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

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IGF Academy Fellowships: Applications are now being called. For more details see announcement.

Broadband Policy Course in India: Applications are being called for Indian citizens residing in the country to participate in the course held from 19- 22 August 2016. For more details see announcement.

Helani Galpaya

OTTs vs Telco: South Africa enters the battle

India started in April 2015, when the regulator (TRAI) proposed rules for how application/content providers (Over the Top Players, or OTTs) should be regulated, taxed and treated (that  debate got sidelined in the battle over Facebook and FreeBasics, but that’s a different story). Now it’s South Africa’s turn.  It seems that two operators are pushing for […]

Free Basic 2G for all Indians by Aircel. Not be confused with Freebasics of Facebook

OTTs and telcos really need to come up with better names to differentiate their products and services.  Really.  Or maybe confusion is just the point. First there was Free Basics, Facebook’s service which gives free access to a set of applications inside the app (it was previously called Internet.org, a supposedly clever name which of course […]

LIRNEasia unconference at Stockholm Internet Forum 2015 on Zero Rating.

At the 2015 Stockholm Internet Forum that just completed, I moderated one of the best attended unconference sessions titled “Zero rating violates net neutrality. So what?“. The discussion I moderated was heated, with a spectrum of opinions being expressed.  Some said that zero rated content simply creates a ghetto-ized version of the Internet for the poor and […]

Finally, some research on Zero Rated offers and users. And it’s surprising.

The raging debate on Zero Rated content is, for the most part, taking place in a vacuum of evidence. A successful campaign by activists  ensured that many of the 1.2 million responses sent to TRAI’s proposed net neutrality regulations in April 2015 called for banning internet.org (Facebook’s Zero Rated offering, now called Free Basics).  The fear that the poor who use the free […]

ICT Use in Myanmar: a first look at the national baseline survey results

LIRNEasia recently conducted a nationally representative survey of ICT and knowledge use in Myanmar.  Some of the top-line results were presented for the first time at the ICTD2015 conference last week. The panel was organised by Rich Ling, PhD and Elisa Oreglia, PhD of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Slides can be found here. This is an updated version […]

LIRNEasia adds one more to the million responses TRAI received on Net Neutrality

Low connectivity and low regulatory capacity are characteristics of most emerging Asian countries.  Any NN regulation needs to take these realities into account.  So when we looked at the possible ways TRAI can and should act, we ended somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Read our response here.

Punjab charging ahead with m-Governance

Last weekend, talking about policy and regulatory issues will drive Pakistan’s adoption of broadband.  My co-panellists were Faisal Sattar (CEO of Pakistan’s Universal Service Fund), Salman Ansari (former advisor to the Ministry of IT & Telecom in Pakistan) and Kojo Boakye (Policy Manager at the Web Foundation). I was at Pakistan ICTD Workshop organized by newly […]

LIRNEasia at Random Hacks of Kindness

Last weekend 2nd – 4th of Friday, Random Hacks of Kindness events were taking place is cities across the world (New York, London, Montreal, …).  Thanks to an invitation from IDRC and Nokia (sponsors of the Montreal RHoK) , I was able to be in Montreal, in the company of 80+ software enthusiasts (geeks, hackers, call them what […]

“Mobile web” moving from hype to reality?

Finally domain names ending in .mobi can now be registered by the general public.  Will this increase mobile content (i.e. content that can be viewed on your mobile phone)?.    A BBC article reports that less than 10% of mobile owners use their phone to surf the web, “due to concerns over cost, speed and poor […]

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