Blog — Page 328 of 335 — LIRNEasia


VSNL Buys Top VoIP Carrier

Posted on July 28, 2005  /  6 Comments

VSNL Buys Top VoIP Carrier India’s incumbent international operator, VSNL, announced today that it had agreed to buy Teleglobe, the largest international voice over IP (VoIP) carrier in the world — and former Canadian monopoly overseas voice carrier. Should the deal meet with shareholder approval and pass regulatory review, the merged company — which also includes the recently integrated Tyco Global Network — would become one of the largest multinational providers of voice, Internet, and bandwidth services. VOICE Teleglobe became the largest carrier in the 30 billion minute international VoIP market when it acquired ITXC in 2004. Although VoIP represented under 15 percent of the global call market in 2004, it is growing at double to triple the rate of the traditional public switched voice market. Combined with Teleglobe’s wholesale voice operations around the world, VSNL will become the fifth largest carrier of voice minutes in the world.

ICTs and early warning

Posted on July 26, 2005  /  6 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva and Asantha Sirimanne, spoke at the Taipei Conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), 26-29 July 2005, in Taipei. Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia gave a presentation on ICTs and disaster warnings (presentation slides available below. The underlying paper, in pre-publication form, is also given below. Its final version will shortly be published by New Media and Society. Mobilizing ICTs for early warning: Lessons from the 2004 tsunami, Rohan Samarajiva, IAMCR, Taipei (presentation slides) Mobilizing information and communications technologies for effective disaster warning: Lessons from the 2004 tsunami (underlying paper, pre-publication) | accompanying graphics Asantha Sirimanne, of LankaBusinessOnline who led the team of journalists who were the first to report the tsunami story, gave a talk entitled ‘No Warning,’ which is available below.
LIRNEasia and Vanguard Foundation conducted a third community meeting in Polonnaruwa on July 16. Together with speakers representing project partners ITDG, Sarvodaya, and the Vanguard Foudation, Rohan Samarajiva and Luxman Siriwardena presented Kantale: 19 years later, a documentary on the survivors of the 1986 Kantale dam breach and LIRNEasia‘s concept paper. The format of the meeting followed that of the earlier Kandy and Gampola meetings, with several presentations on different aspects of disaster response, community organization, and dam management, and extended question/comment sessions for public input. The Polonnaruwa meeting, held at the Sarvodaya district office, was long and lively, with a diverse crowd of participants offering insightful input and illuminating commentaries. Local farmers’ organizations and Sarvodaya-Polonnaruwa officers were especially well-represented.
The Presidential Commission on the Tsunami has been holding public hearings.  LIRNEasia and Vanguard Foundation gave evidence last week, 14th of July 2005.  Our evidence mostly covered the content and process of the NEWS:SL report, but in addition evidence was given of our experience with the 28th of March event and the earlier difficulties we experienced with the Met Department’s fax numbers not working and e-mail addresses given to Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaai bouncing.  The Navy and the Police are being questioned on who knew what when.  It looks like the  Commission is pursuing an interesting line of investigation.
Chanuka Wattegama presents findings from a benchmarking study of regulatory websites. The objective of this study is to do a performance evaluation of the web sites of the Telecommunication National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) of selected countries in the Asian Pacific region and benchmark their performance as e-government service providers. Slides Points of Discussion: What is the role of a website in effectiveness of an NRA? CW – serves as a window to stakeholders RS – should have website as central organizing factor. organize yourself around putting everything up on the website.

Town Meetings in Kandy & Gampola

Posted on July 8, 2005  /  0 Comments

Public Consultation on Early Warning System for Dam Related Hazards and Safety On 2 July LIRNEasia, in partnership with the Vanguard Foudation, ITDG, and Sarvodaya, conducted community meetings in Kandy and Gampola to present the interim Concept Paper for a Dam-related Hazard Warning System in Sri Lanka and consult with the public on the local and regional disaster response history . These meetings included a screening of LIRNEasia‘s documentary on the 1986 Kantale dam disaster, with accounts from survivors and information on the current status of hazard precautions. Sarvodaya officers spoke about their organization’s role in rehabilitating affected populations in Kantale and outlined a framework for the several represented groups to collaborate on the project at hand. Rohan Samarajiva gave a detailed overview of the concept paper (now available for comments below) developed by LIRNEasia. Each presentation was followed by a session for audience questions and comments.
A Participatory Study on Actions Required to Avoid and Mitigate Dam Disasters download document in PDF Executive summary in Sinhala (PDF) Executive summary in Tamil (PDF) The need for this project arose in the course of disaster-management expert consultations carried out by LIRNEasia and The Vanguard Foundation in the preparation of “NEWS-SL: A Participatory Concept Paper for the Design of an Effective All-Hazard Public Warning System” in January-March 2005. The current Concept Paper outlines the contours of an early warning system for dam related hazards in Sri Lanka. It is being developed in a participatory, consultative, and transparent process. This interim draft has been compiled on the basis of research and an Expert Consultation held 20 May 2005 at the Distance Learning Center located on the campus of the Sri Lanka Institute of Development Administration, with participation from experts representing several decades’ worth of experience in several key Sri Lankan dam administration authorities. This draft is posted for comment.
Thursday, 16 June 2005 The final report from the second World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies research cycle has been released in both print and online formats. Edited by Amy Mahan and William Melody, the 383 page book contains the body of research and country case studies undertaken to investigate issues and perspectives on the theme Stimulating Investment in Network Development: Roles for Regulators. Download or purchase the book on the WDR site.
Voices from Asia-Pacific: Internet Governance Priorities and Recommendations: After almost ten months of research and activities, UNDP-APDIP’s Open Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance (ORDIG*) has produced a two-part report entitled, “Voices from Asia-Pacific: Internet Governance Priorities and Recommendations” – consisting of 1) the ORDIG Policy Brief and Executive Summary, and 2) the ORDIG Input Paper for the UN Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). These documents stem from months of consultations involving stakeholder groups from the public and private sectors, as well as civil society. ORDIG consulted over 3,000 stakeholders through sub-regional meetings, jointly organized with UNESCAP and others; a region-wide online forum that allowed for open and candid discussions on the issues; and a region-wide, multi-lingual, issues-based online survey that looked at the Internet governance priorities of the region. The resulting two reports are the synthesis, consolidation, and reading of the voices from the Asia-Pacific region. They outline the principles and dimensions that make up the framework for building recommendations, which are provided in the documents at two levels – general and specific recommendations.

