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. Current ADSL speeds of SLT, even in Colombo, are a joke.

    My fear is that as SLT rapidly increases the number of subscribers, it exponentially diminishes the quality of service of ADSL download and upload speeds experienced by all.

  2. Currently it’s useless interms of speed only benefit is the connectivity. Hope SLT will focus on quality rather than quantity.

  3. I hope SLT charges more realistic prices for ADSL service. The current LKR 2700 I understand hardly allows them to recoop their costs.

  4. Dear Divakar,

    Surely, any upward revision of costs needs to necessarily ensure better QoS?

    I’m presently in Vancouver, where in the home of a middle-class family which enjoys a 2Mbps ADSL connection where the transfer rate is actually 2088kbps.

    Match that against the drought of bandwidth on any given day through SLT. If SLT’s profit imperative drives a higher adoption of ADSL without the requisite improvement in the bandwidth and general quality of service, I fear that we have once again missed the bus in telecoms and related ICT development in Sri Lanka.

    I too noticed the revision of costs mentioned in the article Rohan posted, but had hoped for a downward revision with greater QoS to the users, ensuring that higher usage and end-user satisfaction led, in time, to a greater trust in the service, which in a domino effect, led to subscriber loyalty – at which time an upward price revision can be contemplated.

    Doing so now, if what you say turns out to be true, without any guarantee or promise of better QoS to existing and new subscribers, is indicative of the sheer perversity of telecoms and ICT development in Sri Lanka.


  5. SLT Should deliver the bandwidth they promise is what I need to highlight. I must say our ADSL speeds are quite pathetic this is something which we really miss once we come from overseas specially from a country like Singapore.

    I was in Singapore for 3 months and we subscribed to MaxOnline 3Mbps connection which costs S$58 (Rs.3600 approx), and must say the bandwidth was excellent as I used to watch so many web casts, videos on demand etc without any issue. There are packages for 10Mbps also, but singaporeans demanding for 100Mbps.

    With SLT ADSL speed is quite pathetic and watching a web cast isnt a possibility without many buffering interruptions. SLT should really think about ensuring a quality bandwidth for true broadband experience. I am not sure how they intend to do IpTv without improving the bandwidth. They need to truly demonstrate as mentioned above the service levels.

    If SLT’s intention is to give 24x7x365 low cost connectivity to remote towns even a low speed ADSL should be fine as there is nothing at the moment, but the cost should be re-done accordingly to match the level of service delivery. Ex: People shouldnt be paying something like 3500/- per month for a pathtic low speed connectivity of 128K (actual) rather should pay something very nominal like Rs.1000/= per month or below.

    I am sure they are rushing for this as they perhaps feel the heat from Dialog Telekom getting ready for broadband revolution. Once DTL and other players launch such services am sure we all can demand for QoS at the right price. I am sure we wouldnt be in a position to demand rather accept whatever QoS they provide till others introduce services and compete with SLT.


  6. Well SLT havent covered moratuwa totally and lot of people are unhappy about it! Plus i think there are heavy bottleneck in net speeds on ADSL..THey should increase their bandwidth to serve the customers well because right now most people aren’t happy

  7. As the country’s leading telecommunication organization, SLT has a social responsibility that goes hand in hand with their corporate objectives. SLT isn’t seeing the bigger picture – which isn’t surprising considering their history – and its sad.

    Isn’t it history repeating itself though? Remember SLT prior to Lanka Bell and Suntel entering the market? When a person applied for a phone connection then, it would take ages for the company to provide the connection. That inefficency disappeared when Lanka Bell and Suntel entered the market. I see SLT suddenly waking up to reality when Dialog enters the consumer broadband market.

    Anyone has any idea on Dialog’s plans? Have they hinted at anything with regard to broadband services?

  8. Today was one frustrating day at work! Our leased line from LankaCom is down and their help lines are also not reachable. Our backup system, SLT’s business package ADSL was dropping the connection and when connected traffic was crawling.

    In frustration I packed my bags and decided to work from home. For some reason, my ADSL experience with SLT has always been more or less positive at home. I live in Colpetty and my Internet was working fine at 3.30pm, these are the logged speeds I got:
    Downstream 64.9 Kbps
    Upstream 104.5 Kbps

    It is no where near 512 Kbps, but way faster than the theoretic 2mbps we are paying for at the office. The wierd thing is that typical ADSL has faster download speeds compared to upload, but with SLT’s ADSL everything is topsy-turvy.

    I hope Mahinda or someone knowledgeable about SLT can explain why they are facing problems meeting their service level commitments. When I had broached this with him once, he explained it was due to the fact that they were losing money with every new ADSL line that was being added. The setup fees and the low monthly subscription fees didn’t cover their costs. There may have been problems raising the fees due to the regulator. It is obvious that SLT has not invested enough in adding ports, increasing the capacity of the pipes, etc that is required to support the number of ADSL connections it has provided. This may change, it better or SLT is gonna lose market share soon!

    Dialog is indeed gearing up for broadband service all over the island, based on the press releases that followed their announcement of investing an additional $450 million in developing their telecom infrastructure. They are going to lay fiber optic based backbone network in Sri Lanka and bypass SLT’s strangle-hold over the last-mile access network using wireless. SLT also has plans to develop Wimax (currently under experiment) into a full-fledged wireless based Internet delivery system.

    There is nothing better than competition to goad operators to improve their offerings and quality of service. As the economic literature documents for a number of different industries, the threat of entry from a competitor may be enough to get the incumbent into action. So improvements in broadband service may happen sooner rather than later.

  9. It makes all sorts of sense for SLTL to try to hold the ADSL customers they now have, given the oncoming fixed-mobile convergence and skype phenomena. If they alienate and lose these segment, there will be a high price to pay.

    Given the low prices they offered at the start, I think their only option is to start selling service level assurance along with the service for higher prices.

    I would mention that If SLTelecom OR any other ADSL provider can supply ADSL line around Kandy area that would be more grateful, cause now days there ‘re many people to use internet services. Then why SLTelecom just wait and see without doing any thing for our country. We all know that SLT service is our national telephone service provider, then please improve your services to Sri Lankan people, it will help to develop Sri Lanka IT knowledge, technology and also will be increase numbers of internet business in all religion. Then Telecom also increase there income from ADSL line as well.
    If then I will really proud about Sri Lanka telecom.

  11. Hush !! I’m sick of SLT. You guys talk about the slow connectivity, but I’m still looking for their ADSL penetration to reach Kottawa area. It’s sick.It’s been years now since it’s launch, but never seem to grow neither in expansion nor in quality or affordability for a domestic customer. I’m sure Dialog will play a good role here as mobile giants in Sri Lanka and hope they’ll soon launch their wimax services for a very affordable price than SLT. Afterall, we can never expect when SLT will launch their services. When everytime I go and inquire about the progress they just tell that it’ll be available in two months and nevr they’ve achieve their targets. I’m really nad about SLT and its services.. JUST SUCKS..

