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.

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.

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. […]

How can TRAI make sense of nearly 1 million submissions on net neutrality?

The news reports suggest that TRAI has already received nearly 1 million submissions to its recent “Consultation Paper on Regulatory Framework for Over-the-top (OTT) services” that has sparked a heated debate on net neutrality. In addition to drafting a response ourselves, we also turned our attention to the problem of analyzing such a large volume […]

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 […]

How poor legal drafting can blunt the power of RTI

A few days back, I included the following in a guest column for the Financial Times: Most of the 192 words specifying the Right to Information (RTI) as a fundamental right are superfluous. There is an entire bill in third draft that probably includes the very same language (if it does not, the Constitutional language […]

Preconditions for growth of high-value agricultural exports

In our work on agricultural supply chains, we looked at how small holders could participate in export value chains because these were the most difficult cases and also where the money was. At least at the beginning of the adoption process, the greatest demand for ICT based innovation is likely to come from these supply […]

Making all stakeholders equally unhappy: Test of good solution for a class of policy problems

In 1998, I was in the middle of an intense interconnection fight. It was worse than zero-sum. The Japanese incumbent telco which had purchased 35% of the shares of the Lankan incumbent telco had created a mindset that was extremely hostile to the competitive fixed telcos the government had licensed a year back. Interconnection disputes, […]

The First Smart City in India – Is it Really a GIFT?

Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT)- The first smart city in India- is under construction at Gandhinagar in Gujarat. The proposed city plan includes ICT enabled infrastructure such as smart grids and automated waste collection. India has allocated 60 billion rupees form its annual federal budget for this financial year towards developing smart cities. Going by numerous […]

Sri Lanka’s Right to Information Bill improved through consultation

Last week I did a colloquium at LIRNEasia based on the second revision of the RTI Bill. Before I got around to doing a post, the third revision made its way out of the bowels of government. Sigificant improvements have been made, for which the Secretary of the Ministry of Media and Information should be […]

Auditor General’s time is different from infrastructure builders’ time

In the early years of TRAI, the Authority had to defend itself against strictures from India’s Comptroller and Auditor General that it was not maximizing revenues to the government, connectivity be damned (relevant to present day debates on spectrum prices). I had to convince Sri Lanka’s Auditor General that we should pay replacement costs to […]

Baby’s day at the office!

That

Every day is not baby’s day at the office, but at LIRNEasia, it certainly can be. The formal commissioning of the “Multipurpose Room” occurred yesterday, amid elevated decibels of squeals and laughter from an enthused group of children, ranging in age from one to six. For those in our staff with young children, this child-friendly […]

Distinguished lecture on “Making the university relevant”

The Open University of Sri Lanka invited me to deliver the sixth in a series of distinguished lectures on the 10th of April 2015. Looking through the titles of the previous lectures, I saw that the common theme is the university and higher learning. Therefore, I proposed “Making the university relevant” as the topic and […]

Spectrum debate joined in India

LIRNEasia’s Senior Research Fellow Payal Malik has fired a major volley in India’s spectrum debate aimed at former Minister Kapil Sibal. There is interesting discussion on her Facebook page. A competitive spectrum auction process facilitates the assigning of licences to the most efficient producers, aiding efficient aggregation of spectrum, and ensures efficient allocation of spectrum […]

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