CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2016 Young Scholar Awards

INCLUSIVE INNOVATION

Co-hosted by COSTECH and TCRA

Zanzibar

Conference dates: 8 – 10 September 2016

Young Scholars’ Seminar dates: 6 – 7 September 2016

_______________________________

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2016 Young Scholar Awards

Deadline for applications: 22 April 2016

Following highly successful joint Afro-Asian CPR conferences in Mauritius in 2012, and India in 2013, CPRafrica and CPRsouth formally merged under the banner of CPRsouth in 2014. Since then, CPRsouth has hosted conferences in the Cradle of Humankind in South Africa (2014), and at the Innovation Center for Big Data and Digital Convergence at Yuan Ze University, Taiwan (2015).

This year’s conference is co-hosted by COSTECH and TCRA in Zanzibar, and will include sessions on cutting-edge developments on ICT policy and regulation in the South and discussion of the research-policy interface.

30 Young Scholars from Africa and the Asia-Pacific region will be selected to participate in a tutorial programme taught by recognised scholars and practitioners from Africa and Asia, and they will attend the main conference thereafter.

Tutorials are scheduled to be held on the 6th and 7th of September 2016, prior to the main CPRsouth conference.

 Who will qualify?

  • Masters/PhD students in Economics, Public policy, Communications and Journalism
  • Officers of government/regulatory agencies undertaking ICT policy research, developing/gathering indicators (monitoring and evaluation)
  • Staff of private companies in the communication industries working in regulatory affairs
  • Officers in NGOs/INGOs working in policy and regulation
  • Researchers from think tanks, university research centres
  • Journalists covering communication public policy and regulation

Seminar

The seminar will cover a number of topics of the two days, such as:

  • policy analysis using supply-side or demand-side data;
  • ICT impact analysis;
  • convergence, net neutrality;
  • funding broadband network extension, open access networks, spectrum;
  • sector and competition regulation;
  • research to policy interventions;
  • Internet governance – privacy, surveillance, human rights online; and
  • introduction to big data, open data.

(2016 tutorial programme still to be confirmed)

Previous tutorial presentations can be accessed at http://www.cprsouth.org/

Application deadline: 22 April 2016

Application guidelines

Applications should be submitted via this link by 22 April 2016, and must contain the following:

  1. one-page curriculum vitae; and
  2. one-page write-up outlining why you wish to become an African or Asia-Pacific based expert capable of contributing to ICT related policy and regulatory reform in the region

Applicants’ write-ups and biographies should be in a single word document, and named: CPRsouth2016_YoungScholar_ApplicantLastName.

Kindly note: Late applications and applications that do not conform to the prescribed format above will automatically be disqualified.

Review Criteria

Applications will be reviewed according to the following criteria:

  1. content of application;
  2. evidence of interest in, and commitment to, policy-relevant research for Africa or the Asia-Pacific region;
  3. quality of writing; and
  4. gender and country representation

The selection committee may contact your supervisor or mentor before making the final selections.

Candidates selected to participate in the tutorial programme must:

  • provide a one-page research proposal upon acceptance onto the tutorial programme
  • participate in all tutorial sessions
  • participate in the entire CPRsouth 2016 conference

Funding

Selected young scholars who are passport holders of, and travelling from, low and middle income countries within the Asia Pacific and Africa (as classified by the World Bank http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lending-groups#Low_income) will be provided with:

  • lowest-cost economy airfare to conference destination (less USD 150 registration fee);
  • ground transfers between the conference venue and airport; and
  • twin sharing accommodation on bed and breakfast basis, 5 lunches and 1 dinner for the duration of the conference and tutorials (6 – 10 September 2016). Not all meals are covered.

The registration fee for young scholars to attend the conference and tutorials is USD150, and airfares will be reimbursed less this registration fee.  Participants will be required to cover:

  • transport to and from airports in their home countries;
  • visa fees (if any);
  • meals not provided; and
  • any other incidental costs

As the registration fee is so low and should be met personally even if there is no institutional support for attendance of the course and conference, please note that only under exceptional circumstances of extreme financial hardship may the organisers consider a waiver of the conference registration fee. Such waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only where a scholar would otherwise be prevented from attending the YS programme and conference.

Visas

Letters of invitation will be provided for purposes of visa applications after participant selections have been made. Participants are responsible for securing their own visas to enter Tanzania, and are strongly advised to initiate visa approval procedures immediately on receipt of confirmation of their participation.