  12. i am from kandy, and i went to slt teleshop to get adsl connection. and they said that for my number they carn’t give adsl and i should change my phone number to get adsl.. so i agreed for that also.. and i waited more than 45 days.. after that they told me they cannot give adsl for my number.. because of my phone line is not copper.. i don’t No why…

    this is very bad.. i am near to kandy city and arrount 3Km from kandy city..

  13. forget abt all the other probs with slt

    im tell in you now that it sucks big time
    you can gimmi 1000 different things but SLT sucks

  14. I understand that SLT has been waiting for months to offer a whole new package for ADSL services but TRC has been sitting on it for no apparent reason. The new offerings will actually up the speeds, lower the prices for the basic package and offer a more realistic match between advertised performance and what customers experience.

    Initially, SLT had approx 270 subscribers sharing a Digital Subscriber Line Access Multiplexer (DSLAM), which is a device that aggregates the traffic from multiple customers and sends it on a high-capacity pipe. Currently, I was made to understand that the ratio is 40 subscribers to one DSLAM, so customers should see an improvement in the quality of service. Speeds may vary quite a bit from locality to locality based on how many of your neighbors in your locality use ADSL lines. The more the number, the slower your broadband experience. Also further one is from the central office slower is the speed…

    I hope TRC gets its act together and starts pushing the files a little faster…

  15. Seems like this news report – http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?newsID=470128768&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=5 – suggest that Dialog has begun WiMax trials in Sri Lanka. “Broadband” however is a catch all phrase, and as this post and subsequent comments highlight, there is a huge divide between the published data rates and the actual quality of service when online using WiMax.

    Wonder if any early adopters had any feedback on Dialog’s Wimax?

    Having connected up thru SLT ADSL at home 3 weeks ago, I’m still extremely curious as to how SLT intends to roll out their multimedia services such as IP-TV over a connection that only averages around 20kbp/s. Slowband services anyone?

  16. With WiMAX it is possible to reach as high speeds as 10Mbps. WiMAX optimizes the resources of the ISP and comperatively lesser investment than wired networks. So Dialog can offer better charges and there will be a competition in the broadband market. That would end up with giving more benifits to the customers.


  17. please reply to under mention headline to full story in to
    the electronic methode

    * ADSL Conection
    * Type of satellite and satellite obits
    * fiber optical transmission system in srilankan

  18. Thanks god ADSL has finaly arived Gampola ,most waited. now all the dust has settled but having a problem its disconeting and reconecting a1000s times a day, fustration any one come across similer problem???

  19. same experiance to me ADSL at kadawatha.it is not stable conecting and disconecting many times per day

  20. ruwani jayawardana

    when is it going to cover 7km from kandy…..plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz make it fast we really need this connection,…..

  21. Sri Lankas No One java Developer

    Sri Lanka Telecom

    ADSL Home Express

    512 kbps (Down)
    128 kbps (Up)
    Dynamic IP only LKR 6,750 ( 67 US $) per month

    ADSL Office Express

    2048 kbps (Down)
    512 kbps (Up)
    Dynamic IP only LKR 2,250 (22US$) per month

    Normally between 12.00 – 4.30 pm and 7.00 to 10.30 pm down speed some times goes to 0 Kbs

    but in USA and EU 2mb down stream line would cost around 9$ per month

    SLT prices are too expensive for a 3rd world country like Sri Lanka

  22. Especially when the quality is so poor. At least for the office package, SLTL should include a service level agreement and provide a helpdesk.

  23. I think previous poster got the prices of Home and Office package switched.

  24. If you live in Nugegoda area or Haveloc Town and using PPPoA, (If your ADSL connection is older than 2 years) experiencing frequent disconnection problems, (Not the ADSL sync) change your Encapsulation Mode to PPPoE LLCSNAP. They (SLT) have changed the system without even informing their customers.

    sanath siriwardena

  25. sanath siriwardena

    Hi Friends,

    Like everyone else out there, I’m also struggling with ADSL service since 2003. We even made a complaint to the TRCSL in early May 2003, went through couple of inquire but the whole process suddenly stopped by the newly appointed Director Genaral last year. But we as a group still continuing our efforts with TRC & SLT.

    Personally, I met all SLT engineers, all SLT top bars even we did couple of ADSL data transfer tests ( Twice we did this at TRCSL with the recreance of SLT engineers) last year at TRCSL. In August 2005, upon my complaint, Mr.Priyanka Undugodage Head of ADSL unit (Person responsible for ADSL service) and CMO (Chief Marketing Officer ) were all invited for an inquiry. (I have the recorded voice cut minutes of the inquiry) lasted for two hours and at the end we all (Consumer,SLT and TRCSL) agreed on two things.

    1. To do ADSL speed test to discover the speeds during day time
    2. If the speeds are found to be poor and slow, SLT agreed to make upward adjustments upon receiving a benchmark from TRCSL

    Here, clearly SLT stated, (CMO) that they are ready to improve the speeds ( We are up to average of 150kbps at day time, but now we are expecting 200kbps ) if TRCSL instruct them to do so. What they meant was kind of a benchmark to provide ADSL.

    So we did three tests. SLT participated in two. Other we did at three different locations. TRCSL, my place and Maradana. Started at 10am and went up to 4pm. Each location were monitored by two officers from TRCSL. As usual, we have ended up with poor speeds around 30-60kbps during this period.

    This was a very basic test and for the test, we have selected speed test servers form all around the word from Asia,Europe to USA.

    In 2004,SLT conducted another test for 48 hours ( Only SLT and myself ) and for the local test, SLT hosted 4MB file at their server.

    Now, we have provided all the required data to TRCSL looking for a justice. Even TRCSL have all the records about poor ADSL speeds. But mysteriously, TRCSL is holding up the decision.

    So stop going after SLT. TRCSL has the power to change everything but, they are not up to that.

    THIS IS THE REASON WHY YOU SUFFER. it is not only SLT. TRCSL is responsible for regulatory matters. But they are not regulating the sector properly.

    Ok I will give you some kind of introduction to the real problem technically.

    SLT started ADSL in 2002 as a pilot project and in 2003, they started to cater commercial customers also. At the beginning international bandwidth consisted of 2 DS3 each with 45Mbps and in 2004, upgraded to 2 STM1’s with 155Mbps each. Now they have Gigabit backbone capacity in International backbone in SEA-ME-WE 4 cable. They have massive capacity so, please don’t bother about it.

    How SLT, put you on a slow train?

    There was a bottleneck intentionally created to control the outbound traffic. This is very common among all broadband providers since it’s been a shared network. Bottleneck measured by the component called “Contention Ratio” Lower the contention higher the speed. Simply, its pre allocated amount of bandwidth and the number of users it shares. So it is express like 1:50, 1:30 or even 1:1. 1: 50 means, 1 = bandwidth say, 512kbps, 1Mbps,600Mbps
    50= number of users
    1:1 means, dedicated bandwidth.

