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

Broadband Policy Course in India: Applications are being called for Indian citizens residing in the country to participate in the course held from 16th to 19th December 2016. For more details see announcement.

Myanmar’s fourth operator’s secret sauce


The longer it takes to get rolling, the more questions are likely to be asked about its prospects. Coming into a saturated market requires an edge. It appears that the secret sauce is the Military affiliated co-owner who has infrastructure in place, enabling a fast rollout. U Soe Naing, director of the ministry’s Posts and […]

Universal connectivity discussed at IIC 2016 conference


IIC is an organization that provides a platform for discussion of ICT policy and regulation with a specialized focus. They are spending a week in our neck of the woods, Bangkok. The main conference will be on October 12-13. Here are the two sessions I am participating in on Day 1. SESSION 2: LINKING ICT […]

What is the role of big data when Censuses have not been done for 35 years?


The first session of the big data research workshop focused on what has been done with big data in a development context. To me, one of the most striking points was made by Josh Blumenstock of Berkeley. He showed the time since the last census in a number of countries in Africa (I think the […]

APNIC keynote generates more media coverage

Investment budget local government

Unlike an earlier media report in a government newspaper that I could not make head or tail of, this report zooms in on the controversial. No mention whatsoever of the subject of the keynote, but a fair summary of what I said in response to a question from the floor on government getting back into […]

A conversation on priorities for big data research in the Global South


With support from the International Development Research Centre of Canada, LIRNEasia and the Center for Internet and Society are today convening a meeting of researchers working on aspects of big data for development in the Global South. The hope is that we will be able to contribute to shaping a research and policy agenda and […]

Why should Internet community care about international backhaul?


I was asked to select a topic when I was invited to deliver the keynote at the APNIC 42 conference that was moved from Dhaka to Colombo because of the terror attacks. APNIC people usually get their jollies by debating things like the pros and cons of IPv6 versus IPv4. I had no comparative advantage […]

Facebook wants to bring itself (and the Internet) closer


I once wrote a parable to make sense of the positions the various players were taking on Internet developments. After the dust settled, I expected them to work together to make money, rather than run behind the ITU or national governments asking for favors. Facebook has been explaining what it wants to do to make […]

Bay of Bengal connectivity at APNIC 42


It was a problem in the country that gave its name to the Bay of Bengal that caused the main APNIC conference to shift its location to Colombo. So, when I was asked to deliver one of the two keynotes, I proposed a talk on connectivity in the Bay. Now that SAARC has taken a […]

A successful policy intervention: RTI saved from 8000 fresh graduates

Hiring 8000 graduates to implement #RTI is wrong. Info officers must be senior people with authority. #LKA — Rohan Samarajiva (@samarajiva) July 4, 2016 It was reported in the Lankadeepa of 30 June that the Government has decided to recruit 8,000 fresh graduates to serve as information officers in order to implement the recently-approved […]

Bhutan to ping Bangladesh while Myanmar will whistle


Bangladesh is emerging as an important player in regional connectivity. Recently it has connected Northeast India to faster lane of Internet through a 10 Gbps international link of its submarine cable systems. It has prompted the landlocked Bhutan to be in the cue. Currently a Bhutanese telecoms delegate is negotiating a 5 Gbps international internet […]

Big data generates an independent assessment of the Chinese economy?

One of our current priorities is to work with the National Statistical Agency to see how we can complement official statistics instruments on socio-economic monitoring. China watchers are not collaborating with the NSO. They are trying to second guess it. I was wondering though, wouldn’t we be happy if we got these kinds of correlations? […]

Emergency powers to expedite cell towers


In the US, they included preemption powers in the 1996 Communication Act to enable the FCC to override state and municipal authorities on communication-related approvals. This was considered draconian. In my recommendations to governments, I have always been cautious about taking away the power of lower-levels of government. But it looks like the traffic situation […]

The value of “technical assistance”


When I was responsible for the management of technical assistance funds made available by the World Bank for telecom and infrastructure reforms, I heard many complaints about the money all going to foreign consultants and nothing remaining in Sri Lanka. I responded to this criticism in a substantive manner a few years back in LBO. […]

India’s belated stitch of cable to the Andamans


India is finally plugging the mainland with Port Blair and five other islands (Little Andaman, Car Nicobar, Havelock, Kamorta and Great Nicobar) of the Andaman and Nicobar though an undersea optical fiber cable systems. Taxpayers will count $150 million (INR 1,102.38 crore) for capex and initial five years opex of this maiden sub-oceanic telecoms initiative […]

What is the role of government in disaster risk reduction and response?


I spoke today at a workshop for media personnel organized by the Ministry of Disaster Management (DM). I just looked to see if I could link to the workshop description on the web. Apparently not. Guess that confirms what I said about the need for the DM Ministry and the DM Center to change the […]


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