Spring 2009 Issue 25
Special Focus |  Policy and Legislation |  e-Government |  e-Commerce |  e-Society |  e-Security |  Conference and Training

Contact Us:  unpan-ap@sass.org.cn
  A Year of News: Total Telecom Top 30
Asia: Telcos Step Up 'Green' in 2009
Europe: E-Inclusion Awards 2008 - Winners Announced
United States: New Federal Government Team Focuses on Innovation and IT
Africa: Capacity Building Workshop on Electronic/Mobile Government in Africa
China: Survey Finds 61% Dissatisfied with Gov't Websites
Japan: Govt to Issue New ID Cards to Sniff Out Illegals
South Korea: e-Government to Further Improve by 2012
Singapore: Open Source Can Boost Innovation
Philippines: First-ever District-Wide Barangay e-Governance System Launched
India: e-Governance for All Spheres of Govt by 2020
Bangladesh: Connectivity by 2015
Australia: Trial for E-democracy Future
New Zealand: Government Projects Boost Security Awareness, Says RSA
 
  EUROPE: Action Plan on E-signatures and E-identification Adopted
Bulgaria Adopting the Programme for the Development of Broadband Internet Access
Croatian eGovernment Development Strategy 2009-2012 Adopted
Calls for Tender for Developing the Information Society in Hungary
Approval of Draft Regulation on the National Register of Spatial Data in Italy
Billions in IT Spending Cuts Likely in 2009 Treasury Budget in UK
NORTH AMERICA: California Releases Statewide Five-Year IT Capital Plan
UN Launches e-Learning Initiative in Over 160 Countries
 
  CHINA: New Optic Fiber Network Combining TV, Phone, Internet Service
China to Invest $41b in 3G Network in Next Two Years
China Issues 3G Mobile Phone Licenses
Rule Aims to Put End to Online Manhunts
China Says to Support IT and Electronics Sectors amid Downturn
JAPAN: Handbook on How to Introduce Child Monitoring Systems Compiled
Draft MIC Ordinance to Amend Part of Rules for Interconnection Charges, Etc.
More Schools Banning Cell Phones in Japan
Ministry Issues Ban on Online Drug Sales
SOUTH KOREA: Bill to Aid Media Mergers Endorsed by Government
Korea Plans on Super Broadband
MONGOLIA: Bill Submitted to Amend Law on Public Radio and Television
 
  INDONESIA: Bali Steps Up E-Government Plans
PHILIPPINES: Govt Looks to Improve Communications Strategy
VIETNAM: State Pushes Open-Source Software
 
  INDIA: IT Initiative to Expand Digital Literacy in Western India
Single Universal Identification for All Indians by Early 2010
Govt to Invest INR 20,175 Cr. in e-Governance Projects
Indian IT Suppliers Warn Against Dangers of Protectionism
PAKISTAN: New Rules for Media Notified
 
  AFGHANISTAN: Ministry of Communications and IT Covers Underserviced Areas of the Country
UZBEKISTAN: Measures to Scale-Up Electronic Stock Trading System
 
  AUSTRALIA: NSW Issues $200m PC, Wireless Tender
Expert Panel's Broadband Report
Budget 2009: AMA Pushes E-Health Agenda
NEW ZEALAND: Release of Research, Science & Technology Briefings
Government Readies for New Moves on Broadband
 
  EUROPE: First Version of the eProcurement Map Now Available
ENISA Presents Its First Report on Pan-European EIDM
Personal eGovernment Services Account Launched in France
Italy: Memorandum of Understanding for the Digitization of Public Administration in Campania
Malta New Government IT Agency Goes Online
Medvedev Pushes for Paperless Government in Russia
Scottish Govt Upgrades Records Management System
United Kingdom: DWP Plans Transformative Role for Directgov
NORTH AMERICA: United States: Citizen Satisfaction with Federal E-Government Hits All-Time High
Internet the Key to Obama's Campaign Success
US Government Uses Online Social Media to Manage Salmonella Outbreak
White House Launches Recovery.gov
Asian Countries' E-govt Rankings Revealed
 