Kindly direct all enquiries to Ondine Bello: admin@researchictafrica.net  or info@CPRsouth.org

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2016 ITS Biennial Conference in Taipei, Taiwan — June 26-29, 2016

Dear Friends:

We wish to share some very good news with you about the 2016 ITS Biennial Conference to be held in Taipei, Taiwan, June 26-29, 2016.

The local organizers of this Conference are delighted to announce that with the recent addition of Taiwan’s major telephone companies as sponsors of this event, it has become possible to significantly reduce the registration fees for all attendees The previous fee for early bird registration was USD $500 per person. The new registration fee will now be USD $350 for regular participants. This registration fee includes all Conference sessions, free lunches, dinners, and local tours.

Please note that the USD $350 registration fee also includes a two year individual membership in ITS, the normal cost of which is USD $250. Membership in ITS, in turn, comes with many other benefits including a subscription to the scientific journal, Telecommunications Policy (which is published 11 times a year), and reduced registration fees at all ITS Regional Conferences.

In a word, Conference attendees will enjoy a very generous benefits package.

The new registration fee schedule is as follows:

Standard – Early bird:USD350/ After 1o May 2016: USD450

Students – Early bird: USD250/ After 1o May 2016: USD350

Accompanying Persons – Early bird: USD100/ After 1o May 2016: USD450

The theme of the 2016 ITS Biennial Conference is Interconnecting Everything: Harnessing Business, Policy and Smart Societies. The Conference will be hosted by four leading universities and institutes: Yuan Ze University, National Chengchi University, Shih Hsin University and the Taiwan Communications Society.

Full details on the Call for Papers and guidelines for abstract submission are available on the main Conference web site at http://www.its2016taiwan.com.

Outstanding papers will be considered for publication in an edited book or special issue of Telecommunications Policy.

Please be advised that the deadline for abstract submissions for the Conference has been extended to February 1. If you have not yet submitted your abstract, we very much encourage you to do so before the revised deadline. We believe you will be very impressed by the local organizer’s hospitality and the quality of the Conference.

The Conference will be held at the Regent Taipei Hotel, located in the heart of the city’s most vital financial, shopping, entertainment and cultural districts. The Hotel is 45 minutes from Taoyuan International Airport, 15 minutes from Taipei Song Shan Airport, and just a five-minute walk from Chung Shan MRT station. The Hotel is also well served by buses and taxis which provide easy (and inexpensive) access to all of Taipei’s hot spots and tourist attractions including world-class museums and art galleries; bustling night markets; other must-see cultural and historical sites; a dizzying array of shopping destinations; and a range of dining establishments from the most traditional to the ultra-modern serving outstanding dishes to meet every taste and budget.

The local organizer will provide pre- and post-conference tours to a number of special tourist attractions. Lunches and dinners will also be provided at attractive hotels.

Please visit the Conference web site at http://www.its2016taiwan.com for further details about this Conference.

Finally, please note that the 11th ITS Ph.D. Seminar will be held on June 29, 2016 immediately following the close of the 21st ITS Biennial Conference in Taipei. Access to the Biennial Conference will be free of charge for Ph.D. Seminar participants. A number of distinguished international scholars from within the ITS community will participate as discussants.

Successful student participants will receive a certificate from the International Telecommunications Society. Ph.D. students whose paper has been selected for presentation will receive a subsidy of 500€ to cover accommodation and travel expenses.

Further details about the Ph.D. Seminar, including full particulars on the Call for Papers, are available on the main Taiwan Conference web site at http://www.its2016taiwan.com.

Best regards,

Professor Erik Bohlin, Chairman of ITS
Professor Yu-li Liu, local organizer, National Chengchi University
Dr. David Yeh, local organizer, Yuan Ze University

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CPRsouth 2016: Extension of deadline to 22 Jan 2016

Due to technical problems experienced with the CPRsouth website, the deadline for submission of abstracts/paper proposals has been extended to 22 January 2016.

Kindly note that no further extensions can be granted so please ensure your submission reaches us by 22 January 2016.

CPRsouth 2016: Inclusive Innovation

Co-hosted by COSTECH and TCRA 

Zanzibar

8 – 10 September 2016

Revised deadline for submission of abstracts/paper proposals: 22 Jan 2016

Submit abstract/paper proposal here

Follow this link for more information on the CPRsouth 2016 call for papers.

