The colloquium is on the proposed structure and content for the TRE Manual which is to be completed by the end of May by Lara Alawattegama, Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara and Shamistra Soysa, based on the TRE Assessment paper.
Rohan noted that the categories provided on the five-point scale in the questionnaire were discussed; the terms should related to the telecommunication regulatory ENVIRONMENT, not PERFORMANCE; an environment cannot be ‘effective.’ Furthermore, when communicating the study to regulators for e.g., it is better-received when it is emphasised that the environment is being assessed, not any one entity or organization.
Language corrections on the questionnaire were noted. Changes to the cover letter were discussed. Wording of the confidentiality statement needs to be changed
Harsha said that when the study was performed in Argentina by Hernan Galperin et al., the scale was modified, putting the middle as zero, and positives and negatives on either side. How this can be best presented graphically will have to be determined. Helani flagged the possible perception bias that may arise; respondents may think twice about giving a negative score. Divakar suggested that the data be collected on a positive 1-5 scale, but in analysis convert the responses to a -2.5 to + 2.5 scale. Harsha said that this shouldn’t be done because you can’t change their resopnses to negative responses when the original responses elicited were not negative. The bias could be corrected for, however this would take away from the results. The discussion surrounding this option should be discussed in the Manual anyhow.
The possibility of providing statements relating to the TRE to the respondents, and asking them whether they argree, don’t agree, etc etc. was raised by Rohan. The problems with this approach were discussed, and the idea was dropped.
The value of consistency of terms and definitions (e.g. rights of way – frequencies only? or frequencies, numbers and rights of way?) was discussed; divakar mentioned that the importance of consistency should be impressed upon users of the Manual, in allowing for comparisons accross countries, as well as time.
Helani suggested that researcher should have some way of identifying the respondent, so that the researcher can track-back to see who said what, especially if there are any queries from the respondents themselves. But, most importantly, this data (identifyable information) should be kept under strict lock and key.
Divakar suggested that other investment climate studies should be examined to see if they assess the environment strictly or also include performance assessment. He noted that the ‘TRE’ term should not be changed because we will lose the capital we have accumulated up to this point of time.
Shamistra and Lara presented the prosposed structure (proposed structure).
Divakar suggested that we have one single number, or index which allows us to rank countries, as in the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). So a simple mathematical average of the mobile and fixed scores. Rohan mentioned that in a few years time, fixed will lose its importance. Helani suggested that the fixed and mobile scores be weighted by the respective number of subscribers. Rohan disagreed; the foundations of the industry (e.g fixed interconnection scores) are under-weighted, when in fact they are very important in industry performance; complex weightings won’t be good. Divakar suggested weighting by revenue. Rohan suggested stacking all the fixed and mobile components together (rather than the present case where fixed and mobile are separate graphs).
Divakar suggested a seperate section in the Manual relating to the importance of confidentiality; Rohan emphasised that this is crucial in getting responses.