we encourage journalists to participate in our courses. Here is a piece on the Loon trials in Sri Lanka by one who attended the Ford Foundation supported broadband policy and regulation course in Marawila in 2015. Appears his time was […]

Continuing the conversation on cost of compliance

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After two decades of sporadic efforts, Sri Lanka’s Parliament unanimously passed the Right to Information Act in June 2016. LIRNEasia responded to a call for comments on the draft Bill and offered comments on various versions of the Bill through the media as the law was being shaped, many of which were accepted. Overall, it […]

SEA-ME-WE 5 subsea cable: A new robe for Bangladesh

Bangladesh badly needs a second submarine cable for steady supply of international telecoms connectivity. The second cable is also critical to efficiently serve the cross-border customers. That’s the strategic significance SEA-ME-WE 5, the sequel of SEA-ME-WE 4 submarine cable, for Bangladesh. The new cable has been timely ashore but plugging it to the country’s telecoms […]

The importance of scale

One of the first things Ashok Jhunjhunwala said when we started working together was that in India scale was everything. He should know, having spun off a number of companies and suffered some failures as well. I find it difficult to get excited about stories like this, because these initiatives addressing 16,000 women in the […]

Will Myanmar also move to the innovation frontier in towers?

Learning from the experience of others, the licensing regime in Myanmar made it possible for companies that specialized in the operation of towers to function (unlike, say, in Sri Lanka). When the main business of a company is the leasing of space for antenna, it has incentives to use the towers most efficiently and to […]

Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal, this time from the supply side

We have been engaged with broader connectivity issues in the region since 2010, when Abu Saeed Khan and I started working to move ICT connectivity issues up on UN ESCAP’s agenda, embedded in other forms of connectivity. Much of what we’ve done in this area recently has been on the demand for connectivity developing in […]

LIRNEasia’s research quoted by officials at Myanmar’s Ministry of Transport and Communications

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LIRNEasia’s research findings from the nationally representative survey on ICT use and information needs conducted in 2016 are being quoted by officials from the Ministry of Transport and Communications in Myanmar, Htaike Htaike Aung of MIDO reports.  Most recently, it has been quoted by U Myo Swe, Deputy Director General of the Post and Telecommunications Department […]

An outcome of LIRNEasia’s Internet governance work

Leading up to the last Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico, LIRNEasia and the Association for Progressive Communication collaborated on preparing participants from multiple countries for effective engagement in that multi-stakeholder event. Nalaka Gunawardene was one of the participants from Sri Lanka supported by that activity. Here are his reflections in Internet governance in Echelon. […]

What is the best way to measure poverty

The government of Sri Lanka has increased spending on the leading welfare scheme Samurdhi, from LKR 15 billion in 2014, to LKR 43 billion in 2016, almost a tripling. There are 1.4 million beneficiaries, classified into those can be graduated out of the scheme, those who cannot, and those in between. Apparently, another 1 million […]

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