Canada


Canada is woefully positioned for future internet usage and the quality of current broadband networks is barely enough to cope with current traffic because of a lack of investment by providers, according to a new study. The survey, conducted by the Oxford Said Business School in London and the Universidad de Oviedo in Spain and released Friday, found that Canada is below the global broadband quality threshold, which measures the proliferation of high-speed internet in a country, as well as the speeds available and the reliability of connections. While Japan was the only country to meet the study’s standards for future readiness, broadband networks in countries such as Latvia, Romania and Bulgaria scored better than Canada, which ranked 27th out of the 42 nations covered. The United States ranked 16th. Researchers calculated a broadband quality score, or BQS, by testing download and upload speeds in each country, as well as latency, a factor that measures how instantaneously information travels over a broadband network.
Launched this year, the Future Telecom Leaders Contest asks students to address an important question: “How can Canada become a recognized global leader in telecom in the next 10 years?” Students are invited to submit their ideas in a variety of formats: audio-visual files (like YouTube); audio only (podcasts or MP3 form); or print. Ten winners will be selected from across Canada and invited to attend the 2008 Telecom Laureate Awards Gala and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Ottawa/Gatineau on October 29, 2008, and have exclusive introductions to Canadian telecom senior executives. The top two winners will receive $1,500 scholarships. “The Future Telecom Leaders contest is a novel and exciting way to engage young minds on the question of Canada’s telecommunications future,” says Lorne Abugov, Founder and Director of Canada’s Telecommunications Hall of Fame.

Evaluation in Practice

Posted on July 11, 2008  /  0 Comments

Development organizations are pressed to demonstrate that their programs result in significant lasting changes in the well-being of their intended beneficiaries. However, such “impacts” are often the product of a confluence of events for which no single agency or group of agencies can realistically claim full credit. As a result, assessing development impacts is problematic, yet many organizations continue to struggle to measure results far beyond the reach of their programs. Outcome Mapping is one methodology used to address this issue. The originality of this approach lies in its shift away from assessing the products of a program to focus on changes in behaviour, relationships, actions, and activities in the people, groups, and organizations it works with directly.
LIRNEasia researchers participated at the International Telecommunications Society (ITS) 17th Biennial Conference in Montreal, Canada, from June 24-27 2008. The theme of the conference was on, ‘The Changing Structure of the Telecommunications Industry and the New Role of Regulation’. The picture above shows Professor Sudharma Yoonaidharma, Commissioner, National Telecommunciations Commission of Thailand commenting on the presentations made at the second of the two LIRNE.NET sessions, watched by (from left) Rohan Samarajiva and Payal Malik from LIRNEasia, Roxana Barrentes from DIRSI and Anders Henten from LIRNE Europe.  The session was chaired by Hank Intven, Partner at the leading Canadian firm of McCarthy Tetrault (not in the picture).

Beyond Tunis: Changing Policy

Posted on March 25, 2008  /  0 Comments

Beyond Tunis: Changing Policy Rohan Samarajiva Government is about the sustenance of hope. Yet in too many places, government is about killing hope: “you can’t make it because you’re poor/ your ethnicity is wrong / you aren’t from the right school.” When hope is dead, when the pie looks like it’s not expanding, and the game is zero-sum, the path that remains is hatred. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) shake things up. Not necessarily for the better; but with prodding of the right kind and possibly some luck and happenstance, the equilibrium can be broken in a positive way.

LIRNEasia at ITS

Posted on March 12, 2008  /  0 Comments

LIRNEasia researchers will participate at International Telecommunications Society 17th Biennial Conference in Montreal, Canada, June 24-27, 2008. Rohan Samarajiva, Helani Galpaya and Payal Malik will be among panellists at a double session  on ‘New regulatory approaches in the face of rapidly changing demand’. This session showcases key findings from recent LIRNE.NET research in four different continents. In a separate session, LIRNEasia researchers will present a paper entitled, ‘Re-examining Universal Service Policies in Telecommunications: Lessons from three South Asian countries’, co-authored by Malik and Samarajiva.
LIRNEasia researchers will participate at the International Communication Association conference in Montreal, Canada, May 21-26, 2008. Rohan Samarajiva will present a paper based on LIRNEasia‘s study on the gendered aspects of telecommunications use in emerging Asia, entitled, ‘Who’s Got the Phone? The Gendered Use of Telephones at the Bottom of the Pyramid‘. Abstract: ‘Much has been said about women’s access to and use of the telephone. Many studies conclude that a significant gender divide in access exists particularly in developing countries.

