Google has announced that it will be rolling out superfast broadband as demonstration projects. “Google, indeed, appears to be playing a chess game,” said David B. Yoffie, a professor at the Harvard Business School. “If they can create an even mildly credible commitment to offer superfast broadband to the home, it could strike fear in the hearts of cable and telcos, stimulating an arms race of investment — just as they did in the auction for spectrum a few years ago.” In a post on its corporate blog, Google said it planned to build and test a high-speed fiber optic broadband network capable of allowing people to surf the Web at a gigabit a second, or about 100 times the speed of many broadband connections.
New York Times TOKYO — The United States may be the world’s largest economy, but when it comes to Internet connections at home, many Americans still live in the slow lane. By contrast, Japan is a broadband paradise with the fastest and cheapest Internet connections in the world. Nearly eight million Japanese have a fiber optic line at home that is as much as 30 times speedier than a typical DSL line. But while that speed is a boon for Japanese users, industry analysts and some companies question whether the push to install fiber is worth the effort, given the high cost of installation, affordable alternatives and lack of services that take advantage of the fast connections. Powered by ScribeFire.
We could still do better; But more taxes could kill the industry The Nation Economist, Sunday 26 August 2007 | See Print version I have to say that JHU does not know economics. What is the rationale behind taxing the only sector that is growing? The industry is giving government enormous amount of revenue. Twenty percent of every mobile rupee goes to the government. If you squeeze the goose for more eggs the goose will ultimately die.
How the technical, political and business realities in Africa hinder technological development and connectivity there. Africa, Offline: Waiting for the Web Attempts to bring affordable high-speed Internet service to the masses have made little headway on the continent. Less than 4 percent of Africa’s population is connected to the Web; most subscribers are in North African countries and the republic of South Africa. A lack of infrastructure is the biggest problem. In many countries, communications networks were destroyed during years of civil conflict, and continuing political instability deters governments or companies from investing in new systems.
It is learned that a fiber optic cable has been laid to connect Thimphu, the capital with the Indian backbone network, that an IT park is being established in Thimphu, and that Bhutan will soon be undertaking BPO work. If any of our Bhutanese readers (or other knowledgeable persons) can shed additional light on this subject it will be much appreciated.
Licenses have been granted to consortium members for building the Palapa Ring–backbone that will connect the Eastern part of Indonesia that currently relies on satellites with the rest of the country. It is not clear how the licenses were granted and what are the fees and obligations of the license holders. Furthermore, technical and financial feasibility studies are yet to be completed. No access regimes have been developed that will govern how non-consortium members will be able to access the Palapa Ring and on what terms. There couldn’t be a worse possible way of launching such a complex, capital-intensive project that is supposed to transform the ICT infrastructure of Indonesia.
Most Indonesians access the Internet primarily using fixed wireline infrastructure, mostly dialup. Because of lack of competition in the fixed line sector due to various reasons fixed line growth has been stagnant which has also affected Internet growth in the country. Not only are no new lines being added to bring more homes online, the inadequate backbone infrastructure in large swathe of the country makes deployment of broadband services unviable even if incumbent’s local loop bottleneck could be bypassed. However, yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (March 15, 2007) seems to suggest that high speed 3G wireless technology like HSDPA can bring broadband on a large scale to Indonesians. It (misleadingly) implies that since HSDPA is merely a software upgrade to 3G networks it will not require any new major telecom infrastructure investment in Indonesia.
A study by RAND noted the vulnerability of submarine cables to undersea attacks by hostile forces in order hamper communication links to the United States. Using Taiwan as an illustrative case, the study said the following: As seen in Table I.2, a recent survey of the number of international submarine cables reaching Taiwan is particularly disconcerting. Four out of five undersea fiber optic cables reaching Taiwan do so at either Fangshan or Toucheng (the fifth, a “self-healing loop” reaches Taiwan at both, meaning that both cables would have to be damaged for Taiwan to be cut off). Two more planned cables have landing areas at Fangshan.
The Indonesian Minister for Communication and Information Technology, Dr Sofyan Djalil, presented a number of new initiatives for removing the barriers to Internet growth in his country at Building Digital Communities forum session at the ITU World 2006 event in Hong Kong on December 7, 2006. Divakar Goswami, LIRNEasia’s Director, Organizational and Projects, who was moderating the panel asked the following question: One of the first achievements of your government was to delicense the 2.4 GHz frequency that allowed communities to use Wi-Fi extensively in the country. Despite that, Indonesia currently has Internet penetration of 0.69 percent.
From the Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) of 10 March 2006: “Minister Bogollagama also noted that the government was planning to construct a fibre optic network in Jaffna to introduce the Business Process Outsourcing industry to the area.” Jaffna is currently connected to the rest of Sri Lanka and the world by satellite. It is intriguing to speculate how the Minister’s fiber optic network will function and who will manage it. One assumes that for it to be of use for the BPO industry, the Minister’s fiber will have to connect to another fiber somewhere. Will this be overland, along the A9 and through LTTE controlled territory or undersea?
Yesterday, I spoke to a large and restive crowd (made so by lack of air conditioning and a delayed start) in Matara (main city in the South of Sri Lanka) at the launch of the Pathfinder Foundation’s first book, a Sinhala translation of Janos Kornai’s Toward a free economy. I was asked to talk about globalization and the relevance of Kornai’s ideas for facing the challenges posed by globalization. In this talk that I pieced together thanks to time zone differences that caused me to wake up at 3 in the morning while in the US, I illustrated the issues referring to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a broad area of service exports for which efficient, flexible and low-cost telecom is a pre-condition. I think the talk provides the "big picture" of the necessity of telecom reforms of the type that we at LIRNEasia are involved in. If we are to go beyond simply giving people phones, to giving them "money in the pocket and hope in the heart" this big picture is essential.