In the policy world, one does not want to be alone. I have even dressed up new policy ideas as variations on existing ones, in order to get them accepted. When Abu Saeed Khan persuaded me that international backhaul was an important issue in Islamabad in May 2010, he was quite alone. When I made the first presentation on the subject to the expert group at ESCAP in November 2010, LIRNEasia was a lone voice in the wilderness.
Abu then took the lead role. We made a pitch to the then Secretary General of the ITU, Hamadoun Toure and its Asia Pacific Head, Eun Ju Kim, gave conventional bureaucratic responses. The success was elsewhere, in the serious telecom professional media picking up the idea. But by 2013, the topic was gaining serious traction at ESCAP.
The Asia Pacific Information Superhighway is now the highest priority for the ICT and DRR Division of ESCAP. It is good have the Internet Society presenting more or less that same arguments that we did back in 2010-14 here at the Training Workshop on Knowledge and Policy Gaps in Disaster Risk Reduction and Development Planning. Now we are not alone. We are confident network resilience will gain even more salience and momentum. It’s unlikely that we will get the run-around from the ITU now.