Kindly direct all enquiries to Ondine Bello: admin@researchictafrica.net or info@CPRsouth.org

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CPRsouth submission deadline: 22 Jan 2016

CPRsouth 2016: Inclusive Innovation

Co-hosted by COSTECH and TCRA 

Zanzibar

8 – 10 September 2016

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/PAPER PROPOSALS

Revised deadline for submission of abstracts: 22 January 2016

Abstracts/paper proposals on ICT policy and regulation research carried out in the Asia Pacific and Africa, or relevant to the Asia-Pacific and Africa, may be submitted for review and acceptance.

Paper proposals should be submitted electronically on or before 22 January 2016 

Submit abstract/paper proposal here

Communication Policy Research: south (CPRsouth) builds policy intellectuals capable of informed and effective intervention in ICT policy and regulatory processes in specific country contexts.

Content

The conference will accommodate approximately 30 paper presenters from Africa and the Asia-Pacific over the two-and-a-half-day conference in Zanzibar from 8 – 10 September 2016. The conference includes sessions on cutting-edge developments on ICT policy and regulation in the South and discussion of the research-policy interface. Each of the paper sessions will be chaired by a senior scholar and include a discussant, who will provide substantive comments on the papers.

Submission Guidelines

Paper proposals should be submitted electronically at: http://www.cprsouth.org on or before 22 January 2016

Submissions consist of a 500-word paper proposal with references, and a one-page curriculum vitae should be submitted together with the proposal

The document should be in MS office word format and named according to the following format: CPRsouth2016_abstract&Bio_YourLastName.doc

The template for paper proposals can be downloaded from

http://www.cprsouth.org/review-criteria-and-template/

Abstracts/ paper proposals should be classifiable with at least three keywords from the list below those that capture the essence of the conference theme will be given preference over those that do not:

Accessibility | Applications | Authorization and licensing | Big data | Broadband | Business models | Citizen | Civil society | Cloud computing Competition | Conflict | Connectivity | Consumer | Content | Convergence | Cooperation | Demand | Digital | Disaster | Disability | Domestic | Economy | Ecosystem | Education | Efficiency | Emerging markets | Environment | Governance | Growth | Financial Inclusion | Indicators | Information | Infrastructure | Innovation | International | Institutions | Internet | Judiciary | Knowledge | Legislation | Markets | Media | Micro, small and medium enterprises | Mobile money | Monopoly | Networks | Performance | Policy | Political economy | Poverty | Productivity | Property| Public goods | Privacy | Oligopoly | Reforms | Regional | Regulation | Rights | Services | Spectrum | Strategy | Surveillance | Telecom reforms | Transparency | Universal access | Universal service.

Authors of shortlisted abstracts will be notified on or before the 9th of February 2016 and will be invited to submit full papers for final review by the 15th of April 2016.

Final papers selected for presentation at CPRsouth will be uploaded onto the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) database. Please note that the submission of the final paper implies consent to upload them onto the SSRN database. The slides of the presentations and the policy brief will also be uploaded onto http://www.cprsouth.org

Funding

Selected paper presenters who are passport holders of, and travelling from, low, lower-middle and upper middle income countries within the Asia Pacific and Africa (as classified by the World Bank http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lending-groups#Low_income) will be provided with:

  • lowest-cost economy airfare to conference destination (less USD 200 registration fee);
  • ground transfers between the conference venue and airport; and
  • twin, shared accommodation on bed and breakfast basis, 3 lunches and 1 dinner for the duration of the conference (8 – 10 September 2016). Not all meals are covered.

The registration fee for the conference is USD 200, and airfares will be reimbursed less this registration fee. Participants will be required to cover:

  • transport to and from airports in their home countries;
  • visa fees (if any);
  • meals not provided; and
  • any other incidental costs

(Kindly note that under exceptional circumstances conference organisers may consider a waiver of the conference registration fee. Such waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only where an author would otherwise be prevented from presenting his or her paper at the conference.)

Visas

Letters of invitation will be provided for purposes of visa applications after participant selections have been made. Participants are responsible for applying and paying to secure their own visas to enter Zanzibar, and are strongly advised to initiate visa approval procedures immediately on receipt of confirmation of their participation.

