100,000 ADSL connections? How about speed?

Posted on May 28, 2006  /  58 Comments

The following news item talks about SLTL’s plans to give 100,000 ADSL connections (more than the total number of main lines in 1990!). This is good news indeed. But it would be even better news if the network were to be properly dimensioned so that customers could get the speeds they pay for.

:: Daily Mirror – FINANCIAL TIMES ::
SLT is also shifting its focus to non-voice data services and delivering broadband technologies.

“SLT Chief Corporate Officer Mrs. Pat Abeysekara stressed that plans are underway to roll out 100,000 ADSL connections in all 32 regional telecommunications areas. A request for a tariff revision for ADSL has also been submitted to the TRCSL.

Trials will also be conducted with newer technologies like IP TV (Internet protocol TV allowing users to access pod casts and internet TV). This shift from providing telecom services to multimedia services is expected to expand SLT’s business scope and increase usage levels.

SLT is also expecting to conduct 2 Wimax trials in Colombo and Kandy, in collaboration with two vendors. Once the trials prove successful, the challenge would be to obtain commercial frequencies for a mass scale rollout.”


  1. Chairman Regulatory Commission
    Copy to DGT
    Editor, Times Paper
    Minister of Posts and Telecommunications

    Dear Blog Master

    Remedying the Malaise of Sri Lanka’s Broadband Access Service

    I am much surprised at Mr. Samarajiva’s (Mr. S) comments at 49 of the LIRNE Asia blog for they are even far more self contradictory than those made in his previous submission I reiterate that my aim in contributing to the blog is to help its endeavor to terminate expeditiously, the SLT ADSL monopoly created by the PIPU and overcome the barriers impeding interconnection on demand Such action will relieve the current users and those yearning for the service , the burden of its high cost and the inconvenience of the very poor service quality, boost market competitiveness and at the same time ensure that regulatory safeguards are built in to ensure that the sector will not continue to be exploited by imposturous consultants and miscreants

    But Mr. S contrary to his previous comments says that:

    ““ADSL is provided on twisted pair. Currently the only license that allows the laying of twisted pair in the access network in Sri Lanka is that issued to SLTL in 1991. More than the absence of LLU, it is this license condition (or rather, its absence in the other fixed licenses issued in 1996) that has given SLTL a monopoly on ADSL “

    Then why is that Mr. Samarajiva’s consultant Arculli recommended as reported in the blog not to unbundle the twisted pair and why did Mr. S not moderate the report of Arculli to apprise of the above limitation of the licenses and avoid misleading the then Government . In this regard Mr. S tries as usual to “TWIST” the issue further to confuse the public , by referring to other fixed licenses whereas the requirement is to offer the large latent untapped Band Width of the twisted copper pair of the SLT to prospective operators of Broad Band access service

    In this regard, it is worthy to note that Mr. S was the DGT under the Govt. of Madame Chandrika Bnadaranaike as well and had ample opportunity to correct the shortcoming if it truly existed

    In this context according to the understanding of several highly experienced professionals who have planned commissioned and operated telecom networks and also have considerable experience in regulatory functions as well, the stipulations in the licenses are no barrier to open up the market On the contrary its provisions are highly supportive of offering any individual network component to the extent feasible to those who need their service

    It is unfortunate that Mr. S does not realize that these self contradictory comments are not only detrimental to the public interests but also disparage the image and the credibility of the Lirne Asia

    In order to cover these misdeeds, Mr. S, once again, contrary to his previous comments, says
    “Arculli Associates, I or Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe are supposed to have created a monopoly in ADSL services. The report was completed in late 2002. ADSL was first offered in Sri Lanka after that.”
    It is very unfair to make Mr. Ranil Wickremaisinghe (Mr.R.W) a scapegoat of this misdeed for he acted in good faith of his most opulently remunerated consultant Mr. S who has skillfully won his unswerving unflinching trust. This trust it is reliably gathered, PIPU abused to impose its unproductive costly consultancies and their recommendations on the TRC unconcerned of its adverse impact on the sector . The public is very fortunate that this Govt ‘s wisely decided to closed down the PIPU to end the burden and inconvenience it inflicted on the taxpayer
    In this context Mr. Samarajiva’s in his earlier comments says that he takes full responsibility for the recommendations of Arculli report and endeavor to justify that Arculli is correct by stating that the unbundling in other countries have been a failure But in the above comment Mr S tries to wriggle out of his accountability to the public by saying that ADSL was introduced after the report was completed in 2002 This is another instance Mr. S does not realize that he is contradicting with his own comments cited above and in his previous submissions where Mr. S states that the unbundling of the local loop was not in the Arculli consultancy This is an explicit admission of the fact that Arculli did recommend not to un-bundle the loop, a fact he did try, though not successful to cover up in his previous comments
    Mr. S to my query on the recommendations outcome and the cost of PIPU’s expert missions carried out refers to the link http://www.safirasia.org/safir/files/Newsletter/Issue17.pdf
    It is to verify the authenticity of these observations that this information was requested but this link does not provide any information of the numerous consultancies engaged by the PIPU, the money spent and the outcome. It provides a paper authored by Mr. S giving nothing but a dubious outline of Mr. S’s activities without any accountability to the taxpayer of the nearly US$ 35 million spent by the PIPU

    For e.g. it blames others such as the SLTL for the inability for the new entrants of EGO licenses to start the operations’ up to now but according to a comment in the blog the failure to interconnect is the highly asymmetric interconnection requirements stipulated in the Arculli report to help the existing operators that forced the new entrants to be at the mercy of not only the SLTL but all the other existing operators for interconnections It is gathered that though TRC was forewarned of the imminent dismal failure of Arculli consultancy it was unable to stall the abusive might of the PIPU coercing the TRC to accept the consultancy. The outcome of this collusive manipulation is that the International call charges as mentioned in the blog are about five fold more than what it should be.

