Today, under very different conditions of multiple channels being available, the Fairness Doctrine makes no sense. But back in the 1960s, it was right. Here’s the story of how an unknown young man’s letter to the regulatory agency eliminated tobacco advertising from US TV. I used to teach about this, using it as an example of the serendipity of policy interventions. Sometimes, there’s a Henry Geller at the other end.
As I was reading about Facebook becoming the largest minority shareholder of Reliance Jio, I was reminded of a piece I worked up on the flight back from Baku in late 2012 after doing serious damage to ETNO’s efforts to impose an archaic termination fee regime on the Internet. Here’s the last para (it was a parable, so the quotation may not make sense all by itself; please read the post): Parallel to this confrontation, there were those on both sides who sought common ground. Could the “big data” capabilities of the amusement park, used for marketing and for smoothening the peaks and valleys of demand for its attractions, be mobilized to better manage the demand for the trains? Could the amusement park take over parts of the ticketing and reception interfaces (the stations) of the system? Could there be joint ventures?
LIRNEasia Senior Policy Fellow Abu Saeed Khan and I have been pointing out the vulnerabilities of the many Asian countries that rely on a few undersea cables for their international connectivity since 2010. We’re happy we’ve managed to shift the discourse and include language in various resolutions, but we have yet to see traffic flowing in mesh networks. The intriguing story of a deep-diving submarine that saw all its crew die in an accident is opening up the conversation in broader way, showing the problem is not limited to Asia. Because the internet can reroute data when cables are damaged, Western analysts have often dismissed the dangers of sabotage. But considering the vital role of data in Western institutions of all kinds, Professor Zysk said, simply applying pressure by degrading the network could be enough.
I was hoping we’d get more reports about congestion caused by changing use patterns caused by people confined to their homes. Here is a report on India. Despite the impact on their business, India’s operators have complied with regulatory requests aimed at encouraging subscribers to stay at home. These included providing free voice minutes as well as making prepaid accounts valid for a longer period. While subscribers are evidently topping up their airtime less under the lockdown, they do not appear to be using their devices any less – quite the contrary.
This short note allows for easy comparison of the options available to policy makers considering the introduction of remote voting in the context of the current pandemic conditions.
Contextualizing digital solutions to COVID-19 in developing Asia, via AfterAccess. Updated daily.
Coronavirus (the virus causing the disease Covid-19) has two universal problems: no vaccine or drug has been developed as yet, and the diagnostic tools are scarce. This combination has dangerously multiplied the risk of infecting Bangladesh. Because, our population density is much higher than those countries that have been fatally hit by far (see the graph). Covid-19 is not the last pandemic virus. And nobody knows when the next one will attack, followed by another.
This tour d’horizon examines the possible of uses of data to help stop or slow the spread of COVID-19 directly. It gives weight to what can be done in the short term.
In light of the lessons emerging from international experience, it is important to avoid local-government authorities from being tempted to sign exclusive agreements before becoming fully informed of the implications. What positive contributions can be made by higher levels of government? What network and facility sharing will be allowed? Is there value in providing general guidelines and model contracts, while allowing for normal negotiations to take place, perhaps backed up by some forms of low-cost dispute resolution mechanisms? When lamp posts and similar public fixtures become sophisticated sensing devices that pull in massive amounts of data, questions of who has access to the data under what terms will become important.
Presented by Prof. Rohan Samarajiva on 20 February 2020 in Colombo
The draft National Digital Policy proposes a target of 70% of internet users by 2025, an undeniably ambitious target. The target – pulled out of thin air as though it may seem – is actually based on a time series forecast using ITU statistics from 2000-2017. The forecast was computed using a statistical software called Tableau, which considers exponential smoothing and seasonality. The lower and upper levels were based on 95% confidence intervals. The chart below shows that the upper limit that can be achieved is 74% by 2025 if accelerated efforts are made to drive internet adoption and smartphone use in Sri Lanka.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has objected to the completion of the 12,971km Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), according to the Wall Street Journal. Once commercially launched in Q3 2019, the roughly $400 million PLCN system will plug El Segundo (California) with multiple Asian destinations: Aurora and San Fernando City (both in Philippines), Deep Water Bay (Hong Kong) and Toucheng (Taiwan). GU Holdings (a subsidiary of Google), Edge Cable Holdings (a subsidiary of Facebook) and Pacific Light Data Communication (PLDC) have teamed up to build this 144 Tbps capacity of transpacific cable, which is composed of six fiber pairs. It will be the first cable connecting Hong Kong and the U.S.
LIRNEasia's comments on the Framework for a Proposed Data Protection Legislation for Sri Lanka of June 2019
This document is intended to understand the extant policy context in relation to healthcare data protection, providing international comparisons, and raise important questions for Sri Lanka to consider in relation to data protection, albeit within a narrow sector specific scope.
LIRNEasia comments on the proposed Cyber Security Bill for Sri Lanka - 2019
Presented by Helani Galpaya, Ayesha Zainudeen and Tharaka Amarasinghe on 22 May 2019 in Colombo, Sri Lanka