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

Mainstreaming assistive technology for benefit of spectrum of abled and disabled

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Ever since Nirmita Narasimhan gave a colloquium on ICTs and disabilities at LIRNEasia in 2011, the topic has not been far from my mind. We included a component in the ongoing Myanmar project and are pushing hard to get assistive technologies into the policy discourse in that country. But my inability to get a single […]

GSMA Connected Women- LIRNEasia findings on “Mobile phones, internet & gender in Myanmar” launched in Yangon

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Helani Galpaya presented the findings of the joint research by GSMA Connected Women & LIRNEasia on “Mobile phones, internet & gender in Myanmar” at the Chatrium Hotel, Yangon on 8 April 2016. The event organized by LIRNEasia and MIDO was used as a forum to discuss issues pertaining to gender and ICTs in Myanmar at large. Khin […]

Never let an incumbent control the fiber backhaul: Lesson from Afghanistan (not that there weren’t others before)

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One principle LIRNEasia defended consistently over the discussions at UN ESCAP about the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway (APIS) was that of open access. And despite many entreaties we held firm that the fiber had to owned by any entity other than the incumbent telecom operator in the country passed by the APIS fiber. From the […]

Trade agreements and information policy

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Twenty years ago, when NAFTA was still a novelty, Patrick Hadley and I looked at the interface of trade and communication policy. I recalled this when I was asked a question during a TV talk show about safeguards for culture in trade agreements. Looks like the issues we wrote about are becoming mainstream: China’s notorious […]

Lessons from LIRNEasia’s Telecom Policy & Regulatory Environment work for other fields

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I spent the past two days immersed in a new subject: elections management. We have been engaged in one of the hardest public policy puzzles, that of improving Sri Lanka’s electoral system, since early 2015. As a result of that engagement, I was invited to participate in a vulnerability assessment of Sri Lanka’s election management […]

Impact of Weak Rupee on Online Freelancing Jobs

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Rupee depreciation and Interest rate rise are gradually slowing down consumer demand locally. But this may not be the case for Freelancers. Online outsourcing workers would be definitely happy about the depreciating value of currency. Sri Lankan Currency Depreciated against USD by 9% Jan-Dec 2015, it further reduced by 3% till 31st of March. Fiverr, […]

2015 Gorkha Earthquake: Evaluation of Nepal’s emergency communication systems

It was barely a month after LIRNEasia conducted a course on broadband policy and regulation in Nagarkot, that Nepal was affected by the Ghorka Earthquake. Our hearts went out for the people of Nepal who suffered from a series of tremblors, power and communication outages and many difficulties. We managed to convey some support for […]

Ooredoo Myanmar’s data success story

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I wish standard metrics would be used when CEOs talk about data use so that we can be sure that Telenor’s 52 percent is comparable to Ooredoo’s 86 percent. But anyway, it’s good to see Ooredoo’s emphasis on data is paying off: “We are thrilled that 86 per cent of our customers currently use our […]

How will the push to include companies selling attention on the Internet within the scope of national taxation play out?

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It was in 2009 that LIRNEasia first engaged systematically with the interaction of taxation and ICT promotional policies. This was when working on an assignment for the OECD. We had of course engaged with mobile-only taxation in Sri Lanka and in Bangladesh. But the issues were simple back then. No discriminatory taxes that treated mobile […]

Tracking the Freelance Economy: Research Using LinkedIn Data

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LinkedIn conducted a research focusing on LinkedIn members with the word “freelance” in their job title, and then they aggregated the most common industries and skill sets found (chart follows). The top results range from media and communications, to engineering and software development. Some of the key finding of the Study There are also slightly more females […]

Greatest surprise in Myanmar telecom

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We’ve been talking about the high level of data use in Myanmar. We were surprised. The Telenor Myanmar CEO has been surprised too. “The thing that surprised us most [was] the data – 52pc monthly data users is very high [in a] country with this type of GDP, so it’s promising in terms of what […]

Who is telling the truth about the electricity crisis?

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That was the title of the two-hour TV talk show at ITN that I participated in yesterday. One does not expect new knowledge to emerge from a talk show, but this one was an exception. Illuminating information was disclosed by the Additional General Manager of the Ceylon Electricity Board in response to some statements I made. […]

Why does the government have to do everything?

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I am sitting here at a World Bank consultation on setting priorities for Bank lending in 2017-22. I was shocked by some of the comments, an example being: why isn’t there government-provided training for BPM? It seems that people are still stuck in government-centric thinking. What is the track record of government in providing training […]

Stripe in Sri Lanka : An Alternative to PayPal

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PayPal, being one of the oldest online payment provider, holds a major share in the online payment industry, and is the preferred payment mode for millions of people all around the world. There are a number of developing countries like Sri Lanka where PayPal does not work (for inward remittance). Negotiations with PayPal currently underway […]

INET Kathmandu, Emphasis on Social Media and less on ICT Resilience

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There was a popular emphasis on social media at INET Kathmandu. An entire session and an entire panel discussion was on the topic with various speakers telling their story. However, everyone realized the need for a robust internet for such platforms to work. While SMS was most effective during Nepal’s Earthquake response, data and voice […]

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