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

Tag Archives: ESCAP

Infrastructure services enabling Maritime Silk Road

I spent Nov 5-6 in Shanghai at the invitation of the Pathfinder Foundation as part of a Track 2 discussion with the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies. The focus of my presentation was on how the MSR could serve Sri Lanka’s economic advancement. It was not limited to research undertaken by LIRNEasia. However, the section […]

China linked Myanmar. Plans to loop ASEAN. Next?

China Unicom has built the US$50 million China-Myanmar International (CMI) terrestrial link. But it is yet to be activated for unknown reasons and Myanmar keeps suffering from outages. Now Beijing has ceremoniously announced its plan to build a Sino-ASEAN submarine cable network without revealing any details. South Asia and Southeast Asia has become the hotbed […]

Developing maps of the cables that carry Internet traffic

Back in 2013, UN ESCAP, in partnership with the ITU, published an online map of the cables that carry Internet traffic in the Asia Pacific. We at LIRNEasia were very happy about this because we had been working with ESCAP since 2010 and Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan who worked up the idea of […]

Connectivity in the Bay of Bengal region

In the context of LIRNEasia’s work, connectivity is usually understood as electronic connectivity. But as the quote below exemplifies, in most contexts it means everything other than electronic. It is our challenge to merge these two conceptions. It is now normal in road design to include conduits for fiber. We hope that this will be […]

Navigating Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway

LIRNEasia has publicly tabled the proposal of laying fiber along the Asian Highway for universal access to broadband in CommunicAsia on June 2011. At that time we called it LION or Longest International Open-access Network. Light Reading and Total Telecom were cautiously optimistic. The then boss of ITU, who also attended the event, gave cold […]

Dyn cites LIRNEasia to bolster Nepal’s Internet

Washington Post refers to Doug Madory as, “The man who can see the Internet.” Unsurprisingly he has been monitoring Nepal’s state of Internet since earthquake struck on April 25. Outages of Nepalese data centers, ISPs and enterprises have been graphically diagnosed in Doug’s report. A recent evaluation of Internet infrastructure in South Asia commissioned by […]

Call for regional cooperation in ICT infrastructure by UN ESCAP includes reference to LIRNEasia

I had seen the draft, but as with all UN organizations it took some time for the official text to be published. By that time, we had moved on, and it did not make the blog. But here are the operative paragraphs of the outcome document of the Paro Meeting on the Asia Pacific Information […]

Connectivity triumphs over politics in Asia

The politicians of China, Japan, South Korea and Viet Nam have locked horn over the maritime rights in South China Sea. Simultaneously, the telecoms carriers of these countries have been laying optical fiber cables underneath the same disputed water to connect each other. Dubbed as “Asia Pacific Gateway” or APG, this cable lands at Tanah […]

Reflecting on Sri Lanka’s international connectivity issues in Paro, Bhutan

I write this sitting at a UN ESCAP consultation on the Asia Pacific Information Superhighway in Paro, Bhutan. Bhutan is a country of around 800,000 people which has two fiber cables connecting the main cities to the Indian cables in the Siliguri area. Actual broadband user experience is patchy. Because there was no official representative […]

Cambodia prepares the killing fields of telecoms

Cambodia has drafted a law mandating all telcos “selling” their infrastructure including towers and underground cables to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia (MPTC). Subsequently, all operators surrender their licenses too. The government will decide how the access service providers will make reentry to their dispossessed infrastructure. And these draconian terms will be […]

Irish model of affordable broadband for Asia

ESB, the Irish electricity supplier, and UK’s Vodafone have formed a 50:50 partnership in building a new fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) broadband network. This €450 million (US$615 million) project will deliver download speeds ranging from 200 Mbps to 1 Gbps. The FTTB network of ESB-Vodafone will connect some 500,000 homes and businesses in 50 towns and cities […]

Google should look beyond second submarine cable

Six years ago eyebrows were raised when Google announced the rollout of a transpacific undersea cable named “Unity”. Bharti Airtel, Global Transit, KDDI Corp., Pacnet and SingTel were members of Unity consortium. It was activated on April 1, 2010. Google wanted to bypass the cumbersome transcontinental supply chain of broadband, as Capacity Magazine highlights: Google’s […]

Bangladesh and India ink historic bandwidth deal

Bangladesh Submarine Cable Company Limited, (BSCCL) has signed an MoU with BSNL as a first step to export IP Transit bandwidth to the northeastern states of India across the eastern land borders of Bangladesh. Initially BSNL will procure 10 Gbps bandwidth from Bangladesh and a three-year agreement will be signed very soon. This February, the […]

LIRNEasia’s input to ITU’s strategic plan 2016-2019

It started in Rohan Samarajiva’s room at  Islamabad Serena Hotel during April 2010. I explained him the fundamental barrier to affordable broadband across developing Asia. I also showed him the way to solve the problem – laying fiber along Asian Highway to build a transcontinental open access terrestrial network. Rohan was on board. He would later […]

Lest we forget

Silently crawling seawater soon turned in to a tide of mass destruction. Nearly quarter of a million loved ones were perished across the costs of Indian Ocean on December 26, 2004. The world was stunned by such an unprecedented scale of catastrophe. The rescuers’ power of love overpowered the devastation of tsunami. Hands of prayers […]


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