India keeps shutting down the Internet. This necessarily involves shutting down Facebook. Few pay attention. Sri Lanka has never shut down the Internet. But it restricted access to some social media including Facebook in March 2018.
The countries within the purview of the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Center are mostly micro states, 14 in all. Only the two largest states, Fiji and Papua New Guinea, have been included in the ITU’s IDI Index for 2010. The picture, for them, is bad. Fiji and PNG have both dropped four places, Fiji to 94th rank and PNG to 143rd. Both have increased their IDI scores, Fiji from 2.
It is disappointing to see sirens still being promoted despite the demonstrated problems. And I think Kogami was present at the HazInfo dissemination event we held in Jakarta. Patra Rina Dewi, director of the Tsunami Alert Community (Kogami), a nongovernmental organisation working on disaster mitigation training for communities, said the knowledge people most need is whether an earthquake has the potential to become a tsunami. The current standard for this is an earthquake that occurs less than ten kilometres below the seafloor and is recorded as more than seven on the Richter scale. “But this kind of information should be translated into easy information for the people,” said Patra.
A tsunami has swept ashore in the Solomon Islands after a strong undersea earthquake in the South Pacific. Initial reports from outlying, remote areas say at least eight people have been killed, but local officials fear the death toll could rise further. The National Disaster Council chairman told reporters that some villages had been “completely wiped out”. Tsunami warnings have also been issued for Papua New Guinea, north-east Australia, and other nearby islands. Full story
Bridging the digital divide is important. It may not be as important as ensuring safe water for all, or adequate healthcare, in terms of meriting investment of scarce public resources, but it is definitely important enough to merit concerted action to remove the artificial barriers to private supply. One of the best ways this can be done is by improving the knowledge that is brought to bear on the process. The optimal way to achieve this is to create an environment within which international best practices are adapted to local circumstances by in-situ policy intellectuals. Some of these local experts could be in regulatory agencies and in government; but the optimal results will be achieved through participatory processes where all stakeholders, including the consumers are represented by knowledgeable experts.