  Free Voices on Internet New Path to Democracy
Internet Changes Political Landscape in China
Chinese Court Moves to Allow People Easier Access to Judicial Services
Gov't Opens Website to Aid Foreign Traders
JAPAN: Lesson: High-Speed Network May Be Slow Stimulus
Results of Public Comment Procedure on Draft Verification Results (FY 2008) Based on the Competition Safeguard System
Fujitsu Tests E-Newspapers at Japanese Cafe
SOUTH KOREA: Four Year Plan for E-Govt Improvement
Advanced E-Governance for South Korea
New KOTRA Foreign Recruitment Website Goes Online
Korea.kr Launches Web Promotion Event - Prizes to Be Won
Taking the Best of Web 2.0 into the Public Sector
South Korea Ranked 1st Out of 198 E-Government Countries
National Intellectual Property Education Portal Launched
Top Court to Publicize Acquittals Online
 
  CAMBODIA: Leverage on Video-Conferencing
MALAYSIA: Broadband Centre for Every Parliamentary Constituency in Malaysia
Board to Introduce e-Stamping from Jan 1
Cyber Court for Malaysia?
PHILIPPINES: Office of the President Launches Its New Portal
IT Upgrade to Enhance SSS Operations
NTC Transfers Back to CICT
SINGAPORE: Govt Services on the Go
Singapore Govt to Respond to Citizens Via Web
Singapore Looks to Export e-Government
Singapore's IDA Launches E-government Consultancy
S'pore Govt to 'Facilitate' Interoperable NFC
Royal Thai Navy Updates Network
VIETNAM: Lao Cai Opens E-Government Portal
Faster Tracking of Applications for Vietnamese
E-Govt in Vietnam Must Tie in with Administrative Reform
Ministry Promotes Online Public Services
e-Procurement Adopted by Vietnam
Rampant E-Govt Plans for Vietnam
 
  BANGLADESH: Govt to Introduce Telehealth Services
INDIA: Tamil Nadu the Best e-Governed State - IDC Survey
e-Procurement System Implemented in Orissa
Himachal Launches Grievance Redressal Portal
New Avenue for Indian Citizens to Post Grievances
Over 13,000 Indian Local Govts Get Broadband Connection
Indian State Establishes e-Governance Agency
Five e-Governance Awards Bagged by Gujarat
Indian Domain '.in' Selling Like Hot Cakes
'Jankari' An e-Governance Initiative of Bihar Wins National Award
m-Governance Adopted by Traffic Police in Kerala
MP's e-Governance Initiative Bags National Award
e-Governance Adoption by GUVNL
Goa Provides for Payment of Taxes via Internet
 
  IRAN: Iran to Open Office on Internet, SMS-Related Crimes
TURKMENISTAN: Minister of Communication Severely Reprimanded
 
  AUSTRALIA: Connect with Government Online
NSW Police Armed with Information
Qld Govt Shrinks Transformation Tender
IT Budget Runs Over at Victoria Police
Qld Govt Signs Placard Smartcard Deal
WA Agencies Seek IT Outsourcer
Vic Government Releases Facebook/Myspace Widget for Bushfire Support
Net Filter Plan Nurtures 'Open Source Government'
NEW ZEALAND: Police Ask for More ICT Spending
Ministry Pushes Ahead with Controversial Animal ID Project
Government Shared Network Gets the Chop
Government Improves Mobile Infrastructure
Local Governments Ignore E-govt
 
  ASIA: Manufacturers Go Digital in 2009
EUROPE: Mid-term Report of the Expert Group on E-Invoicing Available for Comments
Macedonia Launched New Online System to Facilitate Cross-border Trade
More than Half of UK Population Does Not Shop Online
NORTH AMERICA: Colorado Web Site Assists Business Development
Global Mobile Connections Reach 4 Billion
 
  CHINA: Online Advertising Set to Rebuff Global Crisis
China Telecom Launches eSurfing
China's Video Sharing Websites Hunger for Capital
IT Sector Damaged as Demand Shrinks
Bank Card Business Up 70% in Value over New Year Period
China: Web Shopping Touches Record High in China
China Mobile Publishes 2008 CSR Report
JAPAN: Figures and Estimates for Broadband Subscription Numbers and Network Traffic
Opportunities in Japan for Korean IT Professionals
SOUTH KOREA: Phone Industry Competes for Next-Generation Technology
One-Touch Phone Banking for All Banks to Start
More Than 1 Million Web Users Use .kr Domain
Gov't to Invest in Broadcast, Telecom Industries
New Telecom Protocol to Help S. Korea Take Lead in Wireless Network Market
Korea's Mobile Phone Subscription Rate Tops 93 Percent
Korea, Japan Join Forces to Create a Digital Economy
Increase in Registrations for Cell-phone Location Tracking
Korea's It Exports Amount to Us$6.9 Billion in January
Profits in Korea's IPTV Market 'to Expand 10-Fold'
Korean Digital TVs at No.1 in U.S. Market
KT Corp. Aims to Boost Internet Telephony Users 6-fold by Year-end
 