Kindly direct all enquiries to Ondine Bello: admin@researchictafrica.net or info@CPRsouth.org

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2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index – Voting Round II

The Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) at the University of Pennsylvania conducts research on the role policy institutes play in governments and civil societies around the world. The TTCSP works with leading scholars and practitioners from think tanks and universities in a variety of collaborative efforts and programs, and produces the annual Global Go To Think Tank Index that ranks the world’s leading think tanks in a variety of categories.

The nominations round of the 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index has concluded and the voting round has commenced. The deadline for the submission of your ranking of the leading think tanks in the world is December 15, 2015. 

Research ICT Africa (RIA) and LIRNEasia have been nominated in the following categories:

Research ICT Africa:
Top Science and Technology Think Tanks

LIRNEASIA:
Top Think Tanks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific (Excluding China, India, Japan, and the Republic of Korea)

Top Think Tanks – Worldwide (Non-US).

Best Policy Study/Report Produced by a Think Tank 2013-2014 

Best Transdisciplinary Research Program at a Think Tank 

Please use this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/rankthinktanks to rank the nominated think tanks.


A few important ground rules: 

1) Use the selection criteria provided on pages 49-52 of the 2014 Global Go To Index Report as a tool to evaluate and rank each think tank; 

2) You are not permitted to rank your own institution; 

3) Adhere to professional conduct by revealing and avoiding any potential conflicts of interest; 

4) Avoid political, ideological and discipline bias when ranking institutions. 

The results of the 2015 Global Go To Index Survey will be released in Washington, New York and 80 cities around the world on January 27th and 28th 2016. This year’s theme is “Why Think Tanks Matter to Policy Makers and the Public”

Should you have any questions, comments or suggestions don’t hesitate to share them with at jmcgann@wharton.upenn.edu 

Participation in the process helps Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies recognize think tank centers of excellence in every region of the world and in all the major areas of public policy research. 

Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (Lauder Institute of Management & International Studies: University of Pennsylvania)

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CPRsouth 2016 – Call for Papers

CPRsouth 2016: Inclusive Innovation

Co-hosted by COSTECH and TCRA

Zanzibar

8 – 10 September 2016

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS/PAPER PROPOSALS

Revised deadline for submission of abstracts/paper proposals: 22 January 2016

Abstracts/paper proposals on ICT policy and regulation research carried out in the Asia Pacific and Africa, or relevant to the Asia-Pacific and Africa, may be submitted for review and acceptance.

Paper proposals should be submitted electronically on or before 22 January 2016 Submit abstract/paper proposal here

Communication Policy Research: south (CPRsouth) builds policy intellectuals capable of informed and effective intervention in ICT policy and regulatory processes in specific country contexts.

Content

The conference will accommodate approximately 30 paper presenters from Africa and the Asia-Pacific over the two-and-a-half-day conference in Zanzibar from 8 – 10 September 2016. The conference includes sessions on cutting-edge developments on ICT policy and regulation in the South and discussion of the research-policy interface. Each of the paper sessions will be chaired by a senior scholar and include a discussant, who will provide substantive comments on the papers.

Submission Guidelines

Paper proposals should be submitted electronically at: http://www.cprsouth.org on or before 22 January 2016

Submissions consist of a 500-word paper proposal with references, and a one-page curriculum vitae should be submitted together with the proposal

The document should be in MS office word format and named according to the following format: CPRsouth2016_abstract&Bio_YourLastName.doc

The template for paper proposals can be downloaded from

http://www.cprsouth.org/review-criteria-and-template/

Abstracts/ paper proposals should be classifiable with at least three keywords from the list below those that capture the essence of the conference theme will be given preference over those that do not:

Accessibility | Applications | Authorization and licensing | Big data | Broadband | Business models | Citizen | Civil society | Cloud computing Competition | Conflict | Connectivity | Consumer | Content | Convergence | Cooperation | Demand | Digital | Disaster | Disability | Domestic | Economy | Ecosystem | Education | Efficiency | Emerging markets | Environment | Governance | Growth | Financial Inclusion | Indicators | Information | Infrastructure | Innovation | International | Institutions | Internet | Judiciary | Knowledge | Legislation | Markets | Media | Micro, small and medium enterprises | Mobile money | Monopoly | Networks | Performance | Policy | Political economy | Poverty | Productivity | Property| Public goods | Privacy | Oligopoly | Reforms | Regional | Regulation | Rights | Services | Spectrum | Strategy | Surveillance | Telecom reforms | Transparency | Universal access | Universal service.

