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Author Archives: Rohan Samarajiva

Why do we need national telecom/ICT/broadband policies?

Following on from the previous post re Bangladesh making do with an obsolete national telecom policy from 1998, I’ve been asked why we need policies, when in my time in government in Sri Lanka first as a regulator and then handling policy, I had not done much about Sri Lanka’s own obsolete policy (a couple […]

Debating the need for an updated National Telecom Policy for Bangladesh

We don’t go as far as Cisco which claims that countries can increase penetration simply by promulgating policies or plans, but there is real value in having updated policies in place so that all the players are reading off a common script. Bangladesh is struggling with getting itself a new policy: Abu Saeed Khan, a […]

Net neutrality debate to be continued in Europe

It appears that ETNO, which tried unsuccessfully to extend the “sending party network pays” (SPNP) principle to data through the International Telecom Regulations, suffered another big defeat in its own house, the European Parliament. But the game is not over and should not be: we too believe the Internet companies must make reasonable contributions to […]

Search engine is like a newspaper; not like a town square

New public policy issues get resolved depending on which analogy wins. In one of the most significant lower-court decisions (this is likely to be appealed up) in recent times, the newspaper analogy won over the town square analogy. If this holds, Google and search engines become the new media. An interesting thought in light of […]

Post-Snowden, location matters in cloud decisions

In our contribution to the 2013 UNCTAD Information Economy Report, we talked about the likely importance of place in cloud services purchasing decisions: The storage of data in multiple, usually foreign, jurisdictions raises a different set of regulatory issues including data protection and police investigatory powers. The jurisdictional issues are anchored on the location of […]

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 […]

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