    In UK 500kbps is 1:50. In 2003, we found in SLT, this was 1:120. TRCSL granted this ratio in 2003. (No idea how)
    Now you see SLT is still using high contention ratio to control it’s ADSL traffic.

    In previous ADSL architecture (PPPoA) packet losses where (Bottleneck) detected at the BRAS (Broadband remote access server with the IP Users with PPPoA still can check this by running a PING program with multiple ping capacity.

    In recently introduced ADSL package, SLT BB, it has a lower contention (According to SLT it is 1:10) ratio and you’ll get around 350 to 400kbps during the day time but it has a download cap of 1GB.
    Previously, SLT requested permission from the TRCSL to introduce 500MB for 1000 rupees. At this instance we have submitted a petition to the TRCSL in last May and instead of 500MB, TRCSL granted SLT with 1GB limit. Still it’s high in price.

    Why don’t they provide broadband speeds?

    1. Lack of strategy. They are scared of losing corporate customers if they provide above 100kbps 24×7 in ADSL (Customer migration)
    2. Within SLT, engineers and management has different policies about broadband
    3. Personal agendas rather than common policies within SLT.
    4. Monopoly privileges
    5. Lack of consumer awareness let SLT to provide poor service
    6. Lack of regulatory pressure and guidance
    7. Absence of national broadband policy
    8. Large profit margins ( Less bandwidth, more customers )
    9. Inefficiency at the TRCSL

    AT one point, some of SLT engineers, (Who hates my name) says, I’m the only one ADSL customer to complaint about poor speeds. They say, most of customers are satisfied and they are not hearing anything from them. Even Mr.Priyanka Undugodage, head of ADSL says all ADSL customers are satisfied with 30-60kbps speeds. (I don’t know how. But he is arguing about customer base and no.of connections sold)

    Who can solve this?
    TRCSL – Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka

    What can we do about this

    Forward your complaints to the TRCSL (By e mail or post)
    Educate your friends to do so

    You can forward your complaints to-

    Director General of TRCSL, dgtsl@trc.gov.lk

    Mr.Priyanka Undugodage Head fo ADSL priya@slt.lk

    Thank you,

    Sanath Siriwardena

  26. I read with interest all the 26 articles appearing on http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/05/100000-adsl-connections-how-about-speed/100,000 “ADSL connections? How about speed?”.

    Fifty years have not elapsed when in Sri Lanka, a humble woman complained to the IGP about the disappearance of her son resulting in the conviction of murder and the subsequent execution of the death sentence of an influential personality. “Kalaththawa Murder” would ring a bell to those of an older generation. Today, if the same thing happened I bet my bottom dollar that the humble woman too would have disappeared. Such is the level of corruption in the Administration in the country.

    We are dealing this problem of poor quality ADSL in such an environment. I as an ex-Sri Lankan in US is not amused at the brazen attitude of Sri Lankans themselves in not giving value for money. It all started, long before the sophistry of modern Telecoms when boutique keepers used sell items at short weight. The contagion has spread even to the corporate world of Sri Lanka of which Sri Lanka Telecom is the leader under the Japanese Management. The expected ineffectiveness of the regulator can only lead to the surmise that its staff, top to bottom is in the payroll of Sri Lanka Telecom.

    In the circumstances I can only pray for the well being of my former nationals:

    May the almighty look kindly at our Sri Lankan Brethren to be honest amongst themsleves in trading!

    May the Lord intervene for proper regulation of industry, enforcement of value for money and standards of the industry and create healthy competition resulting in the vanquishing of monopolies and oligopolies!

    May the Lord have mercy on the souls of not only those who perpetrate suffering in Sri Lanka but even those who exploit this suffering to their advantage!


  27. Donald Gaminitillake

    I was told two days ago that there is a case against ICTA re broadband.
    I am not aware of much details but the case is pending
    This case had prevented development for 3 years

    Donald Gaminitillake

  28. Mary Ann Abeygunawardana

    Jesus! Samarajiva talks about a service level agreement only to the office package! Boy! It is a total rip off!

    I wonder whether Samarajiva has ever been to the US lately as I have been. The SLT office package costs Rs 6750 a month, (approx USD 63 per month). My son gets the same 2Mb download from AT & T yahoo for USD 19.99 a month. In addition he got all the accessories, splitters, filters, modems for the package. The monopolist SLT does not provide them, you have to separately buy them. As far as the Internet speed and the continuity of service, I was in the seventh heaven in US when compared to the service dished out by SLT.

    Everybody should bear in mind that whenever a service is offered to the public, there is an implied service level agreement. In this instance, SLT must provide the promised speed of access at all times. If not the regulator, the TRC must intervene and see to that it is done. We need not go through the mumble jumble of technological jargon, but get the job done. If the TRC is dragging its feet, as alleged in the previous articles, then it is time that we should have an NGO as a watch-dog of TRC to take it to court.

    I thank Samarajiva for initiating this discussion thus permitting many to express views. But at the same time I wish that he did not appear as a promoter of SLT’s products.

  29. Donald Gaminitillake

    Ann unlike in US in Sri Lanka we do have consumer protection laws but cannot be implemented because of the process involved.

    We need new blood into the system to implement

    Donald Gaminitillake

  30. Mary Ann Abeygunawardana

    Donald, Sri Lanka too has a consumer protection law. I did a little bit of inquiries and found that when the Consumer Protection Authority tried to intervene with SLT, the SLT went to Court and obtained an order that Consumer Protection Authority cannot exercise its jurisdiction over the SLT as the TRC, the regulator, exists. In fact I am told that the Consumer Protection Authority took decisions in favour of the consumer unlike the TRC taking the side of service providers. I would not go to the extent of bringing in, the thought that TRC staff is in the payroll of service providers. But since the courts have ruled that TRC is the appropriate protector of Telecom consumers, it is high time that the TRC and its big wigs be taken to task. As far as Sri Lanka is concerned it has the same blood, whoever it is, for the few in power to exploit the nation.

  31. Appreciate the kind comment and the criticism from MAA.

    I agree that everyone getting service level agreements is the ideal case. But alas, we do not live in an ideal world; isn’t getting something in place for the office package at least a way of getting a foot in the door? Then we can go the next step.

    Sanath’s e-mail shows how much time and effort he has put into this problem, with little to no results. My organization is fully stretched and in case rarely intervenes in LK policy matters; and never in a formal activist role. We created the platform for people to figure out there is a serious problem and identify what needs to be done. What remains is doing it.

    I would caution against excessive reliance on the CA. Why not a Writ of Mandamus on the TRC? The courts seems to be in an activist mood these days. If someone takes the lead, count me in as a simple customer to contribute to the legal fees.

