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

When people don’t understand technology and investment decisions, silly mistakes are made

It was in 1998, almost 20 years ago, that I was invited to a meeting at the Urban Development Authority of Sri Lanka in my capacity as Director General of Telecommunications. They had identified a high point in the city of Colombo to locate ALL the cellular antenna towers and they wanted me to concur with their plans. I explained that the very concept of cells required multiple towers in multiple locations.

Twenty years later, the same ignorance is being displayed again. A Minister of the government is making speeches in Parliament about how all of Sri Lanka can be served by nine towers.

I was asked by the government TV channel to comment on the tower levy. I explained how impractical the proposal was. Old habits die hard in propaganda channels. Most of what I said did not actually make it to the news. But the days when government hacks can control the message are over.

It’s out in Twitter and Facebook to thousands:

And it will be out in detail in the papers from tomorrow.

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