  INDONESIA: Latest Phase of NSW Online Service Introduced to Help Traders
MALAYSIA: World-class ICT Firms Growing
Govt, Telcos, Financial Firms to Lift M'sia IT Sector
Malaysia Opens Online Varsity
M'sia Telecom Spending to Stay Resilient in 2009
THAI: ICT Ministry Says WiMax and 3G Licences Imminent
 
  BANGLADESH: Korea Lends Bangladesh US$200m for e-Govt
ICT Will Be Second Largest Thrust Sector in Bangladesh
INDIA: First 3G Services Launched
e-Procurement for Railways
INR 5000 Cr. Towards Free Cell Phones to 50 Million Poor Families
e-Tenders Adopted Reluctantly by Govt Departments
 
  AFGHANISTAN: Neda Telecommunications to Deploy IP Trunking Solution from O3b Networks
Afghan Telecom Launches Full Mobility and Prepaid Systems for CDMA Network
Afghan Wireless Launches EDGE in Jalalabad
IRAN: Electronics Trade Impressive
E-Commerce to Reach Rls.10 Trillion
New TSE System Launched
TCI Sale Delayed
KAZAKHSTAN: AsiaBell Launches WiMAX
TURKEY: Telekom Confirms Wireline Investments
Turkcell Survives MNP
Turk Telekom 2008 Results
TURKMENISTAN: MTS Launches Wireless Internet Service
UZBEKISTAN: Intel, Super iMax & TS-Technology to 'Cooperate'
Cabmin's IT Complex Sums Up 2008 Results
 
  AUSTRALIA: Aussie ICT Layoffs: The Scorecard
Govt Kicks Telstra Out of NBN Tender
Industry Engaged on ICT Reforms
Grim Outlook for New IT Projects
NEW ZEALAND: Technology Group Takes Shape at Internal Affairs
Wireless Technology to Support High-speed Broadband
Digital Development Council Gathers Broadband Data
Telecom NZ Commits to VDSL2 Roll-out
World-Leading Project Preserves New Zealand's Digital Memory
 
  ASIA: Asean Camp Equips Children with It Skills
More Arabic Web Sites in the Middle East
Asia's Shoppers Go Online as Internet Barriers Fall
EUROPE: Health-e-Child Wins the ICT 2008 Exhibit Grand Prize
Online Consumer Education Programmes Launched in Bulgaria and Romania
Finland Local School Enrolment Online
Lithuania Launched Electronic ID Cards
Lithuania: Successful Implementation of the 'Ehealth Services' Project
SOUTH AMERICA: World's Largest Virtualised Desktop Deployment in Brazil's Schools
Worldwide Internet-user Total Passes 1B
Generations Online in 2009
 
  CHINA: On-line Job Fairs to Help College Graduates Arranged
Domain Name Reform to Open Up Internet Wider
China Blogger Population Exceeds 50 Mln
China's Population of Web Users Hits 298 Million
Many Chinese Spending 8 Hours a Day on the Web
Online Social Networks Popular in China
Wireless Phone Service to Shut Down by 2011
Free Wi-Fi Service Will Be Available in Beijing
JAPAN: New Web Site Maps Out Smells
Japan Launches Satellite to Track Greenhouse Gases
Government Plans Powerful Info-Gathering Satellite
Japan Unveils New Space Rocket, Hoping to Boost Prestige
SOUTH KOREA: Internet Speed to Ramp Up by 2012
IT to Tide over Economic Crisis
Korea's Broadband Penetration Now 6th in the World
S. Korean IT Competitiveness Reaches 90 pct of U.S.
Gov't to Invest 34 Trln Won to Build Super Internet Highway
Newspaper Websites Attract Growing Audience
80% of Korean Teens Use Mobile Phones
 
