This volume brings together scholars, practitioners, regulators and policy makers to address the problem of expanding information and communication technology (ICT) connectivity in emerging Asia. It centrally engages the widespread claim that technology by itself-independent of policy and regulatory reform-can improve access to ICTs. In doing so, it shows that complex workarounds are possible, but that they are significantly less effective than the appropriate policy and regulatory reforms.
The key features of the volume are:
" It examines how theoretically optimal concepts are implemented in the hard terrain of emerging Asia.
" It considers the problem of expanding connectivity from various perspectives: that of the user, the operator, the policy maker, the regulator, and civil society.
" It reports the findings of a cutting-edge 3,000+ sample demand-side survey of telecom use at the 'bottom of the pyramid' in India and Sri Lanka.
" It gleans lessons from five Asian countries-Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka-based on their experiences with developing telecom connectivity.
" It sheds light on a range of situations and technologies, like telephone use under ceasefire in Sri Lanka, wi-fi in Indonesia, and universal service obligation in India.
" This well-structured volume will be of great value to those who wish to implement policy and regulatory reforms and improve ongoing reforms.
Introduction: What is... and What Could Have Been... I: DEMAND AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PYRAMID What do Users at the Bottom of the Pyramid Want? - Ayesha Zainudeen Strategies on a Shoestring - Ayesha Zainudeen and Tahani Iqbal I Just Called to Say: Teleuse Under a Ceasefire - Rohan Samarajiva, Mariam Hameed and Ayesha Zainudeen II: ACCESS, AGAINST ALL ODDS Geektivism Making a Business Out of a Village Phone - Malathy Knight-John Wi-Fi: The Network Fix - Divakar Goswami III: REGULATION: TO STIFLE OR ENABLE? One Backbone, or Two? - Harsha Vardhana Singh and Rohan Samarajiva The Dumbing-down of Smart Subsidies - Harsha De Silva Universal Service Obligations: To Incumbents - Payal Malik Access Deficit Tax? - Harsha De Silva IV: WHAT COULD BE... High AMPU from Low - Arpu Mahinda B Herath Regulating for the Next Billion - Rajendra Singh and Siddhartha Raja ... Through the Markets - Visoot Phongsathorn Appendices Index