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

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Rohan Samarajiva

Innovation as a selling point for a country

Many see the promotion of innovation simply in terms of increasing reported R&D expenditures. I disagree. That is why I like the Global Innovation Index which is a composite index that looks not only at inputs, but also at outputs and innovation efficiency. Sadly, Sri Lanka is failing according to the GII. When compared with […]

Use of knowledge in economic reforms

“We are very poor. We have lost touch with the world. We need the World Bank to catch up.” This is a quotation from Julian Gewirtz’s book, Unlikely Partners, that I will be using in my keynote address at the University of Peradeniya Humanities and Social Sciences Conference on 28 July 2017. It was in […]

Governance of big data is necessary for its use in governance

Governments should not be flying blind. Now the tools of big data are available to reduce their ignorance. But we will not be able to use big data effectively if the narrative is dominated by utopian hype and dystopian scare mongering. For that we need effective, fit-for-purpose public public policy and regulation for big data […]

What we said about convergence in 15 years ago is still being quoted

When Anders Henten decided to publish one of the outputs of our research project in a print-only journal as Henten, A.; Samarajiva, R.; Melody, W.H. (2002), The next step for telecom regulation: ICT convergence regulation or multisector utilities regulation? South African Journal of Information & Communication, 3: 101-16, I was unenthused. But 15 later, the […]

Implications of throwing the killswitch

We first wrote about the phenomenon back in 2006, in relation to the conflict areas in Sri Lanka and Kashmir. We started formulating the issues in terms of Gyanendra’s Law and its various exceptions around the time of the Arab Spring. I wrote the main piece on the subject, sitting in a hotel room in […]

Implementation emphasized in media coverage of Nepal broadband course

A lot of the discussion in the concluding sessions focused on implementation, as intended. Here is a participant writing about the highlights in Setopati, a digital newspaper: Similarly, senior Director at Nepal Telecommunications Authority Anand Raj Khanal said broadband could be leveraged to graduate country from the least developed status to the developing on by […]

LIRNEasia’s broadband work in Nepal is already contributing

The big news from the last broadband course we taught in Nepal was that only 2.6 percent of all the universal service funds collected since 1998 had been disbursed.  This information, unearthed in the course of completing an assignment, was presented to decision makers in government who came to judge the mock public hearing.  It […]

First media coverage for Nepal broadband course

The Nepali Reporter was the first to carry a story on the Ford Foundation supported course being conducted in Dhulikhel, July 14-17, 2017. The training organized by LIRNEasia, a Sri Lankan think-tank, Internet Society Nepal Chapter and Centre for Law and Technology, is engrossed on multifarious issues relating to internet and information as inclusion in […]

Roles blur in US net neutrality fight

Comcast has for long been cast in the role of opponent of net neutrality. But according to this report, the roles are beginning to blur. “We support permanent, strong, legally enforceable net neutrality rules,” said Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, which once successfully sued the F.C.C. to overturn net neutrality policies. Verizon, the nation’s […]

Appears I spoke too soon on Nepal’s ICT progress

In late 2015 I wrote that: “All the fuss has been about Digital India. But India has fallen back six places to 131, despite improving its IDI score from 2.14 to 2.69 in the ICT Development Index. Nepal, which does not have a funded and actively promoted digital strategy, has advanced four places to 136th […]

Nepal broadband course starts on 14 June 2017

The first time we taught a course in Nepal, one of the participants discovered that only 2.6 percent of the universal service funds collected in 17 years had been disbursed. We are hoping for something even better this time. Here is an excerpt from the syllabus: In India, especially in the central government, telecom policies […]

White spaces, again

It was in 2007 that we first wrote about white spaces. Ten years later, the talk continues. The technology is sometimes known as “super Wi-Fi” because it behaves like regular Wi-Fi but uses low-powered television channels to cover far greater distances than wireless hot spots. It is also more powerful than cellular service because the […]

Looking at tech based solutions to problems of algorithmic fairness

Big data is a team sport. We have people with different skill sets in our team. I can’t code, but I sit in on meeting where arcane details of software are discussed. Our coders spend most of their time on analytics, but think about broader issues such as fairness. So here is a snippet that […]

Nepal broadband policy and regulation course starts in four days

A course with the following objectives, attended by over 30 persons from all sectors of Nepal society, will commence on 14th July. To enable members of Nepal civil-society groups and media personnel marshal available research and evidence for effective participation in broadband policy and regulatory processes including interactions with media, thereby facilitating and enriching policy […]

The elderly and ICTs: The new frontier of inclusion

As people live longer and elder dependency (ratio of adults to working population) increases. How to give the elderly a productive life without imposing a heavy burden on the taxpayer will be one of the most important public policy challenges. The Economist examines the issues, looking, among other things at, ICTs: Encouragingly, in every centre […]

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