  PHILIPPINES: DepEd's "Laptop for Teachers" Project Goes Full Swing
Philippine School Retails Online Learning
SINGAPORE: Singhealth Activates Integrated EHR
YOG Committee Starts IT Preparations
Online Network Set Up to Share Flu Pandemic Info with Doctors
IE S'pore to Help Firms Tap Infocomm Projects in Rural Communities
New Tool for Thai Model School
Tech Helps Improve Thai Healthcare Monitoring
VIETNAM: Top Ten Information and Communication Events of 2008
Youth Urged to Help Develop It Sector
 
  INDIA: Health Card Launched for Expatriates
India Fourth in the World Among Internet Users
Health Smart Cards for India's Poor
Plans for e-University in India
Uttar Pradesh Becomes the First State to Launch e-District
India State Hospitals to Be Inter-Connected
Internet Users in Rural India Exceed 3.3 Million
Computing Solutions in 12 Indian Languages
Indian State Rolls Out Telemedicine Centres
PNB Achieves 100% Core Banking
NEPAL: e-Library for Children
PAKISTAN: Telemedicine System
 
  AZERBAIJAN: Delta Telecom Plans to Introduce 300Mbps Wireless Internet
TURKEY: Phone Sales Hit by Economic Crisis
Turkcell to Launch 3G in June
UZBEKISTAN: Mobile Use Doubles in 2008; Internet Grows 22.5%
UCell Selects Nokia Siemens Networks to Simplify Billing Process
 
  AUSTRALIA: Extra $807m for Computers in Schools
Australian Govt Approves Sharing of Patients' E-Records
Computers in Schools Invitation
Telco 2008: A Year in Review
Queensland Schools Trial IP Telephony
Auckland Gets Metro Wi-Fi Service
Australian University Increases Performance and Cost Savings
Govt Pledges $2.6m for Tas School Computers
Victoria Schools Begin Netbook Trial
 
  EUROPE: ENISA on Privacy in National eID Cards: 'Europe Needs a Strategy'
Liechtenstein to Join European Council's Convention on Cybercrime
United States: Fight Cyber-Crime Through Procurement
NORTH AMERICA: US Tweaks Internet Privacy Guidelines
 
  CHINA: Blacklists 74 Websites for Selling Fake TCM
Taiwan Receives 110.1 Billion Spam Emails in 2008
Web Site Ordered to Pay Damages to China's First "Virtual Lynching" Victim
Police to Launch Online Monitoring of Train Ticket Scalpers
China Blocks 726 Porn Websites
China Extends Porn Crackdown to Online Games
Hong Kong Goes After Commercial Fax Spammer
Taobao.com: Chinese Users Who Sell Fake Products Will Be Terminated
20 Jailed over China's 'Biggest' Online Gambling Case
JAPAN: Safe Network Development Promotion Program Developed
Personal Data of 4,210 Students, Teachers Lost
 
  SINGAPORE: Data Protection Enforcement Needs Bite
THAILAND: 2,300 Websites Blocked
VIETNAM: Joining Open Source Software Alliance
Vietnam Urged to Pay More Attention to Information Security
 
  INDIA: Enhanced Managed Security Services Launched
INR 2,000 Crores Earmarked for Computerization of All Police Stations
ICT Makes Crime Records Available at Your Fingertips
First e-Court of India Launched
 
  IRAN: Iran Blocks Websites Promoting Khatami
KYRGYZSTAN: Three ISPs 'Out of Action'
 
  AUSTRALIA: Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-safety
ABS to Release Most Website Data Under Creative Commons Licensing
Rudd Hiring Security CIO
Government Bolsters E-security
NSW Govt Investigates Potential Hack
 
  AFRICA: e-Government Forum to Be Held in Rwanda
ASIA: The 2nd Annual ID Management & Access World Asia 2009
EUROPE: Towards the SDI Best Practice Award 2009
European eParticipation Day 2009 Promotes the Use of ICT to Support Citizens' Participation in Decision-making
Taking the Best of Web 2.0 into the Public Sector
ITU Telecom World 2009 Set to Open in Geneva, 5-9 October
 
  CHINA: Online Game Industry Calls for Government Oversight
Chinese Company Wins Nokia's Global Innovators Prize
JAPAN: Mic to Hold the MRA International Workshop 2009
SOUTH KOREA: IP Manpower Training Available for Small Businesses
 
  PHILIPPINES: PGMA Leads Efforts to Stimulate e-Services Growth in RP
VIETNAM: Second ICT Forum Kicks Off in Hanoi
Vietnam's Online Ministerial E-Govt Dialogue
 
