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This volume brings together scholars, practitioners, former 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 while 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 actually get implemented in the hard terrain of emerging Asia.
- It gleans lessons from five Asian countries?Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, and Sri Lanka?based on their expperiences with expanding ICT connectivity.
- It reports the findings of a cutting-edge 3,000+ sample demand-side survey of telephone use at the ?bottom of the pyramid? in India and Sri Lanka.
- It considers the problem of expanding connectivity from different angles: that of the user, the operator, the policy maker, the regulator,and civil society.
- It sheds light on a range of situations and technologies, like telephone use in post-conflict regions of Sri Lanka, wi-fi deployment in Indonesia, and universal service obligation in India.
This well-structured volume is of great value to those seeking to implement policy and regulatory reforms and improve ongoing reforms.
Table of Contents
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 TAHANI IQBAL and ONNO W PURBO
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