Authors of shortlisted abstracts will be notified on or before the 9th of February 2016 and will be invited to submit full papers for final review by the 15th of April 2016.

Final papers selected for presentation at CPRsouth will be uploaded onto the Social Science Research Network (SSRN) database. Please note that the submission of the final paper implies consent to upload them onto the SSRN database. The slides of the presentations and the policy brief will also be uploaded onto http://www.cprsouth.org

Funding

Selected paper presenters who are passport holders of, and travelling from, low, lower-middle and upper middle income countries within the Asia Pacific and Africa (as classified by the World Bank http://data.worldbank.org/about/country-classifications/country-and-lending-groups#Low_income) will be provided with:

  • lowest-cost economy airfare to conference destination (less USD 200 registration fee);
  • ground transfers between the conference venue and airport; and
  • twin, shared accommodation on bed and breakfast basis, 3 lunches and 1 dinner for the duration of the conference (8 – 10 September 2016). Not all meals are covered.

The registration fee for the conference is USD 200, and airfares will be reimbursed less this registration fee. Participants will be required to cover:

  • transport to and from airports in their home countries;
  • visa fees (if any);
  • meals not provided; and
  • any other incidental costs

(Kindly note that under exceptional circumstances conference organisers may consider a waiver of the conference registration fee. Such waivers will be considered on a case-by-case basis and only where an author would otherwise be prevented from presenting his or her paper at the conference.)

Visas

Letters of invitation will be provided for purposes of visa applications after participant selections have been made. Participants are responsible for applying and paying to secure their own visas to enter Zanzibar, and are strongly advised to initiate visa approval procedures immediately on receipt of confirmation of their participation.

Kindly direct all enquiries to Ondine Bello: admin@researchictafrica.net or info@CPRsouth.org

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AMCIS 2016 Call for Papers

Managing ICT4D Field Research in the Developing World: Challenges, Opportunities, & Innovative Solutions

ICTs in Global Development (SIGGlobDev) Track

NOTE: Authors of best papers in the ICTs in Global Development track will be invited to submit revised versions for fast-track review and possible publication in the journal Information Technology for Development (ITD) – http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/titd20/current

Description
A large number of ICT for development (ICT4D) projects cannot meet their objectives. One cause of the failures of ICT4D projects is related to the shortcomings in field research, an integral part of ICT4D projects. Field research primarily involves data collection, and often attempts to understand someone else’s experience. The high failure rates of ICT4D projects call for fundamentally new ways to tackle the challenges experienced by researchers and practitioners when planning and conducting ICT4D field research.
This mini-track invites researchers and practitioners to share and analyze their success stories, failures, mistakes, and advice, which would gather momentum for a global discussion on better managing ICT4D field research, furthering the larger goal of socioeconomic and human development of marginalized communities across the developing world.

Suggested Topics

Topics include but are not limited to:

• Factors influencing the planning, implementation, and reporting of ICT4D field research
• Data collection challenges in the developing world: A multi-stakeholder perspective
• Innovative process-based and technology-driven solutions to capture, store, and process different types of textual, numeric, audiovisual, and tactile data
• Open data, big data, and real-time data for conducting ICT4D field research
• Issues related to data security, privacy, ethics, copyrights, and intellectual property
• What can ICT4D field research in the developing and developed world learn from each other?
• Applications of established theoretical frameworks and perspectives from multiple disciplines like anthropology, HCI, computer science, information science, MIS, etc. for managing ICT4D field research
• Managing the scope, time, cost, quality, HR, communication, and risks related to ICT4D field research
• Ways to develop the skills and knowledge needed to conduct ICT4D field research
• Dynamic inter-relationship between contextual factors (e.g., policy frameworks, environmental conditions, culture, etc.), research methods, and local assistants in ICT4D field research
• Applications of emerging technologies like NFC, M&E tools, SMAC, etc. to manage ICT4D field research

Important Date
March 2, 2016 (10:00 AM Pacific Standard Time): Deadline for paper submissions

Instructions for Authors
The entire paper should be no more than 5,000 words, including all materials and sections such as figures, tables, and references. All conference submissions will be double-blind, peer reviewed, and must be submitted using the online submission system at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/amcis2016.
For complete instructions for authors and information about the conference, visit the AMCIS 2016 website at http://amcis2016.aisnet.org.

