Poor Signal

July 18, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission has fared poorly in a recent telecom regulatory and policy framework survey conducted by think tanks Lirne Asia and Institute of Policy Studies. “But the uncertainty reduces the investment. It also creates an opportunity for what in economics politely is called rent seeking.” Sri Lanka’s score was low owing to weak anti-competitive practices, one of worst in the Asian region.

The telecom survey was conducted in seven countries including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The survey systematically captures the perception of operators, vendors and public interest groups at top management level.

The survey was done on a five point scale, with five as excellent and one being bad.
A score of three was regarded as average.

“We said three is the threshold and Sri Lanka has had trouble over the years making the threshold,” said Rohan Samarajiva, chief executive of LIRNEasia.

“This year not one single score was above three, while last year there was one that reached three. So Sri Lanka generally is a very poor performer.”

In the 2010/11 perception survey Sri Lanka was fighting for