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Rohan Responds Rapidly to Nepal

Posted on December 13, 2004  /  2 Comments

Rapid Response Unit: 14 December 2004 LIRNEasia made a short, but productive call on Nepal’s High-Level Commission for Information Technology (HLCIT) last week, to advise on jump-starting its e government and reform processes. The visit came within less than ten days of a request for Rapid Response assistance by Mr. Sharad Chandra Shah, HLCIT’s Vice Chairman. In his three day visit, executive director Rohan Samarajiva conducted two key sessions, with HLCIT and decision making level representatives of government, private sector and civil society. The first was a seminar, concerned with how Nepal can rapidly implement e-government initiatives, drawing on experience from Sri Lanka.
Pyramid Research (December 2004) The push for broadband in India has once again taken center stage with the country’s government formally announcing its broadband policy, and deciding, as many had predicted, not to accept the regulator’s proposal for local loop unbundling. Instead, the Department of Telecoms (DoT) has deemed that the last mile copper loop isn’t a bottleneck for the adoption of broadband services, and thus leaves it up to the state owned incumbents (BSNL & MTNL) to enter mutually agreeable arrangements with private parties for access to the last mile if needed. Together, both incumbents have 45 million copper loops, of which only 25% is adaptable for broadband application given the poor state of the copper plant in a majority of areas in India…. (go to full article)
Rediff.com Dec 9, 2004 http://in.rediff.com/money/2004/dec/09telecom.htm Telecom Regulatory Authority of India said on Thursday that the current access deficit charge of 11 per cent must be brought down to lower the tariffs and enable the sector achieve higher mobile growth like China.
The Economist Dec 2, 2004 http://www.economist.com/business/displayStory.cfm?story_id=3446429 …today almost all broadband connections in the world are fixed links provided either by telcos or cable companies.
On 16 December LIRNEasia will hold a colloquium to get input on a proposal being finalised for advancing better governance of the ICT sector in Sri Lanka by developing a benchmark indicator system that allows cross-country comparison. The proposal involves the collection of high quality set of data to assess the regulatory environment and to measure the performance of the ICT sector. Armed with a comprehensive set of ICT benchmark indicators, it is hoped that civil society groups and potential investors would have a basis of comparing regulatory and sector performance in the peer countries of the South Asian region and could pressure policymakers to better governance. The main activities would involve setting up a data collection mechanism, conducting a survey and holding a workshop for regulatory staff to define data standards and disseminating the findings in a form of a report through multiple media. The colloquium will be held on Dec 16 (Thursday), 5:30PM at LIRNEasia‘s office in SLIDA, 28/10 Malalasekera Mawatha, Colombo 7.

Luxman’s Birthday at Wadiya

Posted on November 23, 2004  /  0 Comments

Full Gallery The staff and families had a birthday lunch (Luxman’s treat) at the Beach Wadiya. The photo gallery is above. Would have been posted earlier but I fell asleep after lunch.

Mission statement-Tabulated Comments

Posted on November 22, 2004  /  0 Comments

Hi Lirneasia folks, below is a table that tabulates all the comments we have received so far on LIRNEasia’s provisional mission statement. You have another opportunity to review the statement and see if you would like to propose any further changes. Shortly, the mission statement will be finalised and sent to the board of directors to be approved and framed on the wall. So the window of opportunity for intervention is limited. ACT SOON Mission Statement Comments .
Today Luxman Siriwardena has reached the stage of life where he will renounce his possessions and live in the forest. He is travelling to the Weliara jungle with only his loincloth. Please leave comments in lieu of alms.
This is an article from www.lirne.net: LIRNE.NET’s Asian affiliate, LIRNEasia is quickly making its way into the South Asian policy making process. As a part of its nascent Rapid Response Program, LIRNEasia has submitted comments on a public consultation paper issued by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), on rural telecommunications growth in India.

FAQs

Posted on November 18, 2004  /  0 Comments

How can my organization/I as an individual researcher participate in the activities of LIRNEasia?  LIRNE.NET is made up of research organizations, but we are building up organically, based on actual collaborative work rather than formal agreements.  We worked with the LINK Centre in S Africa for years, before it became a member of LIRNE.NET.

VoIP Growth (11% of international)

Posted on November 15, 2004  /  1 Comments

I was looking at maps on the TeleGeography site and I ended up on their mailing list. This is something they sent me about International voice-over-IP traffic. I was surprised that it now accounts for 11% of international calls – and more in India/Pakistan/Bangladesh. I know of services like www.skype.
Round 1 (November 12-23) Comments requested An organization that is coherent and focused must have a common purpose and its members must know what that purpose is. Even better, those members must have ownership of that purpose, having participated in defining it. This is the case in organizations that are more than the sum of their parts. LIRNEasia is an affiliate of LIRNE.NET, an organization that was created by Bill Melody, Rohan Samarajiva and Knud-Erik Skouby (with the help of several others) in 2000.

2nd Colloquium

Posted on November 12, 2004  /  0 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva started out by introducing the four case studies that LIRNEasia will be conducting this year which will be LIRNEasia’s contribution to the Expert forum to be held in September-October 2005. Since all four study teams were represented, Rohan gave an overview of the terms of reference common to the projects and went over the timeline. Rohan observed that a good research organization and a consulting firm has a common culture, values and quality standards. This is not the case for “bodyshops” and hence their output was unpredictable, varying from mediocre to excellent. LIRNEasia will not be a bodyshop but will build a common organizational culture, value and standards using multiple methods, the colloquium being one.

Opening in ICT Activism

Posted on November 11, 2004  /  0 Comments

OneWorld South Asia is looking for someone to head SL operations. OneWorld is the world’s favourite and fastest-growing civil society network online, supporting people’s media to help build a more just global society. – from website

Big picture of telecom reforms

Posted on November 7, 2004  /  7 Comments

Yesterday, I spoke to a large and restive crowd (made so by lack of air conditioning and a delayed start) in Matara (main city in the South of Sri Lanka) at the launch of the Pathfinder Foundation’s first book, a Sinhala translation of Janos Kornai’s Toward a free economy. I was asked to talk about globalization and the relevance of Kornai’s ideas for facing the challenges posed by globalization. In this talk that I pieced together thanks to time zone differences that caused me to wake up at 3 in the morning while in the US, I illustrated the issues referring to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a broad area of service exports for which efficient, flexible and low-cost telecom is a pre-condition. I think the talk provides the "big picture" of the necessity of telecom reforms of the type that we at LIRNEasia are involved in. If we are to go beyond simply giving people phones, to giving them "money in the pocket and hope in the heart" this big picture is essential.
According to a Tata manager, Tyco’s unlit capacities across just the Pacific and Atlantic total around 11,000 gigabits, throwing up huge opportunities for VSNL. Says Chaukar, "We will be a big global wholesaler of bandwidth and big in communication solutions to select people." VSNL gets Tyco’s large data carrier clients who are mostly Fortune 500 companies.http://in.rediff.