Some time ago, Minister of Urban Development and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem announced “Kandy” would be developed as the first “Smart City” in Sri Lanka. While many projects are taking place in Kandy such as Strategic City Development Project, Greater Kandy water supply project, it is important to assess the concept of smart city, and how it can be applied to Sri Lankan context. “Smart City” as a concept emerged during the last few decades. It’s been widely marketed and adapted by private organizations as well as public organizations in cities, due to the introduction use and adaptability of information and communication technology (ICT). At the moment, more people lives in cities compared to rural areas.
The National Chamber of Exporters (NCE) in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Industries organized a seminar on 5th of July at the Galadhari Hotel, Colombo to discuss the ways to become “Export Giants Through Modernization”. The seminar comprised of more than 30 leading exporters of export agriculture crops, fruits and vegetables. An Expert panel was set up to have an interactive session. The expert panel consisted of the Honorable Daya Gamage, Minister of Primary Industries, Eng. Bandula Wickramarachci the secretary to the Ministry of Primary Industries, Mr.
Impact of broadband on the economic development of countries is extensively focused on research. To minimize the digital divide and increase the access to broadband, regulators and governments of developed as well as developing nations launch broadband policies/ plans and guidelines. Different organizations and entities carry out further research on this subject and produce white papers on the same. The colloquium held at LIRNEasia last Thursday focused on three white papers published on broadband and digital connectivity this year (2016). These are; Government broadband plan: 5 key policy measures that proved to make a difference: Nokia (2016) Connecting the world: Ten mechanisms for global inclusion: PWC (2016) Digital Enablement: Bridging the Digital Divide to Connect People and Communities in India: Huawei (2016) The Nokia commissioned white paper was done by diffraction analysis.
A report published by Analysis Mason this April on “How to get a billion Indians online by 2020” explores different potential business models to connect digitally un served and under served Indians. As for their forecast, unique Internet users in India by 2020 will be 746 million. The authors suggest connecting the additional 254 million digitally un-served and under-served Internet users are important for the users to benefit from the multiple government initiatives such as MGNREGA, AADHAR and Digital India. As the National Optic Fibre Network (NOFN) backhaul is been rolled out in India, authors explore seven business models to provide last mile access using NOFN infrastructure. Operators/ ISP initiatives Promotional 3G/ 4G packs to drive discovery/ Experimentation Minimal speed free universal data access (64 kbps; 10MB/ day) Central/ State government initiatives Community or Government institution Wi-Fi (NOFN) Subsidized data packs for low income group segment USOF based WiFi access through reverse auction using NOFN Corporates and tech companies driven initiatives CSR based free WiFi access Use of innovative technologies/ solutions for access It explores the pros and cons of each of the above access models and compare them based on multiple parameters.
The Internet Society’s Asia-Pacific Bureau together with Internet Society Nepal Chapter organised INET Kathmandu from 17-18 March 2016. This event brought together international agencies, rapid response groups and local stakeholders involved in disaster planning, management and relief services. LIRNEasia research study on the “Assessment of Nepal’s Internet and Telecommunication Damage and Losses: Lessons from the 2015 Earthquake” carried jointly by LIRNEasia and Internet Society Nepal Chapter was presented by Nuwan Waidyanatha, Senior Research Fellow of LIRNEasia on the second day of the event.
This paper, authored by Muhammad Muazzem Hossain (MacEwan University, Canada) and Md. Raihan Jamil (University of Alberta, Canada) is based on an analysis of the Bangladesh data from the Teleuse@BOP4 survey conducted by LIRNEasia in 2011. Using this data, Hossain and Jamil explore factors affecting intention to use ‘more than voice’ or ‘MTV’ services among BOP mobile owners in Bangladesh. MTV services are defined as direct or indirect use of mobiles in services other than voice. The authors take a different methodological approach to the same question that LIRNEasia researchers explored in 2011 using the Sri Lanka, Philippines and Thailand data, as shown further below.
