In the little regulatory teaching I do, I have now shifted from deriving regulatory priorities from conventional industrial organization and administrative law principles to business models now prevalent in our countries. The below quotation from Business Insider shows ignorance of business models is not a problem limited to developing countries: Buried in pages of amendments to the European Union’s latest privacy proposal, the ePrivacy Regulation, members of the European Parliament recently recommended language that would strip European publishers of the right to monetize their content through advertising, eviscerating the basic business model that has supported journalism for more than 200 years. The new directive would require publishers to grant everyone access to their digital sites, even to users who block their ads, effectively creating a shoplifting entitlement for consumers of news, social media, email services, or entertainment. The language may seem confusing to the uninitiated. “No user shall be denied access to any [online service] or functionality,” the proposed amendment says, “regardless of whether this service is remunerated or not, on grounds that he or she has not given his or her consent […] to the processing of personal information and/or the use of storage capabilities of his or her […]
The Gulf News, a leading publication in Dubai, interviewed both Hamadoun Toure, the Secretary General of the ITU and me on December 4th, on the second day of the WCIT conference. One of the resulting articles very clearly sets out the causes of divergence between the Geneva-based UN specialized agency and the Colombo-based regional think tank that I head. First, let us look at the ITU’s position. The objective is that of getting broadband to the next billions. No disagreement on our part.
My comments at the Main Panel session at IGF 2012. Question 1: What does it take to attract investment in infrastructure and encourage innovation and growth of ICT services, including mobile technology and how can these technologies best be employed to address development challenges? Indonesia is a success story in Internet use. In a six-country, representative-sample survey we conducted in 2011, we found the highest use of the Internet among the poor among the six in Java, where the most of the Indonesian population lives. Indonesia is one of the heaviest users of Facebook, in the top five.
ETNO has earned notoriety for its ill-considered proposal to impose the old sending-party-network-pays principle on networks that house servers carrying attractive content. It is clear that ETNO and its allies in Egypt and elsewhere are is looking beyond the “sending party” networks at the OTT players such as Google and Facebook, who they perceive as those with the real money. Greed loves company. The old style telcos who make up the membership of ETNO are not alone. The old-style media firms of Europe would also like to get their hands on the earnings of Google et al.
LIRNEasia was early in seeing mobile as the future. We had the benefit of the Teleuse@BOP surveys. We were seen as the main voice for the mobile future in ICT4D circles. We carried comments from people like Steve Jobs who saw it coming. Now the wave that we saw developing in our part of the world has reached the centers of ICT power.
Bill Gates makes eminent sense, most of the time. One could not be both a college drop out and world’s richest man unless one is incredibly intelligent. In a recent report on the mHealth Summit, the Economist reports thus. Mr Gates, however, warned the participants not to celebrate too soon. Just because an m-health pilot scheme appears to work in some remote locale, he insisted, don’t “fool yourself” into thinking it really works unless it can be replicated at scale.