consumer protection Archives


The Pacific Islands Telecom Association (PITA) and the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Center (PiRRC) co-organized several sessions on policy and regulatory issues at the annual PITA convention held in Port Vila, Vanuatu, April 8-11. Here is the slideset I used in proposing that PiRRC and/or the region’s regulators establish an evidence base for their work on consumer protection. I did not have Pacific data, but used LIRNEasia research from South Asia. It was well received, with one multi-sector regulator asking for more information, which is collated together here. There was an interesting question from the floor, where a former developed-country regulator questioned the relevance of our approach, saying that with quality information now being available on the web, the old “buyer beware” principle had to be replaced by “seller beware.
I will make a presentation based on the 2012-14 principal research project at the PiRRC-PITA Policy and Regulatory Workshop in Port Vila, Vanuatu on 11 April 2014. We normally do not make presentations in the Pacific without using Pacific data, but in this one instance I am relying solely on S Asia results. I am hoping the region’s regulators will conduct a similar study for their region in the coming year. The slides.
The South Asian Forum for Infrastructure Regulation (SAFIR) is a 14-year old platform that brings the region’s regulators together to share experiences and build capacity. Today, LIRNEasia presented for the first time the findings from its research on how customer relationships can be improved in electricity and telecom sectors using the capabilities of mobile platforms. The presentation.
In the early 1990s, I wrote a conference paper that included a discussion of whether or not prisoners should be allowed to use phones; whether that use should be supervised; and how it should be charged. A revised version of the paper read at Columbia was published: Samarajiva, R. (1996). Consumer protection in the decentralized network, in Private networks, public objectives, eds. E.

Regulation by the crowd

Posted on February 5, 2009  /  0 Comments

In conventional thinking, complex industries with oligopoly characteristsics such as telecom require regulation by specialized agencies.  Interconnection must be ensured; spectrum must be managed, etc.  In addition, information asymmetries between operators and customers necessitate a degree of regulation of matters such as quality of service, billing accuracy and truth in advertising.  For example, the Telecom Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka has had a consumer relation unit since 1999. However, many regulators do not perform their functions satisfactorily.