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Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

Consumer protection and the regulator

I will make a presentation based on the 2012-14 principal research project at the PiRRC-PITA Policy and Regulatory Workshop in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 11 April 2014. We normally do not make presentations in the Pacific without using Pacific data, but in this one instance I am relying solely on S Asia results. I am […]

Cables connecting Pacific islands

How quickly things change. Few years back I was discussing slow connections from Vanuatu with the then regulator, Alan Horne. Now a few days prior to my first visit to Vanuatu, I find that the country is enjoying the benefits of fast Internet connectivity. I am making this post sitting in Fiji, one of the […]

FCC releases more frequencies for wireless commons

In 2010, the Obama Administration announced a road map to release 500 MHz of frequencies for mobile broadband. Looks like progress is being made. Perhaps the most significant move by the commission was to allow a broad swath of airwaves to be used for outdoor unlicensed broadband, clearing the way for a new generation of […]

Agriculture big data: Where it exists in datafied form, concerns re what can be done with it

US agriculture was early to use ICTs to improve efficiency. I recall sharing stories of information-savvy farmers with my classes in Ohio in the early 1990s. Now data is available of soil and weather conditions at a micro-level and farmers are beginning to be concerned that this big data when combined with other data could […]

More on the failure of Google flu trends

The Financial Times carried a good discussion on the failure of the Google Flu Trends model to predict. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional […]

Sithie Tiruchelvam

A good person died. A person who had years of productive contributions left in her died. Death is final. All we can do is grieve and celebrate the life that has ended. Sithie Tiruchelvam passed away while I was out of the country. Her role in Sri Lankan society was too large for one person […]

Users/consumers front and center at EuroCPR 2014

We’ve been lucky with our choice of research topics. Not only did our focus on customers coincide with the CEB’s year of customer excellence, it also overlaps with EuroCPR’s thematic focus on “user-centric approaches to the digital information society.” The presentation I will make at the international panel, which is now a regular feature of […]

The 80:20 rule in electronic communication surveillance

Last week, LIRNEasia taught a course on broadband policy and regulation in Sohna. One of the modules was on privacy and surveillance. One of the instructors was Sunil Abraham, acknowledged for his thoughtful and creative approach to sticky ICT policy questions. Drawing a diagram, he pointed out that if surveillance was exclusively focused on the […]

Chicken or egg in broadband policy

Many new issues worth further exploration emerged at the Expert Forum we concluded in New Delhi yesterday. One thing that was stated by officials was that the private sector was not stepping up to purchase the capacity offered by the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN). Unlike in other countries, the access offer is not complete […]

Twenty percent of FDI into Myanmar expected to come from telecom

Now that the licenses to Ooredoo and Telenor have been granted, the discussion is shifting to investment and rollout. “Telenor and Ooredoo have received licenses as service providers, but they can’t implement everything themselves,” said Aung Naing Oo, director-general for the Directorate of Investment and a member of the Myanmar Investment Commission (MIC), told the […]

Crunch time in Mexico

Once monopolists get entrenched, it takes significant courage to dislodge them. The monopoly profits have been used to build up considerable political capital. So it is noteworthy when entrenched monopolies get taken, as it appears to be happening in Mexico. The lack of serious competition in Mexico has kept prices high, has limited investment and […]

Discussing Indian broadband policy in Sohna

Tomorrow, we start a Ford Foundation supported four-day course on “How to engage in broadband policy and regulatory processes” at a hotel located in Sohna, Gurgaon. Gurgaon, a new city that sprang up in the last few decades and is a symbol of the new ICT-centric India, was where I thought we were teaching the […]

Battling analogies: Which wins will decide outcome of teleco-OTT tussle

Among the comments to an informative article on Zuckerberg’s interactions with telecom CEOs at GSM Mobile World tamasha in Barcelona was this: The carriers are making tons of money supplying pipes. The expensive pipes are in demand because of the low cost apps people can run over them. It would be like power companies complaining […]

Praise for regulators in US

They say mergers are coming in both India and Sri Lanka. I’d prefer clear guidelines rather than discretion, for reasons like this. A rash of consumer-friendliness has broken out across the mobile data industry. Over the last year, the four major carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile — have cut prices and offered greater […]

Big data in developing v developed countries

Yesterday I listened sporadically to a live streamed conference on Big Data. Sporadic was not intentional. I am in Dili, Timor Leste, where most connectivity is via satellite with latencies in the 700ms range. Anyway, the focus was not on big data per se. They talked about all sorts of things, mostly open data (in […]

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