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Resources for Young Scholars

Young scholars can refer to two excellent resources in order to better familiarize themselves with this year’s conference topic:

1. The African Mobile Story 

2. Reconceptualizing Development in the Global Information Age

More information on the book’s chapters can be found here: Reconceptualizing Development in the Global Information Age.

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CPR South Conference: 2015

Policy Brief Cover

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PH regulator to measure internet service performance

LIRNEasia participated in a series of public consultations and technical working group meetings conducted by the Philippines’ National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for the draft memorandum order on broadband quality of service, which is expected to be issued within the year. 

This article originally appeared in TelecomAsia. Reposted here with permission.

The National Telecommunications Commission is close to issuing a memorandum order that will update a previous issuance on minimum speed of broadband connections. But this time, the policy is targeted at measuring internet quality of service over setting minimum standards.

The order is the result of months of public consultations and technical working group meetings attended by big and small telcos, consumer groups and think tanks, and concerned government agencies such as the departments of justice, and trade and industry.

If and when NTC issues this memo order on broadband QoS, it is hoped that Philippine internet would improve from its abysmal state, ranking only second to war-torn Afghanistan in average download speed. The QoS measurement results might also help give a clearer picture of the problem areas that need to be addressed by government, service providers, and consumers.

The initial working draft was based on the proposal of Democracy.net.ph, formed by a group of concerned Filipino netizens who lobbied against data capping back in 2011. The Netdems, or founders of Democracy.net.ph, proposes to set minimum standards for data rate reliability, service reliability, and overall reliability, as well as “best efforts” offers. It also wants to ensure that consumers are properly informed by ISPs of their service offers and to establish rules for refunds and rebates in case of subpar service.

The draft now contains recommendations from LIRNEasia, a regional ICT policy think tank, who has been conducting broadband QoS experience studies in the Philippines and other Asian countries since 2011. The think tank proposes that NTC officially identify the diagnostic tool that will measure ISP performance metrics, which inclue throughput (download and upload speeds), latency, packet loss, and jitter. It also suggests that local ISPs publish their average speeds per location (e.g., city level) to allow consumers to make an informed choice. LIRNEasia found that Philippine ISPs offered the lowest value for money in terms of cost and actual download speed in tests conducted in Q1 2014.

In at least two public hearings, the two dominant telcos, PLDT and Globe, recommend that the NTC measure and monitor only the throughput and data volume, as these are the only metrics promised to subscribers. They also propose that internet QoS tests be done only within the ISP’s network where the variables are within their control.

However, measuring QoS from within the network may not necessarily reflect the actual service experienced by the end user. In the Philippines, for example, where a lot of websites are hosted abroad, it would be relevant to measure latency or round-trip-time vis-à-vis an international server. In countries that use probes (e.g., RIPE Atlas) or where the regulator provides testing equipment (e.g., SamKnows) or software (e.g., M-Lab’s network diagnostic tool) to volunteers, the tests are done from the end users’ location. This approach will most likely gauge the actual quality of connection in the last mile.

The importance of a sound methodology can not be overemphasized. A large dataset should be able to offset the effects of the uncontrolled variables and anomalies in the internet QoS tests. LIRNEasia proposes that the NTC-mandated diagnostic tool also be made available to the public, so that a wider area and population is tested.

The Private Association of Philippine Telephone Companies (PAPTELCO) representing the small telcos raises a valid concern about countryside resellers, or those who rely on the infrastructure of the big telcos, whose business might get negatively affected by the tests and publication of results. It urges the NTC to look into the lack of capacity, especially in remote rural areas, which would affect the performance of small providers.

Ideally, all service providers should comply with some form of QoS standards. However, there are ways to take into consideration those who serve a small subscriber base or missionary areas. In some countries, like Singapore, broadband QoS metrics for compliance are imposed on the large ISPs only, or those who serve at least 10% of the overall subscriber base. In the Philippines’ case, the urban centers might be a good place to start the internet QoS measurement where the big players operate.

This is a crucial juncture for NTC, as with many other regulators worldwide who are struggling with broadband policies, which include striking a balance between encouraging investment to expand access and maintaining quality of service for consumers. The proposals from the service providers and advocacy groups both have merits, and their recommendations have been discussed exhaustively over the past seven months. However the NTC decides, one thing is clear: this policy is long overdue, and it could only serve to improve Philippine internet.

 

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