LIRNEasia has been invited in the past to comment on and make suggestions on how to enhance the Alliance for Affordable Internet’s (A4AI) Affordability Index. Our latest contributions were made in preparation to the recent launch of the report that took place at the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress. Affordability is essentially an objective measure of the cost of a good or service in relation on one’s income. When subjective angles such as the availability (not necessarily the effectiveness) of national broadband plans, universal service funds, spectrum allocation strategies and so on are introduced it muddies the water. While the Affordability Index takes in to account a number of viable indicators, it also looks at many others that muddy the waters.
The review is that of an Internet Society report by Michael Kende and Karen Rose, based on evidence from Rwanda. The objective of this study is to understand the impact of content hosting decisions (within the country vs. overseas), as well as to develop a practical guide on creating an attractive enabling environment for hosting content locally. The paper defines and discusses the difference of locally relevant content and locally hosted content in Rwanda. Locally relevant content has proved to be aa factor that increases the overall use of the Internet in many economies studied by the Internet Society.
Kreindler, G. & Miyauchi, Y.
Today I had the opportunity to speak to a mostly private sector audience in Tokyo, looking to leverage opportunities from geo-spatial information. The venue was at the G-Space x ICT International Symposium organized by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the apex body responsible for ICT policy in Japan. I was invited to speak about LIRNEasia’s experience in leveraging mobile network big data for public purposes. In the subsequent panel discussion, I was asked how to enable international collaboration in such efforts. My answer was two part: the very realizable possibility of sharing technical know-how both in developing human capacity as well as the infrastructure required to analyze such data sets; and the potentially long path that must be walked to enable greater sharing of such data.
Not bad for a young industry. But I do hope the results of the survey will be disclosed quickly and with breakdowns of export and domestic earnings and employment. Last time it had to be extracted in dribs and drabs. “Sri Lanka has launched an ICT value survey to find the national hi-tech exports it achieved in 2013/14.” the minister said in a statement.
It’s good that work has started on mapping out who will benefit by renting out excess capacity on assets controlled by consumers and small businesses. We have been kicking around these ideas within LIRNEasia for a while. Hopefully will get started on a project to understand how these things play out in the “real world,” as stated below. “I wasn’t the kind of person who went around everywhere in black cars,” he says. “It felt good, it felt like I was living someone else’s life.
There is a certain arrogance in coverage of developing countries by Western reporters. They assumed that Ooredoo, managed by Westerners, and Telenor in particular would simply walk over MPT. That was the case in places like Bangladesh where the government did not act to reform the incumbent. But MPT is managed by KDD. They also did not take into account the advantage of having land.
India used to be the center of gravity of everything we did at LIRNEasia. In terms of expenditure and effort, perhaps the center is shifting. But intellectually, the challenge of managing the asymmetrical relationship between Sri Lanka and India continues to engage. I was asked to write something for the visit of Prime Minister Modi. Unbeknownst, the piece had also been published in the government-owned newspaper: One subject that is likely to come up in the Modi-Sirisena discussion is the long delayed coal power station.
Today the research team had an opportunity to present findings from our work at a research colloquium hosted by the Faculty of Agriculture, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta. Here, Chandana Jayathilake is describing the campaigns conducted as part of the project. Original post at: http://mobilizingknowledge.blogspot.ca/2015/03/presentation-at-university-of-alberta.
Bangladesh has enacted its National Telecommunication Policy way back in March 1998. The government has taken seventeen years to feel the need of modernizing it. A surreal wishlist is outlined in the consultation document, which has been signed by an unknown person (dated March 5, 2015). And it has been published on March 8, 2015 with a deadline to respond within a week (March 15, 2015). Honesty, which is missing in this bureaucratic haste, is the best policy.
To get the “talk show” at the FAO-ITU workshop on e agriculture rolling we were asked to give a three-minute summary of what we had learned. This was a good opportunity to distill eight years of learning. At LIRNEasia we have looked at the role ICTs can play in agriculture both at the micro and macro levels: supply chain studies where we looked for gaps that ICTs could fill (jute, gherkin, mango, pomegranate, potato, pineapple, rubber supply chains in 3 countries) and the systematic review of 7000+ research papers/articles on effect of mobiles on rural livelihoods. Our conclusion is that Ted Schultz was right. Information by itself will be change outcomes.
A Ratings Agency has put specific numbers behind the entity-based and mobiles-sector specific taxes in 2015 interim budget. Should the proposals go ahead, 2015 FFO-adjusted net leverage for Sri Lanka Telecom (SLT, BB-/Stable) and Dialog Axiata (Dialog, AAA(lka)/Stable) is likely to deteriorate to 1.8x and 2.5x, respectively (2014: 1.2x and 1.
At the FAO-ITU e agriculture workshop that I am attending in Bangkok, I was asked to respond to a question on failure of ICT projects in agriculture and why. I responded, saying I will speak only about our activities. I said that the market information system Harsha de Silva started as an e Sri Lanka pilot project; kept going with his own money; and then handed over to LIRNEasia to run and study is by many criteria a success: it was picked up by a mobile operator (a rare case of sustainability being achieved); the data that it produces are reused by government organizations; the data are used. But by my criteria, it is yet to succeed. My criteria are as follows: (i) the markets must clear, the way you measure this is by measuring the waste carted off the wholesale markets at the end of business everyday; (ii) there must be evidence that the law of one price is being found to be observed in a significant number of wholesale markets that are within driving distance of the main sources of supply.
EZcash is unusual in that it was developed by one company, but three out of five mobile operators use it. This may be unique. Why can we not see more of these kinds of collaborations? Report and link.
Haven’t had time to analyze this election promise, so was very happy to see a CPRsouth alumnus take an excellent run at it. Usually, these free Wi-Fi services have lower speeds compared to the average home connection, and often come with a data or a time cap. Perth, for example, offers free public Wi-Fi in a certain area, with a limit of 50MB per connection. Do your stuff, and then get out of the way; let the next user in. Effective, intelligent limiting is one solution.
The situations in the US and our countries are very different: we have more competition at the access-network level, we have more people who are not connected and our retail pricing schemes are more rational. But it’s illuminating that the FCC is not as excited about zero rating as some other people: Under the FCC’s newly approved net neutrality rules, wireless carriers and other ISPs will not have to go the agency and ask permission every time they want to introduce a new offering or mobile broadband plan, such as a new zero-rating plan, according to FCC officials. The FCC adopted three so-called “bright line” rules for net neutrality: no blocking of legal content; no throttling of Internet traffic on the basis of content; and no paid prioritization of content. For everything not covered by those rules, the FCC approved a catchall “standard for future conduct,” which will used to ensure that broadband providers are not “unreasonably interfering with or unreasonably disadvantaging” the ability of consumers and content providers to use the Internet and connect to each other. Future practices will be judged on a case-by-case basis.