telecom sector Archives — LIRNEasia

In her latest article for Daily FT, LIRNEasia policy fellow Tahani Iqbal critiques the current amendment process of Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Act, stating it “has not been transparent and open,” and calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the Act, aligning with the newly issued National Digital Economy Strategy 2030, to truly drive Sri Lanka’s digital development. “It is critical that the Government puts a stop to its conservative and traditional approach to telecoms regulation and handles it in a way that will ensure that digital connectivity spurs the development of the nation. Converged markets and services require converged authorities and approaches to governance. The amended Bill has no place in Sri Lanka‚Äôs digital future and should be sent back to the drawing board for a proper re-draft.” Despite several attempts to revise the Act, Tahani argues that the lack of substantial updates has left Sri Lanka with a “low level maturity [in] legal and governance frameworks,” as evidenced by its G2 ranking from the International Telecommunications Union.
Sri Lanka celebrates the 63rd anniversary of its Independence from colonial rule on February 4th. The government radio channel SLBC has invited me to participate in a live talk show (Subharati, 0700-0800, Tuesday 1 February 2011) on the achievements that have been made in telecom since Independence and on what course corrections are needed. I plan to talk about the need to stop excessive taxation of the sector (on the part of the government) and understanding and tolerance about wireless towers (on the part of the public). Anything else? Suggestions welcome.