Harsha de Silva, who studied the first least-cost-subsidy auction in Asia in Nepal as part of the 3rd cycle of WDR research, draws out the lessons for Sri Lanka in an op-ed piece published in Sri Lanka’s leading English language daily. Now that Nepal is considering another least-cost-subsidy auction, the subject has become topical in Nepal too. The detailed study is available on the web. The article can be downloaded here.
An effective access regime that will allow optimal use of the existing backbone, better interconnection enforcement throughout the country, transparent licensing that would remove the pall of corruption or allegations of corruption hanging over the Telecom Regulatory Commission and the licensing authorities, more transparent and efficient spectrum management including the complete unlicensing of WiFi frequencies; deregulation of tariffs to the extent possible like in India are the low-cost option that will enable more people to use telecom and Internet services, not high-cost and low-thought subsidy schemes. There is no need for Sri Lanka to repeat the errors of Nepal.
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