Thursday, October 28, 2004

Why isn't BT listening to Mr Maran?

Wonder why BT is going all out to promote its LLU offerings! Especially after Mr Dayanidhi Maran, while speaking at the Telecomm India ’04 International Conference in Mumbai on October 25, 2004, said this:
"Although it [LLU] sounded attractive, we have to be more cautious in unbundling. It has stopped in the US too. Also, in India, PC penetration is low."
And, Mr Prabir Purkayastha, writing in People's Democracy, the CPI (M) publication, also seems to be living in Mr Maran's world:
"This last mile unbundling had led to a host of problems wherever it has been tried. Both in UK and in the US, this has been tried. As incumbent telephone companies are also Internet service providers, regulatory action to open their local loop leads to physical obstruction by the incumbent."

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Local loop unbundling: Inaction or failure?

The broadband policy announced by the Government of India rejects local loop unbundling with the minister saying that that even developed countries like the US do not permit it.

However, the International Telecommunications Users Group (INTUG), an association of national telecommunications users associations has a different take on this issue:
"INTUG welcomes actions taken by governments to achieve the effective unbundling of access to the local loop. There is now a broad consensus amongst industrialised countries that this is the correct policy to pursue.

The success of the policy relies on the conscientious and diligent efforts of the regulator and the competition authority. This is necessary to counter the efforts of incumbent operators which have been directed at frustrating the policy by first blocking, then spoiling the efforts of competitors.

There will remain an imbalance in the relative powers of the incumbent operators and those negotiating with them for access. Good dispute resolution procedures help, though they are not enough. The judicious and timely intervention of the national regulatory authority or the national competition authority are a vital counterbalance.

The supply of ADSL is growing and users are beginning to see the benefits. However, availability remains patchy and the prices are often too high to create substantial markets. The variability in prices is hard to explain. Other forms of xDSL appear to be developing, but only very slowly.

There is considerable value in comparative data, both within and between countries. This helps to inform markets and regulators about the extent to which they are succeeding in creating demand for services from the unbundling of the local loop."
Wonder who is right!

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Is the Broadband Policy worth the wait?

Really, is it? After all the hype and hoopla, what does the Minister deliver? A dud.

Was it worth the wait? Does it have vision? Does it break new ground? Does it make that leap? No.

Wonder what the TRAI is all about. If its recommendations are not to be considered worthy of acting upon, why ask it to deliberate and deliver a policy framework? Take local loop unbundling. A success in Japan. Done very well in France. Now being actively promoted by BT itself in the UK. But, here the Minister says that it has been a failure across the world! Perhaps his definition of the world is not the same as the rest of us.

Business Standard sums it up quite well:
"The only loser from policies designed to protect narrow sectional interests like those of BSNL is the consumer, and it is high time someone recognised this."
Om Malik opines:
"So what do I think of the new policy? First of all the current government, despite its noises about free markets, has a socialist agenda, and is trying to protect the incumbent monopolies. In other words, it did not take TRAI recommendations (which I think is a political decision more than anything else) and decided not to unbundle the last mile. I think that is precisely the kind of mess we have in US, and Indians have copied the worst possible example of telecom/broadband regulation. "

Monday, October 18, 2004

L K Advani=Sonia Gandhi?

Think about it. Congress in trouble turns to the Nehru-Gandhi family. BJP in trouble turns to L K Advani.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Hey, what happened to all the Indian experts?!

Why do the worthy comrades in the West Bengal government need the ADB and DFID to fund a project to seek expert advice on ways to cut its alarming deficit, broaden tax base, make PSUs more healthy?

Thursday, October 07, 2004

What is wrong with India's Left?

This is what Lord Meghnad Desai has to say:
"Sovereignty is a cry raised in desperation. It tells us that the Left alone cares about India. But how does it care? By yoking it with failed policies and bankrupt philosophies which guarantee slow growth and no poverty reduction? No doubt the workers in public sector industries and in ministries will be looked after with tender care as they were through the years of low growth, when their salaries rose faster than the rate of growth of the economy. India’s infrastructure will remain poor; its airports slums; roads full of potholes; and power cuts frequent, except of course for MPs. But thank heavens, India’s sovereignty, that delicate plant which only the Left cares about, will thrive. Alas, that sort of sovereignty will not help a landless labourer secure employment nor an illiterate woman learn. It is only a device to keep the Left in the seat of power and influence."
Read it all here.

Friday, October 01, 2004

Hey, our Left friends can also handle workers quite effectively.