Maldives Archives — Page 3 of 4


According to a Maldives online news publication, always on Internet is now available in 27 more islands. News In Brief 5 August 2007 Dhiraagu has extended its internet service to twenty seven additional islands, meaning 70% of Maldivians can now access broadband internet. Dhiraagu, which was given permission to extend internet coverage to the atolls in August 2006, now provides a service to forty two islands. The company plans to extend its network to cover all islands with more than nine hundred residents. Is it possible for a knowledgeable person to tell us what “broadband internet” means in the Maldives?
Thailand continues with its program of tsunami evacuation drills.   This website has reported on the evacuation drills organized by Sarvodaya and LIRNEasia as part of the pilot project.   We will be pleased to disseminate information about the government’s drills as well.   ThaisNews On Thursday 26 July, we had our Special report at the Tsunami evacuation drill in Patong. Later we had an interview with the Director General of the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Center and a representative from Maldives, who were observing the drill.
There is no reason why Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and even the microstates of Bhutan and Maldives cannot get BPO business, not in competition with the Indian juggernaut, but in a complementary way. Sri Lanka had no BPO business to speak of prior to 2002, despite similarities with South India where it was booming. It was only after the international liberalization of 2002-03 that BPOs started in a significant way in Sri Lanka, though that promising start has been affected by the unsettled security situation. For the policy makers and implementors in these countries to contemplate: 1 percent of USD 60 billion is USD 600 million. That is not chump change.
The following column on LBO.LK discusses an issue that has involved one of the discussion threads in the website. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Recently, the blog has become controversial. Since April 2006, one thread has been used by various persons to discuss Sri Lankan ICT policy issues, with emphasis on the appropriate standards for using Sinhala in computing. Not all the comments on this thread have been rational and civilized and some commenters have engaged in personal vilification.
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.

Indian Ocean tsunami warning

Posted on December 23, 2006  /  0 Comments

Indian Ocean tsunami warning system on slow track: Tsunami Warning Remains Elusive – Council on Foreign Relations The wave which swept so many away two years ago (BBC) has faded from memory in many parts of the world, even though as many as two million people remain in temporary shelters in parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. But surely the less onerous task of setting up a skeletal tsunami warning network must be well along, right?Not quite. While enormous sums of aid flowed in for relief and reconstruction efforts, the less glamorous work of positioning seismic warning buoys around the rim of the Indian Ocean lags financially and organizationally. As this new Backgrounder explains, several piecemeal systems are up and running, but the goal of creating an Indian Ocean early-warning system to rival the ones run by the United States and Japan in the Pacific remains a long way from being reached (TIME).

More on Maldives

Posted on December 13, 2006  /  53 Comments

Several weeks ago we speculated on why the Maldives, with its tiny population, needed two undersea cables. The answer is that the first cable is a collaboration between the new entrant Wataniya and India’s disruptive competitor, Reliance (through its FLAG unit). This created enormous pressure on the complacent incumbent Dhiraagu, the result being the cable to Colombo. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO A new fibre optic undersea cable that connects Maldives to Sri Lanka will bring down international call charges from the Indian Ocean coral atoll, officials said Tuesday.Until the cable was commissioned this month, bilateral traffic of 600,000 minutes per month was routed via more expensive satellite links.
Until 2005, Sri Lanka had one undersea cable (if one did not count the aged SEA-ME-WE 2) and one operator controlling access to it. Then came SEA-ME-WE 4 and the BSNL cables. More cables, but still one operator, SLTL. Now finally, we have operator redundancy. This should be sweet music to the BPO industry.

Indian Ocean tsunami detection buoy

Posted on December 1, 2006  /  0 Comments

Early warning regarding tsunamis depends on skilled interpretation of earthquake data from seismic monitors like the one at Pallekale and data from ocean based buoys that detect fast moving bodies of water. The ocean between Sri Lanka and Thailand now has one. It is up to us to make sure that the warning that get communicated from international and regional warning centers will be communciated to the affected communities promptly and that those communities will be prepared to respond properly. NOAA Provides First Tsunami Detection Buoy for the Indian Ocean: Financial News – Yahoo! Finance Following a ceremony in Phuket, Thailand, where the 2004 Boxing Day event caused the most extensive tsunami damage in Thailand, the MV SEAFDEC set sail today to deploy the buoy about mid-way between Thailand and Sri Lanka.

Pakistan overtakes Sri Lanka in telecom

Posted on November 15, 2006  /  1 Comments

What I predicted would happen in 2005, has happened.  Pakistan is now ahead of all South Asian countries in basic telecom access other than Maldives.LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO

Build it, but will they come?

Posted on November 6, 2006  /  3 Comments

Maldives is a country with a population of around 300,000, around 32,000 fixed phones and around 232,000 mobiles [this has to level off, because pretty much the entire population is now using mobiles]. It has a lot of high-end hotel rooms, but the USP of the tourist industry there is not business travel, it is utter and complete relaxation.  And relaxed people are not known to generate lots of data and voice traffic. All this is relevant to the question of what will go through the two cables landing in Maldives by 2007.  Reliance/FLAG is already live, I believe.
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.
The World Information Society Report 2006 showcasing the results from the Digital Opportunity Index applied to 180 countries was released this week by the ITU. The DOI evaluates the opportunity, infrastructure and utilization of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) worldwide. The report can be downloaded here. Amongst the countries that LIRNEasia works in, the biggest gainers in the DOI ranking are India and Indonesia. In India, digital opportunity nearly doubled between 2001 and 2005.
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.
The press conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka and Washington DC of the World Bank President, Mr. Wolfensohn is available in its entirety via Audio and Video streaming. More details on post-Tsunami reconstruction effort can be found on World Bank’s website. Detailed damage assessments will follow initial estimates WASHINGTON, January 12th, 2005-World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn said Wednesday that reconstruction in the tsunami-hit countries of Asia and Africa must be driven by the local communities affected by the disaster, adding that the process of rebuilding should be transparent and ensure accountability for the funds pledged.