LIRNEasia CEO’s comments at IGF 2014 reported in Tech Policy Daily

Posted on September 6, 2014  /  0 Comments

Of all the sessions that LIRNEasia people spoke at (eight officially; nine if the one where I was asked to speak on our big data work is included), the zero-rating session had been the most controversial. Understandably, it has drawn the attention of journalists.

Helani Galpaya, CEO of LIRNEasia noted that mobile phones have a high penetration across countries in South-East and South Asia, and that there even exist a fair number of low priced data plans. However there are many at the so-called bottom of the pyramid for whom even a low priced data plan is still challenging. Zero rating has helped them come on aboard.

One criticism of zero rating is that it gives users a myopic view of the Internet. However Alejandro Pisanty, Director General for Academic Computing Services at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and member of ISOC and ICANN, dispelled that notion by pointing out that users of zero rated programs combine them with wifi network access to access the rest of the Internet.

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