Association for Progressive Communication Archives


Some of our best friends are at in the Association for Progressive Communication (APC), but still warms our hearts when they quote our writing, especially when we go out of our way to wave the red flag before those who still believe in the benevolent state. In a submission to the UN Group on the Information Society, they frankly debate the wisdom of continuing with universal service funds, among other things, quoting us: Rohan Samarajiva of LIRNEasia suggests in a recent paper that explores the success of the ‘budget telecom network model’ in South Asia that ‘the idea of making universal service transparent by creating universal service funds …was a good idea in its time ..but experience suggests that it is an idea that has run its course’. He identifies two problems: Billions of dollars of universal levies lie unspent in government accounts.

Civil society role in regulation

Posted on April 19, 2006  /  1 Comments

The Association for Progressive Communication (APC), perhaps the most prominent international grouping of civil society organizations active on ICT issues, is holding a regional consultation on ICT policy for South Asia in Dhaka, April 19-21, 2006. LIRNEasia was invited and is represented by Ayesha Zainudeen, with a cameo role played by Rohan Samarajiva. The first prsentation by LIRNEasia was on the subject of what civil society can do in ICT policy and regulation. The basic thesis was that attention should be paid to industry fundamentals, rather than the easier topics of simply keeping prices low and increasing connectivity by subsidizing more. The short talk of less than 10 minutes was based on an illustration of an intervention by LIRNEasia in the policy debate in the host country on making good use of the submarine cable that is currently connecting a cable station in Cox’s Bazaar to the world, while the questions of connecting Bangladesh to Cox’s Bazaar and connecting multiple operators to the cable remain unresolved.