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

Category Archives: General

Some considerations to make “Kandy” a smart city

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Some time ago, Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem announced “Kandy” would be developed as the first “Smart City” in Sri Lanka. While many projects are taking place in Kandy such as Strategic City Development Project, Greater Kandy water supply project, it is important to assess the concept of smart city, and […]

Who says telecom and IT belong together?

Last time the BJP was in power, Pramod Mahajan was Minister of Telecom. He listened to The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE), a group of IT business people primarily of Indian origin based in the US and merged the DoT (in charge of telecom) and DEITy (in charge of IT). This was portrayed as a major step […]

From Turkey, an idea for disaster response

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It was happenstance that New York Times commentator and US Academic of Turkish origin Zeynep Tufekci was in Turkey when the coup unfolded. Her reflections on the role played by the Internet and social media in defeating the coup are of great interest. But what caught my eye was a simple action mobile operators can […]

How meatspace is becoming more like cyberspace

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In cyberpunk novels, the world of face-to-face interactions is called meatspace. Everyone knows what cyberspace is. The doyen of cyberpunk William Gibson invented the term. Surveillance is built into cyberspace. In the case of consumption activities, surveillance allows the marketer to “know” what the prospective customer wants and to shape her desires through targeted and […]

Cloud ducks a bullet

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In 2012 we wrote about the dangers posed to cloud computing in our contribution to the 2013 UNCTAD Information Economy Report. When the lower court ruling mandating Microsoft to give the government access to data stored in Ireland came out in 2014, this is what we said. Now the Court of Appeals has ruled in […]

Climate change leads to better Internet

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Given melting ice in the Arctic, cable laying ships are moving in. In the first phase northern communities are being connected. The plan is to extend to Asia, providing an additional layer of redundancy to international backhaul. In later phases of the project, Quintillion Networks will extend the network internationally to Europe and Asia, representing […]

What are the harms of using R&D expenditures as indicator of innovation?

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Martin Fransman gave a good keynote on what causes innovation at today’s ITS conference. One question that arose from his discussion of Apple and a low-tech (low expenditure on R&D) company was how we could objectively measure innovation. Fransman answered by saying R&D expenditures were a bad indicator, being (a) an input measure, and (b) […]

Hope for Sri Lanka Post?

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In contrast to the usual tales of woe, increasing losses and strikes, an online publication had this optimistic story: Sri Lanka Post has done its homework. According to Shervyn Senadheera, Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Posts, Postal Services & Muslim Religious Affairs, a survey conducted between 2013 and 2014 with a sample size of […]

Concerns about BharatNet delays

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Osama Manzar of Digital Empowerment Foundation has written an op ed on BharatNet, still being described by the unfortunate acronym NOFN. We have been writing about it since Sam Pitroda came up with the plan in 2012-13. What is sad is that the story has not changed much since 2013-14, despite governments and ministers changing. […]

Spectrum management framework should not be destroyed for experimental service

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The government newspaper, the Ceylon Daily News, carried a well-written story on Google Loon, Rama Corp, and dangers to spectrum framework. “We first told the companies who had been with us throughout, that because they had supported us through difficult times, we would give them a base frequency of 7.5Mhz (900Mhz band). The other companies, […]

ICTD 2016

The 8th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development (ICTD 2016) was held from 3- 6th June 2016. The conference held at the University of Michigan, saw a variety of sessions on different topics. LIRNEasia participated in the session on ‘Debating Open Development: Sharing and Interrogating Experiences of Developing Cross-Cutting Theory in ICTD’ […]

How to get a billion Indians online by 2020?

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A report published by Analysis Mason this April on “How to get a billion Indians online by 2020” explores different potential business models to connect digitally un served and under served Indians. As for their forecast, unique Internet users in India by 2020 will be 746 million. The authors suggest connecting the additional 254 million digitally un-served and […]

Regulating through design

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It was in the 1990s that Larry Lessig put into beautiful form an idea that was bubbling up all over the place among people thinking about emerging technology. This was the idea of West Coast Code versus East Coast Code. Both regulated what could and could not be done on various tech-mediated spaces. But East […]

What I said about Google Loon to a journalist

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I was asked about Loon by a journalist from Ceylon Daily News, the government newspaper. Here is the gist of what I said. Sri Lanka has fewer Internet users than we would expect for a country at its level of income and literacy. I am all in favor of experiments and innovations that seek to […]

Brain tumors, mobile phones and research reporting

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Below are excerpts from the abstract of a paper entitled “Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?,” published in Cancer Epidemiology. Significant increases in brain cancer incidence were observed (in keeping with modelled rates) only in those aged 70 years (both sexes), but the […]

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