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India to subsidize business process outsourcing activities in North East

The states in the North East of India have among the highest rates of English literacy in India. They also have very high unemployment rates. Now the government is planning to conduct least-cost subsidy auctions for those willing to set up BPOs in those states. As per the plan, the government is planning to set […]

Why, when the solution is staring one in the face, do governments continue to foster grey markets?

I was reading the 2014 Annual Report of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, where on page 37 the PTA reports that international calls being terminated on Pakistani mobile networks has decreased dramatically since 2011-12, from 10.8 billion minutes to 5.6 billion minutes in 2013-14. The PTA even says that “one view is that this is due […]

China Internet restrictions: Frogs slowly boiled

It’s interesting that Chinese Internet users have to protest the blocking of what I thought would be illegal workarounds. But earlier this week, after a number of V.P.N. companies, including StrongVPN and Golden Frog, complained that the Chinese government had disrupted their services with unprecedented sophistication, a senior official for the first time acknowledged its […]

The reinvention of work

The general tone of writing on the on-demand economy (much better term than the “sharing economy”) is one of regret about the demise of steady work with benefits, exemplified by Robert Reich: “I think it’s nonsense, utter nonsense. This on-demand economy means a work life that is unpredictable, doesn’t pay very well and is terribly […]

Efficient management of state-owned utilities

This is a problem that comes up in countries that LIRNEasia works in. In Bangladesh and India, where the government-owned telcos were not privatized, they are on life support. Based possibly on comments made by entities such as LIRNEasia, the government of Myanmar has chosen to effectively hand over the management of its government-owned telco […]

Facebook gets 69% of its revenues from mobile

This used to be seen as a challenge. Now it’s “same old, same old.” The social network, which makes most of its money by including advertising in the news feeds of its users, said about 69 percent of its advertising revenue came from mobile devices, which have become the most common way people tap into […]

LIRNEasia research contributes to Philippines broadband policy

PH Broadband QoS

The Philippines Senate conducted its 4th public hearing on the Philippine internet, where the National Telecom Commission presented the summary of the position papers it received on MC 07-07-2011 on minimum broadband connection speeds. The photo shows Senator Bam Aquino (right) and government officials, including NTC Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba and ICTO Deputy Executive Director Denis […]

Internet played an unexpectedly large role in Sri Lanka Presidential election of 2015

The Lankadeepa, the leading Sinhala newspaper in Sri Lanka, has reported a speech by Dr Ranga Kalansooriya at a recent event on media ethics organized by the Sri Lanka Press Institute, where he claims that a survey covering 14 out of the 25 districts showed very high levels of reliance on the Internet for political […]

End of nationally authorized Internet Services Providers?

The conventional telcos were complaining that the Googles and the Facebooks of the world (labeled by them as Over-the-Top or OTT players) were unfairly getting a free ride on the expensive, difficult-to-maintain last mile access network. Bharti Airtel went as far as unilaterally seeking to identify such uses by their customers and to impose additional […]

Route diversity saves Bangladesh (for now)

Dyn SMW4

SEA-ME-WE4, the only submarine cable of Bangladesh, has been down again for 10 days. This outage has affected the business of BSCCL, the state-owned subsea cable monopoly. Doug Madory of Dyn Research, the global Internet performance monitor company, has shared with me the diagnostic image of BSCCL traffic (Click on the thumbnail). Evidently the six […]

MNP is no silver bullet

One of the problems with social media is that no one reads beyond the 140 characters. I was asked about mobile number portability via Twitter. I provided the information via links in a blog post and then tweeted the post. I get the sense that no one went to the nuances. I am good at […]

Mobile number portability for Sri Lanka?

We have been requested via social media to shed light on MNP, I gather in light of various dissatisfactions about what all ISPs did in terms of blocking websites in the past few years. Attachment to the number, the costs involved in printing up new business cards, etc were seen by many in the West […]

LIRNEasia’s big data research presented at a public lecture in Sri Lanka

On 16th January, 2015 at the invitation of the Sri Lanka Institution of Engineers LIRNEasia presented a public lecture in Colombo on the results of our ongoing big data for development research. The public lecture was organized by The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) and attracted over 40 people in person and an unknown number via streaming […]

PH and IN lag behind: Akamai’s State of the Internet

The most recent State of the Internet report by Akamai lists the Philippines (global rank 105) and India (global rank 115) at the bottom in terms of average connection speed for fixed broadband (fixed BB). The average speed (2.5 Mbps and 2 Mbps respectively) isn’t the real issue. The quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) change that is pretty much non […]

Applying basic principles of policy design across sectors

Parvez Iftikhar will be amused that I am proposing a fund, after objecting to his favorite Universal Service Fund. But that is how the policy game gets played. We look at something that does not work at all or produces more bad outcomes than good (government-owned telcos with universal service obligations in the old days; […]

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