  32. Mary Ann Abeygunawardana

    I took time to think of what Samarajiva said. If the idea of a foot hold so to say is thought of then there should be at least service level statements issued by the service provider, at least for all ADSL packages. Currently there is none and therefore the service provider binds himself to provide the promised speed 24 hours of the day, seven days a week. Either in the form of a statement or an agreement they could go lower than that perhaps lower than any internationally accepted practise.

    I wish to repeat my thanks to Samarajiva making this forum to express our views. I do not expect him or his organisation to do more. But judging from Sanath’s effort I think an NGO should be specially formed to watch the activities of the TRC, particularly in view of the utter inactivity leaving a many to suspect that its staff are in the pay roll of service providers.

    I agree with Samarajiva that we should not rely excessively on CA or TRC or any body. The point I made was in reply to Donald that there enough of laws with respect to consumer protection in Sri Lanka as well. If and when an NGO is formed specially to watch TRC activity then it can take TRC to Court. I am sure none of us have that kind of money to retain expensive lawyers who charge Rs 100,000/= at the first consultation itself.

  33. Shinya Matsumoto

    I am an economist in Kamogawa City, Japan. I was in Sri Lanka as a child when my late father was on an assignment in your beautiful country and loving people. I have many Sri Lankan friends and my contacts with them especially has to be only by mail and e-mail. They say Internet Services are not worth it in Sri Lanka and this stops me from chatting and talking to my good friends in Sri Lanka over the Internet using Messenger Services Skype etc.

    We in Japan think of high speed connections. In Sri Lanka it seems the people and the Government is made to think by Sri Lanka telecom and the Regulator that 64KB per sec and 2 MB per sec are the highest speeds available. In Japan we have 50 Mb per second download only for 4000 Yen (almost Rs 3600). Sri Lanka you have to pay Rs 6750 only for 2Mb connection. and Rs 2700 for 64 KB. Some of my friends in Sri Lanka have the lower speeds and they complain of unsatisfactory service. Several of my important documents passed on line to them have stopped mid way as the connection got dropped. Sad to say you pay more money for poor quality.

    My friends told me to write to your blog giving my ideas. As an economist, I believe there should be competition. It is competition that brought in a price war in Japan to reduce prices. My idea is that many providers should be allowed to share the local telephone line of Sri Lanka Telecom to give ADSL services. I was in USA and the situation there is also somewhat like Japan but very much better than Sri Lanka.

    In Japan the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to regulate the service and in US we have the FCC. In Sri Lanka what is the regulator, that is the TRC doing? Sleeping? Drugged? Why allow SLT to be monopoly? Then SLT behaves like a dictator

    Great Economist Adam Smith said that in every country it is always and must be in the interest of the great body of people to buy whatever they want of those who set it cheapest. Looks as if the Regulator and the Service Providers in Sri Lanka are getting together to do exactly the Opposite.

    So, to find out things, I contacted friend of mine an International Telecommunication Specialist who gave me a report prepared by Consultants. Details are –

    (a) Name of Consulting Company: Arculli and Associates

    (b) Purpose of Consultancy: To provide assistance for inter-connection and International Gateway licensing.

    (c) Recommendation: Not to have competition in providing ADSL services, meaning that SLT need not share telephone line to other service providers to provide ADSL services.[Recommendation R23]. The main body of the report describes about the Internet services in Sri Lanka, the interconnection and great description of the dial up internet access service. It does not give a reason to recommendation 23 and no reference to ADSL at all.

    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. Consultant was paid USD 400,000 to say this.

    The consultant was engaged by Government Agency called Private Interest Program Unit (PIPU). Sri Lanka people must ask Government why form unit for private interest? A unit should have been formed to look after the public interest.

    Because of no competition policy in ADSL services of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka Telecom is treating its customers badly. My friends tell me not only the prices are high the quality is also very poor and Sri Lanka Telecom is not giving even the basic accessories free of charge. Many service providers all over the world give free mail accounts, free modems free filters for the price of DSL/ADSL connection. That is because of competition. Considering all matters economically and financially Sri Lanka people pay effectively about 20 times more say to that of Japan people for DSL/ADSL internet services.

    After talking to my friends and reading ideas written in the blog I think because of the monopoly situation SLT does not care to provide good service. When too many people complain of SLT service, they put a new package every time approved by the regulator not caring to improve quality of existing package. Last example is called “volume base broadband internet service. My specialist friend tells me that because of low quality service more unnecessary data is sent up and down when accessing Internet. These add to the volume of actual information got by the user. This meaning the user of the new package will have to pay for even for the unnecessary of data passed due to the current poor quality service increasing his bill. This is cheating.

    When service providers of other countries give modems and other accessories free of charge Sri Lanka people pay for the modem a very high charge. My specialist friend says that SLT field staff encourage buying one type of modem which is got down to Sri Lanka by one seller only. Commission is paid to many people including staff in regulator. This is also cheating.

    Good and cheap broadband internet services mean my friend says more use “real time services”, like chat and calls This can reduce the price of International Calls. The Arculli Report was implemented mainly to provide more International Gateways for voice services. All about 35Gateway licensees who were not earlier Telecom operators cannot operate due to interconnection difficulties. If ADSL was liberalized then the price of ADSL comes down and my friend says with increase of real-time services, the price of International Calls also will come down. It is obvious that the Private Interest Program Unit wanted to help monopoly status of SLT in ADSL and to have little competition in international call services of Sri Lanka. That meaning while trying to show to the people that there was liberalization in providing international voice service the opening the service for competition was only an eyewash.

    Private Interest Program Unit my friend says was funded by World Bank. Wolfowitz as president of World Bank had to resign for favoring his girl friend. But the Sri Lanka people working in PIPU who got big money like USD 300,000 a year in the unit have damaged Sri Lanka Telecommunication Economics. In this situation I think Wolfowitz would have successfully worked in the unit than in World Bank without getting caught. When thinking of this unit the name Ferdinand Waldo Demara, the big deceiver, comes to my mind. I thinks that even Demara would have preferred to work in the unit because he finally get caught

    I must thank Samarajiva San for creating forum for us to give ideas. Sri Lanka people need some action group to see that the Telecommunication Industry is properly regulated to benefit the consumer as well as the business. Not Business alone in a bad way without good competition.

    I am copying this to the TRC so that they will know that the poor quality of ADSL is even an International Issue. To help Sri Lanka people and this blog I will publish this in other blogs as well with TRC reply.

    Shinya Matsumoto
    Kamogawa City

  34. Working primarily from home, I recently upgraded to the Office Express ADSL package from SLT. The upgrade itself was a fiasco – requiring no less than 15 calls over 5 days to SLT to ascertain what was going on and no less than 5 sets of numbers spread across various offices (from their call centre operations, to their central ADSL section, to the Nugegoda SLT teleshop to another number that was connected directly to the Nugegoda ADSL division). For a company that is in the business of communication, not a single employee or division within it seems to know what the other is doing.