  INDIA: 3rd National Consultation on Rural Inclusion
'Innovations 2009' to Be Held in Pune
Training Programme on e-Procurement by Delhi Government
12th National Conference on e-Governance
 
  TAJIKISTAN: FOCUS Conducts Geographic Information System Training for Government Institutions in Tajikistan
Roundtable Meeting to Discuss Information System for Health Care Management to Be Held on Friday
UZBEKISTAN: ICT Sector's Development in 2008 Considered
Modern Media-Marketing Techniques Discussed
 
  AUSTRALIA: Safer Internet Day 2009
World's Largest Nanotechnology Exhibition
NEW ZEALAND: Location for Linux.conf.au 2010

TOP↑

 

A Year of News: Total Telecom Top 30

A round-up of the most read stories on Total Telecom in 2008, featuring the 3G iPhone, femtocells, mobile broadband, Ben Verwaayen, Facebook, finances and more. It's certainly been an eventful year in the telecoms industry. We've seen CEOs come and go, key figures wax lyrical on WiMAX, LTE and femtocells, vendors and operators grappling with the economic downturn, and the launch of that Apple handset. And Total Telecom was there to witness it all. Look out for our review of 2008, which will be on the site over the Christmas break. In the meantime, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the most popular news stories we produced during the year. Our most-read piece by some margin came from Broadband World Forum Europe in Brussels in September, when new Alcatel-Lucent CEO Ben Verwaayen made his first keynote speech since taking the job. A packed auditorium waited with bated breath to hear details of Verwaayen's plans for his new, troubled company. And judging by the number of Total Telecom readers who clicked on that story, we weren't the only ones. In the end though, Verwaayen said very little about Alcatel-Lucent, concentrating on market issues instead, keeping schtum about ALU's strategy until mid-December. Verwaayen featured twice in our top 30 news stories of the year, his appointment to the Alcatel-Lucent position in September coming in at number 27. Wireless technologies dominated the 2008 rankings, with pieces on femtocells, WiMAX, LTE, and mobile broadband services really sparking the interest of our readers.

In the year's second most popular story, published earlier this month, Gigaset CEO José Costa e Silva confidently and controversially asserted that femtocells are doomed due to the lack of a business case. We're inclined to agree. Look out for the Total Telecom team's predictions for 2009, also appearing online over Christmas, for more on that one. Nonetheless, there's still clearly a lot of interest in the technology out there. News of a femtocells trial involving U.K. mobile operator O2 and Japan's NEC broke at Mobile World Congress in February and generated a huge amount of hits. That was O2's second entry in the top 30. Its first - a piece looking at the operator's deal with BT Openzone to boost its WiFi network ahead of the launch of the 3G iPhone - featured in the top five, which came as something as a surprise to the editorial team. That said, everyone loves an iPhone story... apparently. Thousands of you read our piece on the unveiling of the 3G version of the high-profile Apple handset by Steve Jobs in June. Love it or hate it, the new iPhone was one of the defining events of the year. Another was the surprise departure of Arun Sarin from Vodafone, although interestingly that story didn't make it anywhere close to the top 30. However, Sarin himself did make his mark. The former Voda boss's comments at Mobile World Congress on the possibility of merging the LTE and WiMAX standards made for interesting reading and gave us our third most popular story. Our readers also enjoyed the response to that from a number of the industry's leading vendors, including Ericsson and Motorola.

And Nortel Networks' decision in June to focus on LTE and transfer its WiMAX business into a joint venture with Alvarion was also widely read. The fifth most popular piece in 2008 looked at the mobile broadband market in the U.K., and the spat over network speeds between Vodafone and 3. A report from Analysys Mason predicting that 47% of all broadband subscribers in Europe will access the Internet through mobile networks by 2013, also attracted the attention of our readers. The analyst firm's forecasts were much more conservative than those provided by Ericsson in November. The Swedish vendor predicts that a massive 80% of global Internet subscribers will connect via mobile broadband instead of fixed by the same date. However, 2008 was not purely about mobile. The news back in August that BT Global Services was considering further acquisitions attracted a healthy number of hits. Perhaps surprisingly though, subsequent stories covering the problems facing the U.K. incumbent's IT services arm, including its shock profit warning in late October, arm were less widely read. Telekom Austria's August optimism on the second-half performance of its ailing fixed-line business drew a good deal of attention, as did Total Telecom's 100,000th story, a piece focusing on moves by Europe's incumbents to transform their business models to reflect the growing importance of software. Web 2.0-related pieces were also top priority for our readers. One story in particular stands out: at Broadband World Forum Europe, Vodafone proclaimed Facebook to be "bigger than porn". It's easy to understand why people felt the urge to click on that one! The ranking of the top 30 stories in 2008 is reproduced in full below. As this will be the last Friday Review of 2008, Total Telecom wishes all of our readers a merry Christmas and happy new year. We look forward to continuing to provide you with the industry's most comprehensive news service in 2009.

