Roshanthi


Related to the previous post on ICT Development Index,  the 2014 Measuring the Information Society report also has a section on the ICT Price Basket (IPB) which is a composite basket that includes three sub-baskets: fixed-telephone, mobile cellular and fixed- broadband. This is used to measure the affordability of ICT in a country by dividing the IPB value by the Gross National Income (GNI) per capita of the country. Even though the report mentions that the growth of mobile broadband has overtaken fixed-broadband and is less expensive especially in developing countries, the IPB still does not include mobile-broadband. ITU has a separate section only measuring the affordability of mobile broadband, but has not included these indicators into their index. While South Asia performed badly in the IDI, the affordability of ICT in South Asia is much better according to ITU’s ICT Price Basket method with Sri Lanka ranked 39 (up from 44), Bhutan 71 (up from 81), India 84 (up from 92), followed by Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal at 102, 116 and 119 which have not moved much compared to 2013.
Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recently launched a public consultation on – “Delivering Broadband Quickly: What do we need to do?” In this consultation, TRAI has identified many bottlenecks across the broadband supply chain in India. While the consultation was broad and TRAI had highlighted 22 issues for consultation, LIRNEasia‘s response covered the following three specific areas based on our research. The issues that we addressed were: Q7 on whether ‘Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) are ideal for implementing the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN)’ where we highlighted the importance of private sector involvement; Q14 on FTTH deployment, where we recommended to de-emphasize the importance given to FTTH as the current trend in most developing countries is to access the Internet on mobile devices; and Q21 on Demand-side stimulation where we gave examples of how other countries have increased demand and on how the Indian App economy can be improved.
A media conference was held on the 25th April 2014 at Holiday Inn Resort, Goa to launch the resource repository on broadband policy and regulation and to disseminate the research conducted under the Ford Foundation funded project on ‘Broadband Policy and Regulation Conducive to Access by the Poor’. It was attended by journalists from PTI, Indian Express, India Forbes, Telecom Lead and Cyber Media stationed in multiple locations in India. The conference commenced with an introduction to the project and the media launch of the web-based Broadband Policy Resource Centre (http://broadbandasia.info/ ).  The topics covered included what India can learn from the National Broadband Network initiatives of Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia, an analysis about the current status of the National Optical Fiber Network of India and why the Indian app market has not been as successful as expected and how it can be improved.
The Expert Forum on Broadband Policy and Regulation Conducive to Access by the Poor 2014 was the second of the series of Expert Forums organized under the current Ford Foundation funded project. This was a small interactive event to gain insights from experts including regulators and policy makers from India, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, Mexico and Sri Lanka. The topics covered included what India can learn from the National Broadband Network initiatives of Malaysia, Australia and Indonesia, an analysis about the current status of the National Optical Fiber Network of India, the Mexican Shared Spectrum Model and its relevance to South Asia, Spectrum policies conducive to broadband rollout and why the Indian app market has not been as successful as expected. The web-based Broadband Policy Resource Centre focused on Indian policy makers  (http://broadbandasia.info/ ) was also launched at the Expert Forum.
Organized by LIRNEasia and Centre for Culture Media and Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia University (with support from Ford Foundation). For persons residing in India only. The objective of the four-day residential course on How to engage in Broadband Policy and Regulatory Processes is to produce discerning and knowledgeable consumers of research who are able to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes. At the end of the course attendees will:  Be able to find and assess relevant research & evidence  Be able to summarize the research in a coherent and comprehensive manner  Have an understanding of broadband policy and regulatory processes in India  Have the necessary tools to improve their communication skills  Have some understanding of media function and how to effectively interact with media Who may apply? We will be selecting 20-25 participants (including junior – mid level officers of government and regulatory agencies, university students, lecturers, academics, media personnel and other civil society officers working in related fields) to participate in the course.
According to a post by Ami, Sri Lanka has hit 11.8% internet penetration by December 2011, with an estimated 2.5 million Internet users. While the data correspond to International Telecommunications Union (ITU) data, Sri Lanka hit double digit internet penetration by December 2010 according to ITU, rather than December 2011 as mentioned by the author.  Therefore, by now, the number of Internet users should be even higher.
In his paper, author Martin Hilbert presents a conceptual framework to classify the different definitions of the digital divide by using the theory on diffusion of innovation. The author equates the diffusion of ICT to the diffusion of Innovation which is the process by which an innovation is communicated over time among the members of a social network. Figure 1 is an illustration of the diffusion of innovation.  The growth in adoption starts slowly at first and then accelerates toward the middle of the process and gradually tapers off as the number of non-adopters shrink. The exact curve depends the characteristics of the nodes of the social network.