The coming issue is broadband

Posted on January 18, 2008  /  0 Comments

Broadband | Open up those highways | Economist.com As Taylor Reynolds, an OECD analyst, puts it, innovation usually comes in steps: newcomers first rent space on an existing network, to build up customers and income. Then they create new and better infrastructure, as and when they need it. In France, for example, the regulator forced France Télécom to rent out its lines. One small start-up firm benefited from this opportunity and then installed technology that was much faster than any of its rivals’.

BSNL to pump $500 million in CDMA

Posted on January 14, 2008  /  2 Comments

While the likes of Reliance and Tata are racing to add national GSM-based services to their existing CDMA portfolio, BSNL is doing other way around by planning the launch of CDMA networks across all major Indian cities.   “After our application for a full-fledged CDMA mobility licence is approved, we plan to roll out CDMA services in all major cities and towns. The initial investment will be about $500 million,” BSNL managing director Kuldeep Goyal said. Read more. Interestingly, Telus of Canada is spending $500 million to migrate from CDMA to GSM early this year.
A new documentary film, titled Teleuse@BOP,  recently produced by TVE Asia Pacific (TVEAP) and based on LIRNEasia’s  study on Teleuse at the Bottom of the Pyramid, highlights a communication revolution happening in Asia’s emerging telecommunication markets. When it comes to using phones, the film says, people at the bottom of the income pyramid are no different from anyone else; they value the enhanced personal security, including emergency communications, and social networking benefits. Increasingly, poor people are not content with just using public phones or shared access phones (belonging friends or family). They see a utility and social value of having their own phones.
All over the world, governments are freeing up and assigning more frequencies for mobile services.   Is it not time that spectrum managers in the Asia Pacific start work on this?  These things take time.  Refarming is a lot more work than making a copy of a license. Ottawa opens up wireless industry to more competition The Conservative government on Wednesday paved the way for new cellphone companies by announcing new rules for an auction of radio airwaves designed to spur competition in the wireless industry.
Yahoo has upgraded its free email service to put users in touch with mobile subscribers.  The improved platform allows users to exchange text messages with mobile phones and comes as the portal experiments with making its Mail application “a stickier experience”.   It offers a trio of contact options including basic email, Web chat and the transmission of text messages to mobile.   The text-to-mobile feature is initially available in the US, Canada, India and the Philippines but will expand to a further 21 other markets within next six weeks.   Mail users simply type-in a phone number to the email address field to send a text message to wireless friends – although some carriers have already announced they will charge for delivery.

We’re all journalists now

Posted on August 2, 2007  /  1 Comments

NowPublic, the participatory citizen-journalist website that began life in a garage in Vancouver, Canada, has announced it has secured US$10.6 million in venture capital funding.   The website allows anyone – from amateurs to professionals – to post news stories and upload images, videos, and audio files. The company, that claims to be the world’s fastest-growing news organisation, says 120,000 people from over 140 countries have contributed to the site since its launch in 2005. The website relies for its content on “crowdsourcing” – that it describes as being similar to outsourcing, but with unpaid or low-paid amateurs.
Paper titled “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Rural Sri Lanka: Performance of a Last-Mile Message Relay”, authors – Gordon Gow (Associate Professor, Faculty of Extensions, University of Alberta, Canada), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Department of Telematics, Simon Fraser University, Canada), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, Last-Mile Hazard Warning Systems, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka), will be presented at the 1st Wireless Rural Emergency Communication Conference. The WRECOM 2007 Conference is jointly organized by the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, the IEEE Communications Society and the Vehicular Technology/Communications Society joint Chapter Italy Section. The conference will take place in Rome, October 1-2, 2007. The HazInfo project realized that early warnings via Information Communication Technology (ICT) must be a point-to-multi-point application and is best accommodate by Wireless ICTs. The HazInfo pilot included outfitting and field-testing an initial 32 villages with various combinations of wireless communication equipment, which could provide features such as: early warning wake-up, addressability and provision of information in three languages (English, Sinhalese and Tamil).

Travails of Internet telephony

Posted on July 18, 2007  /  0 Comments

Many think that VoIP is the solution to all telecom problems. It is a solution, but not to all problems. It does not give you something for nothing, in the long run, though in the short term, something may be had for almost nothing. The articles describes the problems faced by VoIP operators in the US, where the basic infrastructure is already in place. In countries of the South, we have to keep in mind that the fiber has not been laid; the households have not all been connected; etc.
LIRNEasia’s Director of Organizational Development has been awarded a competitive scholarship for the International Program for Development Evaluation Training offered every Summer by Carleton University (Canada) and the World Bank. This signifies LIRNEasia’s continued commitment to the values of a learning organization.   Last year, LIRNEasia’s Lead Economist Dr Harsha de Silva was awarded a scholarship at the MIT Poverty Research Lab.