Improving the understanding of telecom policy and regulation by journalists

Posted on March 6, 2011  /  5 Comments

I have been invited to speak at an event in Dhaka on March 10th intended to improve the understanding of the complexities of telecom policy and regulation by Bangladeshi journalists. I am here responding to a question whether speaking at events such as this organized by operators could create a negative perception about LIRNEasia.

Is it better to have journalists who understand the technical aspects of the industry and the practice of regulation, than not? I think the answer is clearly yes. Does this fall within LIRNEasia’s mission, yes. Then the only issue that remains is that of sponsorship. Will LIRNEasia’s image be compromised by my speaking at an event sponsored by Grameenphone, the largest operator in Bangladesh? I do not deliver a script written by Grameenphone, so I see no problem. I spoke at a similar event in 2007 organized by Sri Lanka Telecom, Sri Lanka’s incumbent operator. Have not noticed any negative outcomes.

Looking at the post I wrote after that event, I see that I had said that we were tempted to organize such events in all the countries we worked in. This could be described as yielding to that temptation!


  1. Dear Rohan,
    How are you. Hope all of you fine.
    Hope to see you in Bangladesh. This event will be interesting for Bangladeshi Journalists. I think this event could not create any negative perception about LIRNEasia.
    But please think about Grameenphone. Recently they gave an advertisement to start a joint initiative with facebook to make facebook in Bangla Language.
    But you have to know we already completed 63% Facebook in Bangla. Now they want to take credit of this initiative. This is the problem of big corporate company.\


    1. Thank you for the comment. In this event, I am only talking about principles of regulation, not about how the company runs its business/treats competitors, etc.

      I hope you will work out the issues around facebook; it’s always better for big companies to foster decentralized innovation than to try to innovate themselves.

  2. Journalists are important part of the value chain of policy and regulation making. If they are well-informed then they can make positive contribution and make good comparative analysis, otherwise they would be looking for scandals and scoops.

    LIRNEasia has been at the forefront of building capacity in the region on policy and regulatory matter and I would support the idea that Journalists in Bangladesh should also be exposed to international best practices. Like Kawsar, I am also of the view that it would not have any negative impact.

    Since you have mentioned that the session is sponsored by a particular operator, I would suggest that for the sake of transparency you may post your PPT here after the session, as you did in 2007 after similar event. You may also encourage the journalists to comment here after the event.