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Tag Archives: subsidies

Promoting broadband: Balancing competition and subsidies

Not the most perfect summary, since I did the interview with half my mind on the need to get to the airport in time for my flight out.

LIRNEasia Chair to moderate panel on broadband promotion at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok

Governments like subsidies. We do not mind, as long as they do not harm competition and are deployed intelligently. One big complaint we had about the Indian Universal Service Fund was that it was not being used (as was the even bigger fund accumulated by Brazil). The Indian government responded with a USD 4 billion […]

China’s national broadband plan gives weight to wireless

I thought 35 billion was a bit much. That was what the now under-radical-revision NBN was going to cost the Australian taxpayer. Even for a country with more than 60 times the population of Australia, USD 323 billion seems excessive. But, hey, they have to do something with the cash that’s piling up . . […]

Wire or wireless?

One of the principal rationales for the creation of LIRNE.NET in 2000, and then LIRNEasia in 2004, was to counter the tendency to transplant policy and regulatory thinking unchanged from the developed market economies into the developing world. But that never meant that we should ignore theoretical developments and policy/regulatory innovations just because they emerged […]

USA: Making more frequencies available for broadband

I found it interesting that President Obama’s plans for broadband rest on wireless access. This meshes with our narrative re the path for our people to the Internet. Now come the details. Billions will be spent; but billions will be earned too. “It’s about connecting every corner of America to the digital age,” the president […]

“Telecenters” in trouble in the US too; solution is greater competition and lower prices says the Economist

Most people do not associate telecenters with the United States. That’s because they are called public libraries there. The Economist reports that more people are coming to the American telecenters because critical government and other services are increasingly available only through the web and because some people have dropped home connections in the hard times […]

UK drops expensive universal service plans

We expressed skepticism when the Labor Party first announced it. We are pleased it is being cancelled. The previous Labour government hummed and hawed about this rural-urban “digital divide”. Eventually, in 2009, it proposed levying a 50p tax on every fixed telephone line in the country: the proceeds were to be given to BT to […]

How to measure success/failure of Brazil’s broadband policy

I was invited to conduct a discussion at the Cabinet Office in Brasilia with senior government officials driving the Brazilian Broadband Policy that will shortly be announced. Representatives of the relevant ministries, ANATEL the regulatory agency, the public telecom operator and a local think tank participated in what proved to be a lively discussion. Given […]

US Universal Service Fund to disburse subsidies for broadband

The US universal service fund is among the oldest and most inefficient, spending more on administration than comparators and not targeting the subsidies well. Our research has been cited in debates about improving it. The FCC under the Obama appointed Chair does not appear to be engaging in fundamental reforms, but is instead seeking to […]

Universal service funds un/misspent? No problem, we’ll find something for bureaucrats to spend it on

I am writing this sitting at an IGF session dealing with the twin themes of access and diversity. Learning new and useful things about making websites accessible to differently abled people which should have important implications for the design of mobile terminals that will make more-than-voice services more accessible to those lacking knowledge capital. The […]

“Broadband” over power lines

Technology to send broadband over power lines has been around for several years, but it typically hasn’t been able to offer enough capacity at a low enough price to beat service from cable and phone companies. But with government subsidies, the approach is starting to be deployed in areas that don’t have access to other […]

Why unconditional broadband subsidies can be bad

The stimulus packages being worked up by governments the world over all seem to have a broadband component.  Even the Sri Lanka government which barely has enough money to pay its bills, is thinking of launching a USD 100 million satellite for high speed Internet (I guess this means broadband?).   Leaving aside the insanity of […]

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