    What is more disturbing is that I now pay over 4,000 rupees more than what I did earlier for a quality of service that during the day and well into the evening is WORSE than what I had under the Home Express package. The latency and download rates are so bad that I lodged a complaint with SLT to come take a look at the service themselves, since those who service the help desks seem unwilling or unable to realise just how bad their ADSL connectivity is.

    It seems that the TRC is listening – today’s Daily Mirror (6th July) has a small news report in the FT that SLT has been ordered to halt all new ADSL connections and improve the bandwidth. Apparently, their new 1,000 rupee entry level ADSL package is clogging up the network! I know not how effective the TRC is in pushing SLT to improve their services, but am cautiously optimistic that this action will result in access to the interweb at speeds faster than what I have to suffer through at present.

    Re “broadband” though, I’ve found Dialog’s 3G connectivity to be comparable to the speeds I get on SLT ADSL in Colombo, when I connect through my Nokia E65.


    Sanjana Hattotuwa

  35. Thanks Samarajiva for initiating this Blog.

    In You posting # 32 , you put forward a very good point, how to go forward. we need actions rather talking.
    I am also willing to contribute financially, for a legal action If somebody in sri lanka can put it together.
    I am not living in sri lanka.

    See also this link…TRC stop SLT’s expanding.


  36. Dear Mr Samarjiva

    I was awaiting to get your feed back to my previous posting( posting# 36) of. Jul 7th, 2007 at 12:05 am offering my help to you . I am, quite keen to provide funds to help you to follow up your worthy cause to solve this deplorable malaise of the SLT ADSL monopoly service which is reported far more vividly in this blog ( at http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/05/100000-adsl-connections-how-about-speed/)

    Hence please let me know the following

    (a)whether the DGT has replied to the Shinya Matsumoto’s Blog posting ( #34) of Jul 2nd,

    (b)Your plan of action and time frame/ targets to solve the very costly and very poor quality SLT ADSL monopoly service

    (c) The identity of the great Impostor Ferdinand Waldo Demara of Sri Lanka referred to in the mail of Shinya Matsumoto. It seems that he is an official of the Regulator ?

    (d)If not where is Ferdinand Waldo Demara of Sri Lanka and what is he doing now.

    I am also copying this Blog to the Regulator, the DGT Mr K Ratwatta requesting him to convene a public hearing without delay to address the issue I am also seeking confirmation from him whether he has issued directive to suspend new ADSL connections pending improvement of ADSL service offered by the SLT

  37. Combined response to Mr Damith and Matsumoto San,

    D: I think I made it quite clear that this organization does not generally intervene in policy matters on an ad hoc basis. We have a full research and capacity building program, a small staff and no slack. I did not volunteer to coordinate any plan of action in this area; all I did was to say that if anyone was launching a Mandamus writ, I would be willing to donate some money in a purely personal capacity as an aggrieved customer (comment 32 above).

    M: I am highly impressed that a Japanese economist would spend so much time on preparing a detailed comment on a telecom policy issue in a far away country (I live here, but I barely have the time to follow all the ins and outs of Sri Lankan telecom developments, given my commitments in the region). I assume there is no connection between your deep interest in Sri Lankan telecom policy matters and the fact that the sole supplier of ADSL in this country is owned 35 % by NTT, the Japanese incumbent.

    Given the depth of your studies, I am surprised that you do not know that the objective of the 2002-03 reforms was the liberalization of the international gateway, not local loop unbundling. I am also surprised that you expect a country like Sri Lanka, where governments change every few years (the government that undertook the gateway liberalization fell before it completed the reform) and where the regulatory agency is working with an obsolete law from 1991, to implement LLU, when no country in the region has yet to do so. Even the US and Europe have had mixed success with LLU (de Bijl and Pietz, 2005; FCC, 2005). Even a more prosperous country with a much better overall governance structure, New Zealand, has just got around to local loop unbundling (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/3/story.cfm?c_id=3&ObjectID=10415202).

    In any case, it is unreasonable to expect a policy reform intended to achieve one objective to achieve something else. As the person responsible for managing the Arculli Associates consultancy (among others) for the Ministry for Economic Reform, Science and Technology, I am willing to be held accountable for the results of my work, though of course, the overall decision for the reform was taken by the then government. Therefore, the credit must go to Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe, the then Prime Minister, Mr Milinda Moragoda, the then Minister for Economic Reform, S&T and Mr Imtiaz Bakeer Markar, the then Minister in charge of telecom.

    What were the objectives the government wished to achieve?
    • It wanted to eliminate the pall that had been cast on the sector by the ambiguous exclusivity claimed by Sri Lanka Telecom over international telephonic services, based on the Shareholders’ Agreement of 1997, and improve the investment climate. This was achieved, resulting in massive growth: Since the liberalization, “Fixed lines have increased by 60% to 1.6 million and mobile lines have increased by more than 400% from 1.1 to 4.5 million lines” (GSMA, 2007: page 13). I will concede that several other factors such as the freeing up of GSM 1800 and CDMA 800 frequency bands and the opening of the markets in the North and the East contributed to this. The Public Interest Program Unit that I headed played a crucial role in the refarming of the GSM and 1800 and CDMA 800 frequencies (though the latter was completed after PIPU was disbanded).
    • It wanted to ensure that the benefits of growth would flow to the rural areas of Sri Lanka. This was achieved (http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/07/lanka-business-online-lbo/) despite the fact that the universal service funds generated by the reform were not disbursed until 2007 (http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?newsID=2121694094&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=5). With the subsidies finally beginning to flow (the first tranche was reported to be LKR 7 billion), things can only improve.
    • It wanted to remove the blocks that had prevented Sri Lanka from getting Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business despite similarities between the HR profiles of South India and Sri Lanka. That has been achieved (http://www.lirneasia.net/2006/09/baseline-sector-analysis-of-the-bpo-industry-in-sri-lanka/), though growth has, understandably been affected by the security situation.
    • It was interested in lowering international call rates. That has come down by at least 42% (based on posted prices; though actual reductions within packages may be greater) (GSMA, 2007, p. 3).
    • It wanted to improve the call completion rates and call-quality of incoming international calls that had plummeted because of massive bypass. There is no definitive evidence on this, but it is clear that problem still remains. The cause is the persistence of a degree of illegal bypass, driven by the high government levy and weak (to non-) enforcement of interconnection rules, gazetted in March 2003.

    The Public Interest Program Unit of the Ministry for Economic Reform, Science and Technology that existed from mid 2002 to mid 2004 served the Government and the people of Sri Lanka well. The 2002-03 reforms including the international gateway liberalization and the frequency refarming discussed above would have benefited the economy in multiples of the amounts paid to me and my colleagues and to the consultants we managed. PIPU did lot more than telecom, as evidenced by the Report that is available at http://www.lirneasia.net/2004/10/pipu-progress-report-2002-04/.