At the Internet Governance Forum held in Brazil in November 2015, LIRNEasia CEO spoke in multiple panels on the issues related to zero rated content and net neutrality. She was also interviewed by the Deutsche Welle Academy, the capacity building arm of the German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle. In the interview, Helani sets the arguments pro and against Zero Rated content. Her interview can be read here.
Freedom house report on Internet freedom was released last week. This report was developed by Freedom house with 70 researchers and advisers around the world. Globally over 3 billion people have access to internet. This report covers 65 countries which has 88% of worlds internet population. Over 40% of worlds internet users live in China, the United States, or India.
Instagram facilitates photo/ video sharing and social networking. Instagram community consists of over 400 million and is one of the largest ad platforms in the world. Access to this ad platform provides access to Instagram user data. Based on this, we acquired Instagram user data on Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar and Bangladesh. When comparing these four countries, Bangladesh has the highest Instagram users and Myanmar has the lowest.
As a result of the introduction of new gTLD (generic Top-Level Domains) initiative to promote competition in the domain name market while ensuring Internet security and stability by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) there are now almost 300 million domain names around the world. It is said that this will encourage multilingualism in cyberspace, help emerging economies and relate with the actual content of the site as a whole. The dominance of english in the web is expected to decrease and other languages to pick up as a result of this transition.
As part of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) distinguished lecture series, Sriganesh Lokanathan, Team Leader- Big Data Research at LIRNEasia will be giving a talk in Delhi (Ramalingaswami Conference Hall, International Development Research Centre, 208 Jor Bagh, New Delhi 110003) on Monday, 2nd November 2015. Sriganesh will be speaking on the topic of “Leveraging mobile network big data for developmental policy: opportunities & challenges.” Anyone who wishes to attend should RSVP to Pratibha Shukla – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +91-11-2461 9411 (extn: 7406) Program: 11.00 am Welcome and introductions: Dr.
In partnership with Ford Foundation, LIRNEasia is working on a project on ‘Facilitating and enriching policy discourse on improving broadband access by the poor‘. This work is expected to result in greater awareness of practices and innovations in the region on increasing broadband penetration. As part of this project, a research was undertaken by Nalini Srinivasan and P Vigneswara Ilavarasan on National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN) in India. This research was published in Economic and Political weekly last week. The abstract of the published paper is as follows: The National Optical Fibre Network is being implemented largely by public sector organisations in the country.
LIRNEasia CEO participated in two more events at the ITU Telecom World 2015 held in Budapest, Hungary. The ICT Economic and Industry Round Table aimed to look to the future to imagine with digital development would be. Helani spoke about state investment into the backhaul infrastructure, and about private sector entry into connecting the unconnected through zero rating. The other panel today was titled The Data Rich, Decision Making Poor: How to use Big Data for Improved Government Action. Helani showcased LIRNEasia’s Big Data research and our research inputs into the the Western Region Megapolis plan in Sri Lanka.
LIRNEasia CEO took part in the Leadership Summit at the ITU Telecom World 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Yesterday she took part in a panel discussion making innovations in ICT work for social impact, and used the results of LIRNEasia’s Systematic Review titled “Mobile-phone interventions for improving economic and productive outcomes for farm and non-farm rural enterprises and households in low and middle-income countries” to make the point about network rollout and good regulation.
The first nationally representative survey of ICT use in Myanmar was conducted by LIRNEasia in Feb/March of 2015. The results were presented to stakeholders at a series of events and meetings held in Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw between the 28 – 30 July 2015. Download report here The links provide the updated slide-set, detailed methodology note, questionnaire in English and in Myanmar language. Media ICT Survey: LIRNEasia nationwide ICT survey results released| Mitv News, Myanmar | July 29th 2015 LA on Democracy Today, Myanmar | August 6th 2015 LA on the Mobile Guide, Myanmar | August 5th LA survey data being referenced in an item about hate speech on Facebook | Eleven News, Myanmar |September 13th 2015 The English translation of this item can be found here.