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Internet subscribers and users: What is the difference and why does it matter?

The 2013 Central Bank of Sri Lanka report is being sourced for the claim that one in ten Sri Lankans is on the Internet. But this number comes from adding apples and oranges: most individually used mobile broadband connections and mostly collectively used fixed connections. Now with 4G and 3G dongles around in large numbers, […]

Demand side management beginning to catch in Sri Lanka

About a year back, we predicted that the new electricity tariff will shock people into changing behavior: “the currently proposed tariff structure will create “bill shock” among consumers, and nudge a certain percentage of consumers to voluntarily reduce demand. But this will be insufficient.” The evidence is in. It has happened. The 2013 Sri Lanka […]

Consumer protection and the regulator, this time in the Pacific

The Pacific Islands Telecom Association (PITA) and the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Center (PiRRC) co-organized several sessions on policy and regulatory issues at the annual PITA convention held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, April 8-11. Here is the slideset I used in proposing that PiRRC and/or the region’s regulators establish an evidence base for their work […]

Renesys: Indonesia had hijacked global Internet

A routing error on April 2 made it briefly appear that Indosat controlled a large part (some 320,000 of 500,000 networks) of the Internet for about two hours, said Renesys. The problem was promptly addressed but still caused trouble for companies such as Akamai and Chevron. It also caused a flood of traffic to hit […]

Pick a better indicator: Subscribers or revenue?

Cell C of South Africa argues that revenue, instead of subscribers, should be the yardstick to measure market share. Because, MTN and Vodacom lead with a combined 90% of total revenues while 10% belongs to Cell C. The mobile underdog blames the introduction of MTR and it has challenged the regulatory decree in the court. […]

How the world changes (with regard to Internet expectations)?

How fast is fast enough? But DSL service, which is delivered over traditional copper phone lines, does not measure up to the speeds of cable Internet service. The most recent F.C.C. figures available, from mid-2012, show that only 8 percent of DSL connections in the United States transmit at a speed of at least 10 […]

International connectivity for small island states

I write this sitting in Vanuatu at the Pacific Islands Telecom Association (PITA) annual convention. These are exciting times for the Pacific (and possibly all small island states) in terms of the opening up of new options re international data connectivity. Tonga They are a few months into the new age of fiber connectivity. This […]

Why do we need national telecom/ICT/broadband policies?

Following on from the previous post re Bangladesh making do with an obsolete national telecom policy from 1998, I’ve been asked why we need policies, when in my time in government in Sri Lanka first as a regulator and then handling policy, I had not done much about Sri Lanka’s own obsolete policy (a couple […]

Debating the need for an updated National Telecom Policy for Bangladesh

We don’t go as far as Cisco which claims that countries can increase penetration simply by promulgating policies or plans, but there is real value in having updated policies in place so that all the players are reading off a common script. Bangladesh is struggling with getting itself a new policy: Abu Saeed Khan, a […]

Net neutrality debate to be continued in Europe

It appears that ETNO, which tried unsuccessfully to extend the “sending party network pays” (SPNP) principle to data through the International Telecom Regulations, suffered another big defeat in its own house, the European Parliament. But the game is not over and should not be: we too believe the Internet companies must make reasonable contributions to […]

Search engine is like a newspaper; not like a town square

New public policy issues get resolved depending on which analogy wins. In one of the most significant lower-court decisions (this is likely to be appealed up) in recent times, the newspaper analogy won over the town square analogy. If this holds, Google and search engines become the new media. An interesting thought in light of […]

Post-Snowden, location matters in cloud decisions

In our contribution to the 2013 UNCTAD Information Economy Report, we talked about the likely importance of place in cloud services purchasing decisions: The storage of data in multiple, usually foreign, jurisdictions raises a different set of regulatory issues including data protection and police investigatory powers. The jurisdictional issues are anchored on the location of […]

Consumer protection and the regulator

I will make a presentation based on the 2012-14 principal research project at the PiRRC-PITA Policy and Regulatory Workshop in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 11 April 2014. We normally do not make presentations in the Pacific without using Pacific data, but in this one instance I am relying solely on S Asia results. I am […]

Cables connecting Pacific islands

How quickly things change. Few years back I was discussing slow connections from Vanuatu with the then regulator, Alan Horne. Now a few days prior to my first visit to Vanuatu, I find that the country is enjoying the benefits of fast Internet connectivity. I am making this post sitting in Fiji, one of the […]

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