Kantale Dam: 19 years later

Posted on June 11, 2005  /  0 Comments

As a follow-up to the “all-hazards” approach to developing an early warning system, LIRNEasia along with Vanguard Foundation, Sri Lanka National Committee of Large Dams and ITDG are working together to produce a concept paper that would outline the contours of an early warning system for dam related hazards. There are approximately 320 medium and large dams in Sri Lanka and around 10,000 small dams, most of which are more than 1000 years old. The consequences of a major dam failure in Sri Lanka can be devastating to life, property and the environment. This is not a theoretical possibility but something that has occurred 19 years ago in Kantale, Trincomalee district in 1986. The Kantale dam which is more than 50 feet high and 13,760 ft long, breached in the early hours of 20th April and rapidly flooded villages downstream killing 127 people and destroying property in the region of Rs 575 million.

LIRNE Course on Telecom Reform

Posted on May 31, 2005  /  1 Comments

On behalf of LIRNEasia, LIRNE.NET and the School of Communication and Information at the Nanyang Technological University, it is our pleasure to extend to you a special invitation to participate in the 7th LIRNE.NET course on Telecom Reform in Singapore, September 25-30, 2005. The course, Catalyzing change: Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence, is designed to enhance the strategic thinking of a select group of senior decision makers in the telecom and related sectors in Asia and elsewhere. Previous Telecom Reform courses have been offered in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean.
May 26, 2005 (Economic Times via NewsEdge) India’s Ministry of Finance has asked the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to allocate a 3G spectrum to mobile operators through the auction route. According to the ministry, it is DoT’s responsibility to price spectrum as per international practices, citing the example of Europe and the US, where governments fetched billions of dollars in revenue by auctioning spectrum. The ministry has also said that pricing of spectrum should not be in TRAI’s domain. The finance ministry has taken the position that pricing of radio spectrum is not a regulatory issue, and hence, should not have been referred to the telecom regulator. Instead, it has argued that receipts from radio spectrum should accrue to the government as non-tax revenue.
LIRNEasia and Vanguard Foundation, in collaboration with the Sri Lanka National Committee of Large Dams, have conducted an Expert Consultation as the basis for developing a concept paper on an Early Warning System for Dam Related Hazards. Most of the Sri Lankan experts on dam management and safety were invited to this event. The event was kicked off by Chandra Jayaratne, Director of the Vanguard Foundation and Rohan Samarajiva, Executive Director of LIRNEasia with a welcome address and opening remarks. The first presentation titled, Nineteen years later, what lessons have been learnt from the Kantale breach (and what changes have been implemented)? by D W R Weerakoon, Former Director General of Irrigation and Secretary, Presidential Commission on the Kantale Dam Breach.
Harsha de Silva & Payal Malik 20 May 6pm PM: specifically looking at subsidy mechanisms for diversification, hence ‘moving beyond the market . Instruments looking at are hte universal service obligation fund (USF) and hte access deficit charge (ADC). There has been a diminishing of market efficiency gap (i.e, efficiency is improving). Slide # 3 shows the major improvements in efficiency in the market.
Samarajiva and Zainudeen had an article published in this issue of E-Gov, the full PDF of which is linked to below. In 2002, the-government of Sri Lanka embarked upon a broad development strategy, with a focus on services. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) were identified as one of the key drivers of national integration and economic growth. The eSri Lanka Initiative (eSL), which was designed in 2002-03, was intended to �take the dividends of ICT to every village, to every citizen, to every business and transform the way Government works � [to] develop Sri Lanka�s economy, alleviate poverty, and improve the quality of life and the opportunities for all of our people� . R.
Activities Report