1. Verwaayen outlines plan for Alcatel-Lucent
2. Femtocells doomed, but WiMAX a winner - Gigaset
3. Vodafone's Sarin calls for LTE, WiMAX merger
4. O2 UK bolsters WiFi hotspots ahead of 3G iPhone
5. Gloves come off in UK mobile broadband wars
6. BT Global Services still on shopping spree
7. Context key to telco advertising - Openwave
8. Orange unveils 3G UMA platform
9. Vendors dismiss call for merger of LTE with WiMAX... for now
10. Global HSPA subscriptions hit 50 million
11. WiFi device sales to reach $19bn by 2011
12. Tata plans global rollout of public telepresence service
13. O2, NEC in UK femtocell trial
14. Huawei says no timetable for devices stake sale
15. Mobile set to replace fixed broadband in quarter of European homes
16. Microsoft sees single device as central to consumer mobile push
17. Nokia's brand value plummets, Voda gets a boost
18. Emerging market operators to make European moves
19. Telekom Austria banks on fixed-line business for 2H
20. European incumbents in process of transformation
21. Telstra gives Europe a lesson in mobile data
22. 80% of Web users will choose mobile broadband over fixed by 2013 - Ericsson
23. IPTV lacks consumer pull - BBC
24. 3G iPhone unveiled… and it's cheaper
25. Facebook is bigger than porn - Vodafone
26. Nortel plumps for LTE over WiMAX
27. Verwaayen to become Alcatel-Lucent CEO
28. Termination rate cuts could price out pre-paid users - Vodafone
29. Wholesale giants say Internet will no longer be free
30. Verizon wants Vodafone out of Verizon Wireless


From http://www.totaltele.com/ 01/04/2009

TOP↑

 

Asia: Telcos Step Up 'Green' in 2009

Telcos in Asia, as with their counterparts in other regions, will place greater emphasis on green IT this year, as they seek to cut costs and ride out the downturn, according to industry observers. Ovum's senior analyst of telco operations Sally Banks, noted that telcos globally will place emissions reduction as a high priority this year. "As take-up of broadband and mobile services slows and the global economic crisis bites, telcos need to look at opportunities to stay ahead of the competition," she pointed out. There are also tremendous opportunities for operators to help other businesses reduce their carbon footprint, noted Banks in a brief last month. "Estimates suggest that telecoms operators can achieve a 1- to 2 percent reduction in global carbon emissions by implementing green initiatives within their operations. "However, the telecommunications industry is expected to enable other businesses to reduce emissions by up to five times this amount, highlighting that telecoms has a major role to play in enabling a green economy," she said, adding that improving brand perception is an additional benefit for telcos to go green. Banks said operators worldwide have introduced green initiatives, such as the "use of renewable energy sources, to power networks and mobile base stations" as well as using natural resources from sustainable sources. They are also starting to use fresh-air cooling systems instead of air-conditioning in data centers, and converting fleet vehicles to LPG-rather than diesel or petrol-based ones.

Other green priorities include using cutting down on energy use, tapping on energy-efficient technologies, recycling materials from phones, networks and offices, and improving the battery life of mobile phones to limit charging them. Over in the Asia-Pacific region, Ovum has observed that mobile operators including those in Cambodia, China and Pakistan, have implemented solar powered infrastructure "as a way of not only lessening their impact on the environment but also reducing costs", said Banks. However, more needs to be done, she pointed out. "Ovum expects a lot more activity by players that have yet to implement a formal green policy as it becomes a corporate requirement to be green and as legislation becomes more stringent in this space," she said in the brief. According to Matt Walker, principal analyst at Ovum, Japanese telcos and the largest wireless operators have been most active in looking at ways to lower energy costs. Attention on energy management issues, however, differs depending on the type of operator, he pointed out in an e-mail. Wireless network operators, for example, are concerned with energy usage in base stations. "Because of its vast size, China Mobile has [for example] focused lots of management attention at the energy efficiency of its network equipment," he explained.