    It is therefore not surprising that none of the PIPU’s consultancy reports are accessible to the public I therefore appeal to any person who has these reports to publish them on the blog or on the Regulator’s Web Now that PIPU is no more the TRC should assert its statutory responsibility to protect the public interest from such harmful acts of miscreants.

    Considering the paramount importance of wide band access for improving the economy of Sri Lanka and social well being of its people I am very keen to offer my help to the sector and the Regulator with a simple pragmatic strategy to improve the cost effectiveness’ and quality of the BB access service and at the same time safe guard the sector from exploitation by the like of PIPU’s consultants

    So in the interest of Sri Lanka lets move ahead with action to resolve the problem that is to set up an open and fully accountable public platform that will enable the market to not only readily access the copper loop to harness its untapped latent BW for providing the nation with affordable broad Band Access but also one that would provide interconnection on demand to any operator current or new that would give an impetus to market competitiveness in all services i.e. information and the legacy telephony

    Yours truly

  2. It seems from several of Samrajiv san’s, comments at no 38 of the blog that he is making great effort to show that Arcullis was only responsible for the liberalization of the international gateway and not the local loop unbundling but ignores that it is precisely what I said “The job of the consultants is one thing, that is regarding interconnection and opening of International Services but they recommend something outside against international practice also” At the sane time Mr Samrajiv San also says that unbundling in several countries was not so successful meaning that there was nothing wrong in the Arculli Recommendation

    I am no expert in Policy as Samarajiva San thinks but Telecom expert friend helps me As an economist I know the importance of competition, qualitative and quantitative wise on the market and the well being of the society. I am shocked when Samarajiva San now tells in his comment at 49 that the SLT license does not permit the unbundling of local loop. If that is so why did he allow the highly paid Arculli to spend time in preparing recommendations not to un-bundle the local loop given at R23 of their report which again is outside the term of reference

    Mr Samarajiva san having tried to put the blame on the license – may be he suspects that it is not good enough to confuse the public – next tries to place the blame on Mr Ranil San whom I believe is the Minister he was advising, for accepting the Arculli recommendations put up by him as the Minster’s trustworthy adviser’

    I am told Arculli is a well known International firm and it troubles me to find that at least Samarajiva San did not correct Arculli report if the license of SLT does not allow unbundling. My expert friend feels that it is yet another soothing melody from Canada.-may be from the Malroony era He says it is a not a song or joke but one that nicely fiddle to block effective competition in international telephone service the reason for which I have explained in my earlier comment.

    When I tried to post my comment I find that ADSL blog has vanished from your main page but instead two new blogs on similar subjects that try to shift the attention from the Sri Lankan ADSL problem is now appearing on your web So I am posting my comments onto both blogs

    However my Sri Lankan friends and others known to them say it is important to get first hand feedback from the public and talking about other markets will not helpful to solve the problem They now worry based on the information given in these two blogs that local loop unbundling will be given up and they will have to give up their wired connection for which they have spent very much -often more than Rs 65000 and get wireless CDMA to access to the Internet

    My Sri Lankan friends say only very few of the large number of Sri Lankans without Internet connectivity access has access to Internet Cafes from where they browse and email. Gathering public opinion with the help of the news papers they say is therefore important and wish me to make a request to the TRCSL to help them So I am copying this mail also to him My friend will send this mail also to several news papers

  3. To: Mr. Sanath Siriwardena,

    Please contact me at wattegama@lirne.net asap.

    Please check your mail for more info.

    Chanuka Wattegama

  4. Listne Ruwani…u have to be patient till u get the facility to kandy. u cant get it in this fast in this goverment. bcos gov has no mony for telecom development in your area. better to change the goverment to UNP


    F**K SLT

  6. What the Hell is this ADSL??? Shit!!! At first the speed was excellent….but now its a dead network….
    Always Drop Drop Drop…..Every time I get the message “limited or no connectivity”……Slow Slow Slow…..Ow!!! wastage of Initial payment of Money………

    Please supply the Best for the customers for what they pay…….

  7. In my opinion, the Adsl techonology has a great development overtime, especially for adsl 2++. Thanks for this usefull post, i’ve just make it a digg.
    Kind regards
    Jake Bunce, the manager of Viettel ISP.

  8. wow. Adsl is one of the best Internet connection. no other lines provide 4 users in 1 line AND ITZ UNLIMITED.
    adsl has developed almost 90% better than the time of startup.
    no drops. no connectivity problem. good good. BUT IT WILL BE GOOD IF SLT COULD REDUCE THE PRICE…