Internet economy

CHAKULA is a newsletter produced by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). Named after the Swahili word for ‘food’, it aims to mobilise African civil society around ICT policy for sustainable development and social justice issues. The latest issue features an e-interview with LIRNEasia’s CEO Rohan Samarajiva, but it is not the only reason why we thought of highlighting the issue. The content is interesting and very readable. We publish two e-interviews from July 2010 issue here fully, as they are not available on public domain.
We have been following the emotionally loaded net neutrality debate for some time with some detachment. Our research clearly shows that low prices are critical if the BOP is to join the Internet economy and that low prices are not sustainable without the adaptation of the budget telecom network model to broadband supply. One of the most controversial of the recommendations that came out of this work is that which said one should go gentle on regulating quality. The main reason we said that was because we believed that the poor needed access in the form of different price-quality bundles; that if high quality standards were imposed by fiat, the only victims would be the price-sensitive consumers who would get priced out. While we did not take an explicit position on net neutrality those days, we now have to, based on what we have learned.
Rohan Samarajiva, will deliver one of two invited lead talks at ICTs and Development: An International Workshop for Theory, Practice and Policy, to be held in New Delhi, India, 11 – 12 March 2010. Titled, “How the developing world may participate in the global “Internet Economy”, his presentation examines the potential mobile telephony has in enabling low-income earners first-time access to the Internet. He argues that a teleco business  model similar to the Budget Telecom Network Model arguably responsible for dramatic reductions in mobile tariffs, could be similarly applied to the case of mobile internet. View the full presentation here. Other notable speakers at the event include Dr.
We reproduce fully below, Carlos A. Afonso’s post to a thread on Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility responding to discussions at the IGF workshop “Expanding broadband access for a global Internet economy: development dimensions”, in which Rohan Samarajiva, Chair/CEO LIRNEasia was the keynote speaker. We retain the original title. As neither we nor most of our readers do not have access to the thread it was posted, we like to continue the discussion here. __________________________________________________________________ Hi people, I come from one of the ten largest economies in the world, with nearly 200 million people, 8.
Rohan Samarajiva, LIRNEasia Chair and CEO, made the lead presentation on access to ICTs at an OECD/infoDev Workshop on the Internet Economy yesterday in Paris. The workshop, “Policy coherence in the application of information and communication technologies for development,” is currently underway. In his presentation, Dr Samarajiva described the new “Budget Telecom Network Model” developed in South Asia that is enabling mobile operators to serve low-income customers who yield very low ARPUs [Average Revenues per User] and discuss its extension to enable broadband use.  Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have offered the lowest total costs of mobile ownership since 2005-06 while still yielding adequate, though somewhat volatile, returns to ensure continued investment in network extension and new services.  LIRNEasia research shows that this has been made possible by business process innovations to reduce operating expenses, and the minimizing of transaction costs made possible by widespread prepaid use.
Full participation in the global Internet Economy requires electronic connectivity of considerable complexity. Today, due to a worldwide wave of liberalization and technological and business innovations in the mobile space, much of the world is electronically connected, albeit not at the levels that would fully support participation in the global Internet Economy. Yet, many millions of poor people are engaging in tasks normally associated with the Internet such as information retrieval, payments and remote computing using relatively simple mobiles. Understanding the business model that enabled impressive gains in voice connectivity as well as the beginnings of more-than-voice applications over mobiles is important not only because widespread broadband access among the poor is likely to be achieved by extending this model but because it would be the basis of coherent and efficacious policy and regulatory responses… This is an excerpt from a background report by Rohan Samarajiva, to be presented at “Policy coherence in the application of information and communication technologies for development,” a joint workshop organized by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Information for Development Program (infoDev) / World Bank from 10-11 September 2009 in Paris. The report has been published in the OECD’s Development […]
TelecomTV – TelecomTV One – News The problem with this view is that Google has, apparently, already tried and failed several times to get a satisfactory price on capacity from existing trans-Pacific cable providers. The company certainly understands the unit costs of fibre networks as it already owns such infrastructure in the continental United States and, as the world’s Internet leviathan, is reportedly frustrated that it can’t get a decent price on the trans-Pacific route – although that is hardly surprising given that most of the capacity on such pathways is controlled by the very Tier 1 telcos that regard Google as a freeloader and undeserving beneficiary of much of the value of the Internet economy. Google doesn’t want to build a cable to sell bandwidth to third parties (although that could be a natural consequence and corollary of its plans), but because, as a voracious generator and recipient of Internet traffic, it wants to control its own destiny . And as our Friday report indicates, Google doesn’t want to build the cable unilaterally. Rather it would much prefer to share the price of construction and deployment with consortium partners so it can gain access to a fibre pair on […]