ZDNet Asia understands from a SingTel spokesperson, the telco will remain focused on energy efficiency and corporate sustainability in 2009. According to the spokesperson, the company has been engaged in activities relating to the reduction of its carbon footprint and management of energy use and waste. These initiatives are a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) program. In its Australian operations, SingTel introduced a number of energy-saving initiatives, including solar-powered air-conditioning to an office, he noted, adding that its subsidiary Optus achieved 50 percent carbon neutrality at corporate sites "through a combination of green power and carbon offsets". From its corporate office in Singapore, the telco has also raised the air-conditioning temperature, encouraged staff to switch off their lights and introduced an e-billing option. SingTel in 2008 received the Green Globe Award from the New South Wales Department of Environment and Climate Change for its Macquarie Park facility, which is capable of recycling 92 percent of all waste material exiting the site, the spokesperson added. Michael Sim, StarHub's senior corporate communications and investor relations manager, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview that the telco is "firmly committed to establishing sustainable green practices this year" across its operations. More details will be made known at a later date, he added.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

Europe: E-Inclusion Awards 2008 - Winners Announced

The seven winners of the 2008 European e-Inclusion Awards have been announced on 1 December 2008, during the Vienna Ministerial Conference on e-Inclusion. The seven winners are, per award category: Ageing Well Award: London Borough of Newham (United Kingdom); Marginalised Young People Award: A-Clinic Foundation (Finland); Geographic Inclusion Award: Kyyjärven kunta (Finland); Cultural Diversity Award: Milton Keynes Council (United Kingdom); Digital Literacy Award: Association 'Langas I ateiti' (Lithuania); eAccessibility Award: Synscenter Refsnæs (Denmark); Inclusive Public Services Award: Sotiria Hospital (Greece).

Across 34 European and adjoining countries, 469 public, private and third sector organisations entered their project for the 2008 European e-Inclusion Awards. Of these, 35 were short-listed as finalists in the above award categories. The European eInclusion Awards competition has been organised within the framework of European Commission's "e-Inclusion: Be part of It" initiative. Their aim is to celebrate the best and most imaginative uses of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) to reduce digital and social exclusion. The five finalists in each category have been invited to exhibit at the Ministerial Conference on e-Inclusion. The seven Awards winners have been announced during the conference's Awards ceremony on 1 December 2008. The Ministerial Conference on e-Inclusion has been jointly organised from 30 November to 2 December 2008 by the European Commission and the Austrian Government, in cooperation with the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/02/2008

TOP↑

 

United States: New Federal Government Team Focuses on Innovation and IT

Along with new positions such as the nation's first CTO, the Obama administration has created a new group, the TIGR (Technology, Innovation and Government Reform) Team. According to a video recently posted on the Change.gov site (now http://www.whitehouse.gov following the inauguration), TIGR is dedicated to fostering innovation within government. As TIGR team member and Washington, D.C., CTO Vivek Kundra explains on the video, "One of the biggest problems of the federal government is that process has trumped outcome ... everyone is focused on compliance; nobody is thinking about innovation and how to drive change within the government." TIGR hopes to foster innovation to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of government programs. Members of the TIGR team have a variety of experience, coming from backgrounds in both the private and public sectors. Along with CTO Kundra, the team includes Beth Noveck, professor of law at New York Law School; Dan Chenok, senior VP and general manager of Pragmatics Inc.; Blair Levin, managing director of Stifel Nicolaus Research Team; and Andrew McLaughlin, head of Global Public Policy and Government Affairs for Google.

Besides focusing on innovation, the TIGR team is also working to increase transparency in government. The team recently launched the Citizen's Briefing Book, an online program that allows citizens to put their proposals and ideas about government issues online. Noveck explains that, with the Briefing Book, the government "will be sure to get the best ideas for the beginning of the administration." The TIGR also wants to bring other innovative and cost-effective changes to government, such as creating mash-ups with government data and utilizing cloud computing.

