Internet connectivity


“I came more to learn from you; than to teach” was the message I passed before my two presentations with Sujata. Thanks Fusion/Telecentre.org for the opportunity. The three days spent with 200+ telecenter operators from eight provinces in Sri Lanka was a worthy investment. One does not interact with so many ground level ICT4D practitioners every day.
Technology is full of paradoxes. While Moore’s Law ensures that our computers get cheaper and faster every few months, there is no corresponding law that ensures that the same happens with our internet connections. TRAI data shows that some 60 million people in India have access to the internet. This may seem like a substantive figure, but is only 6 per cent of the population. More shocking is that while India has over 46 million wireless internet subscribers, broadband subscribers number a mere 2.
In many countries, customers are unhappy about what they get in Internet connectivity.   In most cases it’s about being  unable download or upload a  file more than a few MB in size.   In the US, the unhappiness is about file sharing.  But key issue is the same:  do you get what you pay for?   F.
Divakar Goswami made a presentation at Indonesia’s ICT 2007 Summit and Technoconference in Jakarta on May 3, 2007 organized by the President’s ICT Council, the Indonesian ICT Ministry, the Chamber of Commerce and MASTEL, the telecom industry association. In his presentation titled Backbone of convergence: Getting the foundation right, Divakar argued that without sufficient “big pipes” (domestic and international backbone) the potential of convergence and NGN services will not be realized. Indonesia’s inadequate international backbone infrastructure and high prices have acted as a bottleneck to the development of the Internet in the country. For example, Indonesia’s international private leased line circuit (IPLC) to Singapore costs 21 times the price of equivalent service from India based on route kilometers. Divakar contented that the Government’s plan of licensing one additional international operator will neither stimulate international gateway infrastructure nor bring down international bandwidth prices sufficiently.
As part of a special review of ICT policy in Indonesia, e-Indonesia, the Indonesian ICT monthly magazine, interviewed a number of key stakeholders including the Minister Sofyan Djalil, Commissioners from BRTI, the regulatory body, civil society group, industry reps and ICT experts. LIRNEasia researcher, Divakar Goswami, was also interviewed. The interview is featured in the online edition here. The interview is in bahasa. The English text of the interview is below: 1.
The strong quake off Taiwan’s coast on December 26 damaged six separate submarine cables and severely disrupted telecom links in the East, Southeast and South Asia. Internet connectivity in a number of countries are either down or are slowed down thanks to taffic that is being rerouted over networks that have escaped damage. Most of Jakarta (Indonesia) and Pondicherry (Southern India) have been without Internet until this afternoon (Dec 27) at least. In our office in Sri Lanka, SLT’s ADSL connection (though congested) is working. However, Lankacom’s leased line is down since it probably connects to the Internet backbone via Singapore.