    Please note that my contract was approved by Cabinet and the ceiling amount for my compensation over a two year period is in a public document (www.worldbank.lk/projects/templates/JspToExcel.jsp?category=projects&projectid=P077586&theSitePK=… – ). For any day that I did not work on the project a sum of USD 600 was deducted, which resulted in considerably lower payments than stipulated. The real question is not what I was paid, but what the results were.

    I conclude by referring to the GSMA study on international gateway liberalization, which included Sri Lanka’s gateway reforms that were driven by the Wickremesinghe Government of 2001-04, and supported by the work of Arculli Associates as well as the Public Interest Program Unit of the Ministry for Economic Reform, Science and Technology. The GSMA study concludes that:
    “Based on the range of experiences drawn from the case study countries, the following key findings were made:
    1. Liberalisation delivers substantial economic benefits to a nation.
    _ Sector revenues as a percentage of GDP are much higher for nations that have liberalised.
    _ A 1% improvement of telecommunication sector performance can increase the ratio of manufactured exports to GDP by 0. 37% and increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) by 0.75 %.
    _ Call prices can fall by up to 90% following liberalisation and call volumes can double.
    Conversely, ongoing IGW monopoly provision holds markets back:
    _ In Bangladesh, telecoms investment as a percentage of GDP, is 70% lower and call prices are 2 to 3 times higher than the average.” (GSMA, 2007, p. 3)


    De Bijl, P.W.J. and Pietz, M. (2005). Local loop unbundling in Europe: Experience, prospects and challenges. Communication & Strategies, 57: p. 33-
    FCC (2005, February 4). Order on Unbundled Access to Network Elements (Triennial Review Remand), 04-290, http://hdl.handle.net/2068/590
    GSM Association (2007). Gateway liberalisation: Stimulating economic growth (executive summary). http://www.gsmworld.com/documents/public_policy/pp/gateway_liberalisation.pdf

  38. sanath siriwardena

    SLT ADSL and Bandwidth TRCSL

    It is surprised to hear the authority TRCSL, suddenly take this bandwidth issue as something new after five years. This outdated story was there since the begging of SLT ADSL service in May 2003. We can prove this with the letter received us by the post in 2004, just after my first news paper article on Sunday Observer in 2003 regarding poor service of ADSL.



    SLT letter we have received in 2004, promising us about the improvements in service after backbone expansion. After three (3) years TRCSL wanted us to believe the same old story played by our ADSL provider.


    Compared to ADSL customer base, now they have massive International backbone bandwidth consisting number of OC 3’s & OC12 with capacity of 622 Mbps in both SEA-ME-WE 3 & 4. They never let Home express to reach the level above 100kbps (Approx) to the Internet between 9 AM and 8PM. As far as I know, this problem is unique to Home express and Office express package only. This is mainly, because these two packages are throttled and given low priority class of service at SLT routers. (IP range 124.43.198- and above.)
    Definitely, there is a massive congestion at local access pint where all Home & Office express customers comes to gather just before they entering gateway routers. This is the point where SLT apply contention to ADSL traffic before handing over to SLTNET for transport. Usually, unlimited ADSL services are having the lowest priority among all SLT Internet traffic services. If there is any International bandwidth issue pops up, we are the first to suffer.
    Now we have no idea what was the benchmark TRCSL used to categorize ADSL is poor these days. Also what is the benchmark going to use to say ADSL is good once they have upgraded the International circuits in the future? Or else are they going to except SLT’s comments as usual? Are there any minimum data transfer rate published? At least maximum permissible packet loss rate described?
    I personally know that SLT wanted to create more congestion on Home & office packages in the future expecting migration to BB entry package with very low volume capacity compared with unlimited services. This is their pure strategy. Rather than implementing p2p controllers (DPI –deep packet inspection) what they wanted to do is to control the bandwidth usage by introducing volume based packages with extra ordinary download speeds. With this strategy they expect mass level of migration to BB entry from unlimited packages. This trend can create negative demand on international bandwidth requirements and we know this is very pleasing situation for SLT.
    Now we see, TRCSL is trying to handle the issue in unprofessional way without any proper understanding about the real problem. (No officer is there to handle this type of technical issues)
    Knowing the fats, SLT dragging the issue as long as they can, while charging from poor subscribers in the country for a service that is not worth for what they pay for.
    Finally, poor quality ADSL (Home& office) has no direct relationship to the International bandwidth issue. It is always there since 2003.

    Sanath siriwardena July 2007 sladsl@hotmail.com

    This was published on Sunday observer in 2004. Even after three years, it is very funny that TRCSL is still addressing the same problem. All staff at TRCSL is responsible for not addressing a national issue with high importance to its economy.

    SLT Internet and false promises

    All SLT Internet users, especially broadband and ADSL users are in a disparate situation because, since last January SLT Internet became unreliable due to its low speed and poor quality in service (High rate of net congestion).
    The situation is getting worse, when new users are coming on line every day with broadband connections. Present situation was predicted by me and drew the attention of Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) in last October. Collapse of SLT Internet system mainly caused by the impact of ADSL users recently come on line, was under estimated by the relevant officials at Sri Lanka Telecom Limited.Today the speed in ADSL lines has been dropped to the level of dial-up Internet speed and anyone hardly sees the difference. Surprisingly ADSL users starts to celebrate when SLT break out the news with a letter forwarded to all ADSL customers on 16th March, 2004 saying that they are in process of upgrading its Internet backbone.
    And SLT quoted in the letter by the end of April expansion will be completed and users will get far superior speed in their Internet connections. This was another false promise and Internet become even worse and still SLT were unable to keep up their promise. In early May I have contacted officials at SLT and inquire about the delay in expansion they promised.
    They have given me the reason for the delay was at the submarine cable and it’s beyond SLT’s direct control. As far as I know, UUNET is a Tier-1 Internet backbone provider in the world and its network extending to OC-192 (10 Gbps) rings connecting major cities around the globe. Here I personally not agreed that UUNET or any other SEA-ME-WE-3 cable landing point simply having any difficulty in configuring or commissioning of OC-3 for the last 30 days.
    This was not technically sound reason for the delay to be given to the subscribers by Sri Lanka Telecom Limited. I believe if any unexpected technical problem arises, SLT should fill up their tanks before its get emptied. Running until the resources to be over was not a good decision taken by the superiors at SLT. Here we can clearly see the lack of strategy implementation and how it affected all SLT ADSL Internet users in the country. Apart from it, by sending such letter to its customers, SLT convincing that their ADSL service today facing problems directly attributed to the speed.
    At this particular situation I think SLT has to be more customer conscious and I would like to propose, SLT to waive the rental during the periods of poor quality Internet service provided to all ADSL subscribers by them. (Since last January) I believe in a process like this TRCSL should come forward and protect telecommunication subscribers in the country at first place.
    This kind of consumer right violations should be stopped and I believe its TRCSL sole responsibility to evaluate the Quality of Service (QoS) in telecom providers regularly. Further, I will humbly request CEO at SLT to draw more attention on consumer related problems and to maintain the standards of services provided by the company to its customers. I still have no idea how long SLT is planning to hold its ADSL users by giving excuses for the poor quality Internet service that they provide.

