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

Tag Archives: Universal Service Fund

What I communicated to Myanmar decision makers on universal service funds back in 2013, at the start of the reforms

I understand universal service strategy formulation is moving forward in Myanmar these days. I looked back to see what we said four years ago. Can still live with it (though I would add some recommendations based on subsequent thinking). 3. Focus one-off subsidies solely on capital expenditures, to improve targeting and reduce leakages and avoid […]

LIRNEasia in “Myanmar: Telecoms’ Last Frontier”

In its report titled, “Myanmar: Telecoms’ Last Frontier” the Pacific Telecommunications Council (PTC) explores the realities of Myanmar’s telecom environment. The government of Myanmar wants to leapfrog “from 10 (SIMs per 100 people) to 80 in five years.” LIRNEasia’s chair Rohan Samarajiva has concluded his report in this publication: The challenges before Myanmar are many. […]

Pakistan Universal Service Fund robbed?

I’ve had a running argument with my friends M. Aslam Hayat (one of the creators of the Fund) and Parvez Iftikhar (first CEO of the Fund) about whether it’s possible to have an effective, efficient universal service fund. My position has been that that such a thing can function for a few years, if well […]

No-battery electronic devices

Now that telecom networks have a bigger footprint than electric power networks, the question of power sources is assuming increasing importance. Quite a lot of work is being done in our region on reducing the power requirements of base stations and of substituting for expensive diesel generators. In Pakistan, using renewable sources at base stations […]

Pakistan Universal Service Fund in trouble?

Just a few weeks ago, we highlighted that the Pakistan Universal Service Fund was an exception to the rule of poorly performing USFs that were good at collecting money, but were terrible at spending intelligently. Looking back, there were two reports, not one. The above was written by an Indian journalist. The one written by […]

ITU shows USF is irrelevant in Bangladesh

ITU said nearly 90 per cent of the world’s population is covered by mobile networks and more than half the rural households have a mobile telephone today. While focusing on Bangladesh, the World Telecommunication/ICT Development Report 2010 further says: Grameenphone’s EDGE network, launched in 2005, covers 98 per cent of the population, so almost every […]

One universal service fund that works: Pakistan

The Bangkok Post has carried a report on the exchanges about universal service funds at the Islamabad Mobile 2.0 Expert Forum. The reporter initiated the exchange between the CEOs of the Pakistan universal service fund and LIRNEasia. Here is his account. Rohan Samarajiva, CEO of Lirne-Asia, has been a long opponent of USO funds and […]

LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) presents – Mobile 2.0: The Expert Forum

___________________________________________________ Mobile 2.0 describes the next wave of applications and services – the use of mobiles for more than voice. On the 26th and 27th of April 2010, LIRNEasia together with the PTA co-hosted a successful expert forum in Islamabad, Pakistan. A multitude of themes were discussed over the four sessions, when the experts presented their […]

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 […]

The sad Broadband workshop…

We reproduce fully below, Carlos A. Afonso’s post to a thread on Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility responding to discussions at the IGF workshop “Expanding broadband access for a global Internet economy: development dimensions”, in which Rohan Samarajiva, Chair/CEO LIRNEasia was the keynote speaker. We retain the original title. As neither we nor most of […]

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 […]

LIRNEasia contributes to rethinking on universal service funds

Some of our best friends are at in the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), but still warms our hearts when they quote our writing, especially when we go out of our way to wave the red flag before those who still believe in the benevolent state. In a submission to the UN Group on the […]

LIRNEasia research cited in presentation to U.S. Congress

LIRNEasia’s 2005 research on India’s Universal Service Obligation (USO) policy, conducted by Payal Malik and Harsha de Silva, has been cited in a presentation  to the US House of Representatives, in March 2009. The paper presented, entitled, “Using Competitive Bidding to Reform the Universal Service High Cost Fund”, can be downloaded here. As a policy-oriented […]

On the improvement of India’s universal-service policy environment

Two surveys of India’s telecom regulatory and policy environments conducted in 2006 and 2008 by LIRNEasia show a dramatic increase in the score for universal service policies since the policy changes effected in 2007. From being ranked lowest among six emerging Asian countries, India now has close to the highest score for universal service policy […]

Bangladesh doesn’t need a universal service tax

An article written by Rohan Samarajiva on Bangladesh’s proposed universal service taxes has been published in The Daily Star, Bangladesh; an excerpt follows. Bangladesh currently has the lowest mobile prices in the world and perhaps the world’s highest mobile growth rate. Pretty good, by any measure. A universal service tax can ruin the business model […]

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