Bhutan Archives — Page 3 of 3


This colloquium will be on a new paper that is being developed on tools for intelligent benchmark regulation, based on Harsha de Silva and Tahani Iqbal’s presentation on Price & Affordability Indicators at the WDR Expert Forum in Singapore. The tools under consideration are price baskets and price elasticity of demand.
Report on the 11th LIRNE.NET Executive Training Course on Regulation, 25 February – 3 March 2007, conducted by LIRNEasia and CONNECTasia Forum Pte.Ltd.

Broadband battles

Posted on November 24, 2006  /  0 Comments

Here is an issue that will feature large in India and even Bhutan, but not Sri Lanka.   The reason is that the former countries have a sizable number of cable connections, which will in the future be used to provide broadband access in competition to phone companies.  Because of the profligacy of frequency-based broadcast licensing in Sri Lanka, there is no cable industry to speak of.   What there is uses frequencies.  That means it cannot easily be turned into a conduit for broadband.

Bhutan ends integrated monopoly

Posted on November 22, 2006  /  2 Comments

18 November, 2006 In an auction, which lasted four hours with the bid climbing 168 times, the Tashi Group clinched the deal to operate the first private mobile service in the country with a Nu. 777 million (USD 17.32 million) offer. The Tashi Group outbid three other joint venture companies in the auction that was held in Thimphu on October 16 to operate the license for a period of 15 years. The three other local companies vying for the license were the Singye Group, which had tied up with Reliance mobile in India, Druktel Private Limited, a consortium of Bhutanese companies, which had joined Airtel also in India and Bhutan Steel, which had tied up Thai company, Shin Satellite Public Corporation Limited.
Developing countries have tended to focus on disaster relief and rehabilitation at the expense of strategies to prevent or mitigate effects of disasters in the first place. To a politician, the political payout from handing out relief materials to the disaster affected appears greater than investing in a national early warning system that may not yield any political reward during his/her tenure. Political expediency coupled with a mix of fatalism, laziness to undertake the hardwork required to implement mitigation/prevention strategies, low valued assigned to human life in developing countries have all contributed to the callous acceptance of natural disasters as a “fact of life.” Hence, the allusion to a “paradigm shift” referred to by the Indian minister, hopefully marks a policy shift rather than just a rhetorical one. ———— India, others work on region’s first disaster management policy The Hindu, August 22, 2006 New Delhi, Aug 22.
Bridging the digital divide is important. It may not be as important as ensuring safe water for all, or adequate healthcare, in terms of meriting investment of scarce public resources, but it is definitely important enough to merit concerted action to remove the artificial barriers to private supply. One of the best ways this can be done is by improving the knowledge that is brought to bear on the process.   The optimal way to achieve this is to create an environment within which international best practices are adapted to local circumstances by in-situ policy intellectuals. Some of these local experts could be in regulatory agencies and in government; but the optimal results will be achieved through participatory processes where all stakeholders, including the consumers are represented by knowledgeable experts.
Bhutan was perhaps the last remaining integrated government-owned monopoly in the world. It now looks like it’s ready to end that unique status by licensing a second mobile operator. One of the advantages of being late is that you can learn from the mistakes of others. Other SAARC countries introduced competition earlier but could not get the regulatory preconditions right. It seems that Bhutan has the right ideas.
A report on the Indicators Workshop held in New Delhi by LIRNEasia in collaboration with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is available here [PDF]. The report provides a review of international initiatives and best practices, examines some of the difficulties regarding standardising indicators across the region, the challenges of measurement and collection of indicator data and the process of developing an indicators manual for the South Asian region.
LIRNEasia and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), with the assitance of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada, co-sponsored the “Workshop on ICT Indicators for Benchmarking Performance in Network and Services Development” in New Delhi from 1-3 March 2006. The workshop highlighted the need for accurate, standardized and comparable indicators for the region and was intended to initate action to develop such indicators. The workshop brought together representatives of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs), National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) and operators from Afghanistan, Bangaldesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka along with the foremost authorities on the subject from the ITU, OECD, and the US National Regulatory Research Institute (NRRI). With nearly 60 participants from 16 countries, the Workshop was also attended by telecom researchers from the Asian region. The three day workshop was intended to elicit the cooperation of representatives from NRAs, NSOs and industry associations from the regional countries in establishing a sustainable system for measuring and benchmarking ICT sector input and output indicators for South Asia that can be extended to developing Asia.
LIRNEasia’s maiden telecom reform course was successfully completed by 36 participants from 18 countries. The 10th telecom reform course was co-organised with LIRNE.NET, in association with the School of Communication and Information of Nanyang Technological University, and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore. Themed ‘Catalyzing change:  Strategies to achieve connectivity and convergence,’ the course took place at the Elizabeth Hotel in Singapore on the 24th-30th September 2005. see pics The course aimed to prepare regulators to face the challenges that lie ahead to achieve connectivity and convergence.
Diversifying Participation in Network Development The 2005 WDR research theme, Diversifying Participation in Network Development explores the evolving strategies used  to extend the telecom network primarily to rural, high-cost areas. The objective of this cutting edge research is to identify successful strategies that can be replicated in other countries and to avoid unsuccessful ones. Light will be shed on these innovative approaches, looking at key experience to capture the range of possible sources, types and methods of investment funding for network development. The research is currently being developed by the WDR research community in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Who should attend?

What is LIRNEasia?

Posted on September 19, 2004  /  3 Comments

a speech by Executive Director Rohan Samarajiva In one of my intemperate moments I’ve said that Asia is a category that is of use only to international bureaucrats. There is little that the entire region holds in common. This is the area that has the largest concentration of poor people in the world. Asia is seen, however, as driving the world economy. The Asian Tigers, and the Juggernauts of China and India.

Why LIRNEasia?

Posted on September 2, 2004  /  0 Comments

Provisional Mission Statement: Improving the lives the people of Asia – by making it easier to use the information and communication technologies they need; by changing the laws, policies and regulations to enable those uses; by building Asia-based human capacity through research, training, consulting and advocacy. Why LIRNEasia? Enormous amounts of money are invested annually in ICTs. The potential of information and communication technologies, or ICTs for economic and social progress is substantial. ICTs aren’t necessarily the answer to higher incomes and development in itself; but together with other factors, they provide a means to improve people’s capabilities and knowledge so that they may better their lives.

LIRNEasia Office Opening

Posted on September 1, 2004  /  0 Comments

Rohan Samarajiva : September 1, 2004 There is something wonderful about beginnings. The future is pristine; the potential is unlimited; no mistakes have been made. I am very happy to welcome you to the LIRNEasia office on the occasion of this new beginning. Our immediate objective is to build a team of Asian ICT policy and regulatory professionals who can work on equal terms with the best in the world. Sri Lanka will anchor this effort, but it will be a genuinely regional initiative.