    Sanath Siriwardena (SLT ADSL Customer),
    Colombo 5. 2004

  39. sanath siriwardena

    There seems to be a problem with 3rd link SLT letter

    Type http://sladsl.tripod.com/sltletter.gif in your browser.

  40. New ADSL lines suspended

    New ADSL lines suspended

    The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), acting on complaints of poor quality ADSL lines for subscribers, has asked Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to suspend the issuance of fresh ADSL lines until the services are upgraded.

    TRC Director General Kanchana Ratwatte told The Sunday Times FT that the request was made to SLT last week to stop issuing new ADSL lines. “There have not been many complaints but there have been some and on my own, I have taken the initiative and done some testing here,” Ratwatte said. “I agree that the quality has deteriorated drastically over the last month or so.”

    Ratwatte said the entry level package offered by SLT of Rs.1000 for an ADSL line has become increasingly popular.

    “A host of customers have joined the ADSL bandwagon so more customers have been given this service but SLT has not improved the international backbone,” he stated. “It is not an expensive process and SLT has already initiated action and they wanted a fortnight from the first of July.” (NG)

  41. SLT also increases outbound traffic making unreal Hosting Charges at their data center. SLT has lost thousands of individual and corporate customers, and lost government hosting to dialog simply becuase their approch to hosting procing.

    We can get a self served 512MB RAM windows host for USD 69 and Linux for USD 49. SLT rates are 500 USD per month.
    Who does not go US. SLT need to comedown to Sri Lankan rates which can be even cheaper as man power is low cost here.

    I belive its the lack of strategy to capture own market.

  42. editor@sundaytimes.wnl.lk; stnews@sundaytimes.wnl.lk
    Refers report of Sunday Times of 15th June on “New ADSL lines suspended “

    · Copy to DGT TRC email dgtsl@trc.gov.lk
    Refers your queer directive to Suspend ADSL new connections without considering public convenience and the more realistic solution to open up the ADSL market which the public has been agitating for well over two years

    Dear a Mr Samarjiva

    Few days ago while I was taking to a friend of mine about my ADSL problem he said that I should visit your blog It was encouraging to find out from the mails posted on the blog that I am not the only grieved user unhappy with the SLT monopoly service specifically with its very high charges and unendurable poor quality of service
    If in Japan according to your blog a 50 MB ADSL connection could be given at Rs 3600 then 2 MB connection could be easily given around Rs 150 per month So who is the culprit in Sri Lanka did recommend that SLT should have the monopoly to provide ADSL to enable SLT to exploit the innocent public ? This culprit like in Singapore should whipped and if permissible like in the times of Sinhalese Kings publicly
    To make matters more inconvenient to the customers who have been waiting all this while for broad band connectivity it is understood that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), acting on complaints of poor quality ADSL lines from subscribers, very strangely has asked Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT) to suspend the issuance of fresh ADSL lines until the services are upgraded
    This rather queer directive disregarding the convenient of the public was not known until published in the Sunday Times of 15th June It is quite puzzling to note that the TRC has suddenly issued such queer directive without caring for public convenience and without giving notice to the public when there has been much public agitation to open up the market or competition over the last two years
    My friend says that the answers to the puzzle is linked to the talk among most ADSL users that the monopoly privilege given to SLT is preserved and carefully protected by two members of an old boy’s association of a school hailing from Raja Rata one a senior engineer of the SLT ADSL unit and other a senior political appointee in the TRC These two together with some vendors of modems are preventing the local loop being given to other prospective ADSL service providers who could not only offer ADSL service at much lower price but also provide the ADSL modem and mail boxes x free of charge

    It is high time that this time of corrupt practices are investigated by the COPE and the Bribery Commissioner
    and the culprits brought to justice In view of the report published in Sunday Time I am sending this mail to the Sunday time an also the DGT asking why he too issued this queer directive contrail to accepted regulatory norms,

    Samit S

  43. sanath siriwardena

    Dialog Wimax broadband Internet is just around the corner

    More details- http://koolbuddhi.blogspot.com/

  44. I guess we were all elated when SLT announced ADSL (both the 2k package and the 1k package).

    however, they seemed to have underestimated the average usage of bandwidth. I feel they have gone by the dial-up usage and thought, “hmmmm… according to these statistics, we can definitely go ’slightly’ overboard and issue ADSL connections left, right and center” and of course, it must have looked pretty good on their account books!

    so far, my home connection in Malambe is good. but the moment some people sign up, I will be crawling as I do at the office.

    are they trying to promote their leased lines? (its cheaper to put one’s own satellite into orbit, and think of the bandwidth and speed)

    Yesterday’s newspapers carried a large advert by SLT proclaiming that now they have 1.5Gbps backbone. Well… so far i haven’t felt my bits of data traveling any faster than last week!

    anyway, I am just another ticked-off user. Let Dialog introduce their own flavour of ADSL and I might just hop to that. Their current 3G connectivity is waaaaaaaaay too expensive! Even they have to come down to Earth first.

    I sincerely hope that someone with more than two brain-cells (minimum needed to make a connection) from SLT reads this and understand how irate their consumers are. The biggest problem is that they don’t have good competition and they enjoy the monopoly in a kind of a sadistic manner.

  45. Chrisantha de Silva

    Hi everyone, i came across this blog while trying to troubleshoot my new SLT ADSL connection. I know what your thinking, “oh no, another one of them who we have to share our bandwidth with” hehe..Anyway, just wanted to state that though it was quite a tiresome & agitating task getting the line up and kicking, due to errors from both SLT’s and my side, once it was working, I have had absolutely no problem with either service or bandwidth..I have the Rs.2250 package and get over 50KBps downloading rates 24/7. Maybe this has something to do with the fact I live in Wattala and there aren’t many users here. (by many I mean, not a congesting amount:)

    Well, the point of leaving this comment is to add some positive thought amongst most of the negative:) I do agree that the rental is too high for the bandwidth we receive. But for now, I am quite satisfied with the service and agree that i have got what I knew i was paying for.

  46. Copy to Editor Financial Time and DGT TRC This refers to the report of SLT ADSL on 15th June on the Directive of TRC published in the FT

    Dear Blog Master, .lirneasia.

    This is in reference to Mr. Samarajiva’s reply ( blog # 38) to D ( damith ) and M (Shinya Matsumoto) , which I trust is my self and the Japanese Gent

    At no stage did I expect to embarrass the very author of blog but to highlight practical and expeditious solutions to the problem. Reading carefully the comments of the Jap Gent his intentions too happen to be the same to communicate with his friends in Sri Lanka on the Internet.

