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

Category Archives: General

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

No more Mr. Nice (Tax) Guy

Although Myanmar’s Parliament had approved the imposition of a 5% commercial telecom tax on mobile phone top ups last year, the Government hadn’t previously enforced it due to the rapid sector expansion that occurred in the last 12 months. According to a press release from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), this exemption […]

Need for open data culture; Professor Samarajiva’s comments featured in Sunday Times

LIRNEasia Founding Chair, Professor Rohan Samarajiva’s comments that Sri Lanka should facilitate an open data culture were highlighted in a recent issue of the Sunday Times Sri Lanka (Business Times section).  These comments were made at a Business Times panel discussion on ICT innovation and awareness held on Wednesday 13th May at the newspaper office […]

On the ITU’s slide into irrelevance

Yoshio Utsumi should know what he speaks of. He was elected as Secretary General in 1998. I remember casting the vote on behalf of Sri Lanka in Minneapolis. He served two terms and was succeeded by Hamadoun Toure, who was elected as Director of ITU-D also in 1998. Utsumi served two terms and stepped down […]

Facebook facing global backlash on “free” Internet

On Monday (May 18, 2015), 60 people from digital-rights groups in 28 countries including India, Pakistan and Indonesia have strongly protested against internet.org in an open letter to Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It is our belief that Facebook is improperly defining net neutrality in public statements and building a walled garden in which […]

Roadmap for revising NOFN-India

Indian Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar said that NOFN India is to be revised and renamed as BharatNet. The revised road map will emphasis the participation of states. Only 20,000 village panchayats were been given broadband connectivity by march 2015 although the target was 50,000. This proposed project is to be completed by December 2017. See here for more information.

Fallacy of Facebook’s “free Internet” in Bangladesh

I have attempted to access www.internet.org and ended up with viewing the following message instead: Right now, Internet.org is only available with a Robi Axiata Ltd. SIM card. Want to use Internet.org with your current mobile operator? Let us know. Accessing internet.org is, evidently, an exclusive privilege the mobile data customers of Robi enjoy. Such […]

500 new Ooredoo towers coming up!

Ooredoo Myanmar has signed a deal with a Singaporean company for the construction and lease of 500 new mobile towers. Thus, at the end of 18 months, the telecom giant should see their tower strength surpassing the 2000 mark. At the moment, the coverage provided by the private operators Ooredoo and Telenor outside of the […]

South Asia and Sri Lanka in the WEF’s Network Readiness Index

Have not had the time to do the usual analysis, so was happy to see this report in the Financial Times. The recently released 2015 edition of the Global Information Technology Report of the World Economic Forum has placed Sri Lanka at 65th position in networked readiness among 143 economies surveyed. Singapore is ranked as […]

Social media and people living in ideological bubbles

Cass Sunstein wrote Republic.com in 2001. I have the book. He updated it. The basic thesis was that people would enclose themselves in ideological bubbles and not hear the other side. This was long before Facebook became a major factor. Then of course the whole argument got replayed in relation to Facebook’s algorithms. Now, there […]

What other countries can learn from Nepal

All eyes are on Nepal as the country is recovering from the earthquake that occurred a few weeks ago. This article discusses progressive trends that exist in Nepal despite its political instability. Uncensored internet, freedom of speech and inclusion of minorities are lessons that other countries in the region can learn from Nepal.

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 […]

Dyn cites LIRNEasia to bolster Nepal’s Internet

Washington Post refers to Doug Madory as, “The man who can see the Internet.” Unsurprisingly he has been monitoring Nepal’s state of Internet since earthquake struck on April 25. Outages of Nepalese data centers, ISPs and enterprises have been graphically diagnosed in Doug’s report. A recent evaluation of Internet infrastructure in South Asia commissioned by […]

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 […]

LIRNEasia adds one more to the million responses TRAI received on Net Neutrality

Low connectivity and low regulatory capacity are characteristics of most emerging Asian countries.  Any NN regulation needs to take these realities into account.  So when we looked at the possible ways TRAI can and should act, we ended somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Read our response here.

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