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

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South Asia Research Hub(SARH), DFID Systematic Review Programme for South Asia; call for proposals.

Rohan Samarajiva

Myanmar makes progress in telecom, but I have a few questions

Some questions that came to mind as I read the report linked below. Myanmar has 325 townships, the third level of administrative units. So, 199 out of 325 is pretty good. But is it that Telenor is in a central location in 199 townships or they cover the entirety of 199 townships? How does Ooredoo […]

ICT for the aged

Japan is a country that grew rich before growing old. In the countries that we work in, the median age is rising fast and more people live long. Our fear is that these countries will grow old before they amass the wherewithal to support a good life for their elders. Little has been done mobile […]

Finally, India universal service contribution comes down from 5% to 3%

It has been a long time coming, but finally the universal service contribution as a percentage of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) looks certain to be reduced from five percent to three percent. The last time we wrote about this was in 2009, when the Finance Ministry stopped it. But, of course, nothing is ever so […]

Lessons from Nepal for Nepal and other countries

I started writing this the day the news came of the earthquake. But it seemed unlikely to get published in Nepal. So I added some language on applicability to other countries. Earthquakes happen. Even if most buildings survived, some would collapse. Even if people took the right actions, they would still get buried under the […]

Videos summarizing IDRC funded research on ICT in relation to development and poverty, including LIRNEasia’s

Late in 2013, the book Information lives of the poor that I co-authored along with Laurent Elder and colleagues from our African and Latin American partner organizations, came out. We supported MIDO in translating it into Myanmar given its significance to the mobile revolution on that country. Now IDRC has released six short videos that […]

LIRNEasia’s plans to contribute to Nepal’s recovery

Bhaktapur, from happier times

As many know, LIRNEasia is engaged with Nepal. We work with the Internet Society of Nepal and have long-standing good relations with the Nepal Telecom Authority. Late March we were in Nagarkot, about an hour away from Kathmandu and quite close to now devastated Bakhtapur. As a knowledge-based organization with ten plus years of experience […]

Light-touch regulation for the downstream petroleum market

The Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka was established to serve as regulator for any of the hard infrastructure industries that needed regulation as a result of reform. All this time, all it was given was electricity. Now, there is a possibility that downstream petroleum will also be brought under its authority. So they had […]

What can be done immediately and what are the next priorities for earthquake affected Nepal

I was just interviewed on the phone by the BBC Sinhala Service. Since many who read this blog will not be able to hear or understand this, thought I would summarize the key points: 1. The immediate priorities should be rescue and housing and care of those rendered homeless. Sahana and mobile communication can play […]

What can be done for Nepal?

Many people I care for live in Nepal. Less than a month ago I was teaching in Nagarkot, in the hills about an hour out of Kathmandu. I recognize some of the buildings with cracks that come on the TV screen. I receive the tweets that say #prayforNepal. I wonder, who does one pray to? […]

Indian media discuss LIRNEasia solution to TRAI’s information overload problem

Just a few days ago, the big data team posted some thoughts on how TRAI could analyze the one million plus comments it received in response to its consultation paper on OTT services. The Business Standard has extensively quoted from that collectively authored suggestions on how technology could help productively mobilize the flood of citizen […]

Facebook is now mobile and video

We’ve been tracking Facebook’s transition from the desktop to mobile for a while. In 2012 the process was just beginning. But now, with 3/4ths of its revenues coming from mobile, it looks like the transition is complete. The world’s largest social network reported on Wednesday that almost three-quarters of its advertising revenue and most of […]

How to deal with social media without lots of cash

It’s interesting that Viet Nam’s Communist Party does not prohibit social media unlike its counterpart in China: In January Nguyen Tan Dung, Vietnam’s prime minister, told senior members of the Communist Party that it was “impossible” to block social media, and that the government should make more effort to put out “correct” information through them. […]

Role of competition law in precluding abuses sought to be addressed by net neutrality rules

As LIRNEasia Senior Research Fellow, Payal Malik has made significant contributions to Indian telecom policy and regulation over the years. She also brings to bear a unique perspective because of her experience in implementing competition law. Going beyond the emotive, she has co-authored a thoughtful op-ed that all who engage in the net neutrality debate […]

Problems caused by neglect of basic principles in drafting RTI law

The most current draft of the the Sri Lanka Freedom of Information bill that is about to be presented to Cabinet has removed Parliament and Cabinet from its purview. They were included in the definition of “public authorities” who were bound to respond to information requests by citizens in the previous draft (at that time […]

IBM’s view of the smart and resilient city

Was surprised the Rio operations center from 2010 is still Exhibit 1. Has nothing much happened since? I can’t find any reports in the past tense about Bangalore water supply other than the para below. Guess it is still work in progress. A different view of resiliency considers the creation of “smart” infrastructure that is […]

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