    What surprises me most through lengthy, self contradictory and judiciously illogical (see appendix for details) statements made in the reply is only an admission that Mr. Samarajiva is the person accountable for engaging the Arculli the consultant and accepting their recommendations that created the ADSL problem to serve the vested interests and not that of the nation and public.

    I would have saluted Mr. Samarajiva had he used his position in the PIPU to moderate the recommendation R23 of Arculli report, not only to deny SLT having the monopoly status in providing ADSL services but follow the Japanese example of denying the owner of the telephone loop to provide ADSL services. This would have undoubtedly helped to liberalized the use of telephone loop to others to provide ADSL services giving the user to get the service not only at low price, get the modem and mail boxes free of charge and to cause a several fold reduction in the International Telephone Call charges. This is the true and genuine liberalization of voice and non-voice services which Samarajiva also endorses in his contradictory statements.
    Now I gather from the Financial Times on the web that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC), contrary to fundamental regulatory norms of protecting public interests and convenience well accepted internationally has issued directive to suspend the provision of fresh ADSL lines until the services are upgraded. This action is no better than a decision of the court of King Kekille. Clearly the problem lies somewhere else and this decision is causing a denial of service to prospective customers. TRC has in issuing the directive conveniently ignored the numerous appeals made to the DGT by the ADSL users to open up the market
    The only logical inference is that the DGT like Mr. Samarajiva is also protecting the vested interests, not that of the nation and the public and pretending to be intellectually myopic.
    Nevertheless my sincere aim in view of the noble goal of your blog as expressed in your responses to the opinion subscribed by the grieved ADSL users was and still is to help your efforts. Hence I have for your benefit appended some of your self contradictory and judiciously illogical comments In this context it would be most helpful for my legal experts to examine the regulatory action taken by the TRC if you could provide the following information to show to the public as you say “ The real question is not what I was paid, but what the results were,.” the good work you have carried out under the PIPU
    (a) Arculli’s interim and final reports
    (b) List of all the consultancies engaged by the PPIU ,
    (c) the fees paid for each consultancy,
    (d) the recommendations of each consultancy and supported ;
    (e) its monitored impact on the sector
    (f) The salary drawn by the head of the PIPU and expenses of the PIPU during its tenure of operations

    Yours truly



    Examples of self contradictory and judiciously illogical Mr. Samarajiva’s (Sarajvs’s) Comments
    1. In Sarajvs’s comments to M regarding his US$ 300,000 per annum salary says
    “Please note that my contract was approved by Cabinet For any day that I did not work on the project a sum of USD 600 was deducted, which resulted in considerably lower payments than stipulated. The real question is not what I was paid, but what the results were.”
    It is evident from Sarajvs’ comment that event if he availed of leave for entire working days of the year he would get a salary of US$ 156,000 per annum i.e US$ 13000 per month. This gratis salary of US$ 13,000 per month i.e. the “Ping Padiya” paid if he did not work on any working day of the year. Sarajvs says, resulted in considerably lower payments. For this he holds the cabinet accountable
    2. In Sarajvs’s comments to M Sarajvs say
    “ Given the depth of your studies, I am surprised that you (M) do not know that the objective of the 2002-03 reforms was the liberalization of the international gateway, not local loop unbundling”
    2.1. This is what M precisely is pointing out to Sarajvs. M says in his comments
    “The job of the consultants is one thing, that is regarding interconnection and opening of International Services but they recommend something outside and against international practice also” .
    2.2. Any person with minimal commonsense see that view Sarajvs is identical to M’s But Sarajvs think otherwise

    3. In Sarajvs’s comments Sarajvs says
    “I am highly impressed that a Japanese economist would spend so much time on preparing a detailed comment on a telecom policy”
    4. On the contrary M is not referring to policy M is keen to solve the problem to communicate with his Sri Lankan friend in Sri Lanka In this regard it evident from Sarajvs) reply
    “that this organization not generally intervene in policy matters on an ad hoc basis. We have a full research and capacity building program, a small staff and no slack. I did not volunteer to coordinate any plan of action in this area”
    that Sarajvs is not endeavoring to explore practical options solve the problem expeditiously but rather to market Sarajvs’s resources on his favorite topic “policy” referred to in many instances in his comments

    4.1. In this respect M points out that
    “ All about 35Gateway licensees who were not earlier Telecom operators cannot operate due to interconnection difficulties. If ADSL was liberalized then the price of ADSL comes down and my friend says with increase of real-time services, the price of International Calls also will come down. It is obvious that the Private Interest Program Unit wanted to help monopoly status of SLT in ADSL and to have little competition in international call services of Sri Lanka”
    Sarajvs refrain form commenting on the failure of the 35 new licensees mentioned in M.s comments but says that “
    I am also surprised that you expect a country like Sri Lanka, where governments change every few years (the government that undertook the gateway liberalization fell before it completed the reform) and where the regulatory agency is working with an obsolete law from 1991, to implement LLU, when…
    But Sarajvs do not provide the interconnection requirements stipulated in the license prepared by the Arculli
    5. In Sarajvs’s comments to M Sarajvs says
    “As the person responsible for managing the Arculli Associates consultancy (among others) for the Ministry…. I am willing to be held accountable for the results of my work, though of course, the overall decision for the reform was taken by the then government.”
    5.1. Once again as in the case of his exorbitantly opulent salary he put the blame on the Government for accepting his misleading Recommendation R23 of the Arculli report that gave the SLT the Monopoly to operate ADSL service at exorbitant price The only logical reason is that the SLT is compelled to raise the ASDSL exorbitantly is to recover the money paid for Arculli’s and PIPU’s recommendation

  47. Mr. Samarajiva.

    I decided to write to the blog, since that is the only way i can communicate with you…
    Since both of us good interest on Sri lankan ADSL , can we have a voice talk, or i can write to you directly.
    My e-mail address is internet@cwjamaica.com ( you should have it already with you as you are the blog moderator.)

    and my skype login is damithw

    Take care

  48. Mr Damith calls me “self-contradictory and judiciously illogical,” a drawer of pin padi, etc., etc.

    He then wants to talk to me in person and wants me to “take care.”

    Arculli Associates or me 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.

    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.

    I am sorry this was not remedied in 2002-04; we ran out of time. I hope it will be done soon.

    The telecom consultancies that were supervised by PIPU are described fully at: http://www.safirasia.org/safir/files/Newsletter/Issue17.pdf

    I leave it to readers to figure out who makes more sense.

  49. 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

  50. 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

  51. To: Mr. Sanath Siriwardena,

    Please contact me at wattegama@lirne.net asap.

    Please check your mail for more info.

    Chanuka Wattegama

  52. 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

  54. 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…….

  55. 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.

  56. 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…