The original purpose of the visit was to participate in a super session on Strategies for implementing universal access. The session was well attended and useful.
My presentation was Expanding Access to ICTs (Powerpoint)
Along with Bill Melodys forceful comments it clearly established the importance of market and regulatory reforms, a position that may otherwise have been deemphasized as a result of the Chairs interest in subsidies.
The visit was also used to pursue the disaster warning-communication issues that have come to the fore in the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. On the 18th of January I visited the Big Islands Civil Defense Emergency Operations Center and the Pacific Tsunami Museum accompanied by Bill Melody and at the invitation of Dr George Curtis, a tsunami expert at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. On the following day, Peter Anderson, the expert we had recruited for the disaster warning work in Sri Lanka, and I visited the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center at Ewa Beach, Oahu. The information gathered in these visits was written up as Surviving tsunamis: Lessons we can learn from Hawaii. I am not attaching this article at this time because I hope to get it published in Sinhala and English in Sri Lanka shortly. This article has been circulated to contacts in tsunami-hit countries in the region as the first step in broadening the disaster warning-communication work.
On the 19th I made a plenary presentation (posted on website previously), What happened in Sri Lanka and why it wont be as bad next time. I was one of four speakers at the closing plenary of the PTC 05 conference. The plenary was well attended. I established useful relations with the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration as a result of the plenary and the related contacts.
The PTC event itself did not live up to (possibly unrealistic) expectations. It had lost a lot of the government, academic and first-tier telco participation that it had back in 1990 when I last attended. There was a dearth of significant fund-raising or academic collaboration opportunities as a result. However, signaling the presence of LIRNEasia as a player in the Asia Pacific and the contacts related to the disaster warning-communication work made the trip worthwhile.
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