The reform team has high hopes for the new administration's ability to accept and implement these IT changes. Andrew McLaughlin explains, saying "I think you're going to see a lot more experimentation across the federal government and a lot more implementation of these kinds of tools that are really commonplace on the Web right now."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 01/22/2009

TOP↑

 

Africa: Capacity Building Workshop on Electronic/Mobile Government in Africa

Start Date: Feb 17, 2009
End Date: Feb 19, 2009
Venue: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Description: Capacity Building Workshop on Electronic/Mobile Government in Africa: Progress Made & Challenges Ahead

The goal of the Workshop is to explore regional knowledge into the issues and challenges of e/m-government development in Africa, further explore the concept of the development of the UN Global Knowledge Repository, develop partnerships for capacity building in the region and identify capacity building needs for e/m-government in the region.

Invited participants from regional institutions and countries will present papers, make presentations on the themes outlined above, as well as participate in discussions at the Workshop which has the following objectives:

To explore the challenges and barriers to e/m-government development, review current research, including concepts and approaches of e/m-government in Africa;
To map innovative practices of e/m-government development citing best practices and lessons learnt;
To facilitate an active dialogue between the UN, the various regional stakeholders, and Member States towards a framework of assessment on e/m-government development in Africa;
To provide training on knowledge management on the development of the UN Global Knowledge Repository for Africa utilizing the UNPAN tools;
To forge partnerships for the future work on the UN Global Knowledge Repository in Africa; and
To promote regional cooperation and the regional perspective in e/m-government development, through discussions and presentations regarding the fundamentals of an enabling environment.

Thematic areas for the presentations include the following:
Session I: e/m-Government: An Overview
Session II: e/m-Government issues and challenges in Africa
Session III: Capacity Building for e/m-government
Session IV: Country Presentations on e/m-government practices and lessons learned
Session V: Capacity Building for e/m-Government: The UN Global Knowledge Repository through the UNPAN tools

Sub-themes for Sessions III and IV include:
1. National e/m-Government Strategies
2. Legal and Regulatory Framework
3. ICT Infrastructure and Interoperability
4. Institutional Structure and other Enabling Environment for e/m-Development
For Details, please see: http://www.unpan.org/Events/BrowseEventsbyCalendar/tabid/94/mctl/EventDetails/ModuleID/1532/ItemID/1207/Default.aspx?selecteddate=2/17/2009


From www.unpan.org 02/28/2009

TOP↑

 

China: Survey Finds 61% Dissatisfied with Gov't Websites

The Social Survey Center of China Youth Daily recently conducted a survey on government websites among 1,110 members of the public. It showed that 86 percent people have visited such websites, and 61 percent were left dissatisfied with the experience. According to Xinhua.net, gov.cn first of all has adopted Chinese domain names such as "中国政府网.政务", "中国政府.政务", "国务院.政务", "国务院办公厅.政务" and "中央人民政府门户网站.政务". Net users will be able to visit gov.cn directly through these Chinese domain names. However, do the public get the information they need from government websites? Which websites are popular with the public? The Social Survey Center of China Youth Daily recently conducted a survey on government websites among 1,110 members of the public. 86% have visited government websites According to the survey, 86 percent of respondents have visited government websites. However, only 28 percent were frequent visitors, while 57 percent were occasional visitors. From these results, Sun Songtao, director of the management center of Shanghai.gov.cn, concluded that the development of government websites is not meeting the expectations of the public and is not in line with the work of government, although government websites are attracting more attention than in the past. "At present, our government is in a period of transition from traditional to modern practices.

The public is not yet in the habit of getting information or services through visiting government websites, demonstrating a need for the media and other relevant groups to provide encouragement to the public," Sun said. "Public participation can help to identify existing problems and thereby help government websites to improve accordingly." Doctor Ye Xing of the School of Management of Dalian University of Technology thinks it essential that government websites must provide timely updates of information on the web. For the time being some government websites offer only limited information. If additional on-line interactive services were offered, the page-viewing of government websites would increase substantially. The survey also reflects this view. 32 percent of respondents agreed that government websites need to offer online interactive services to enhance communication between government and the public. The survey showed that 68 percent of users access government websites in search of authoritative information on government work and policies; 32 percent are looking for information on relevant departments; 30 percent want to understand the functions and responsibilities of government departments, and 29 percent want to manage business with the government on-line. Zhao Shuguang, director of Tsinghua Media Survey Lab, said, "Some files currently can't be made available to everybody.

But if these files were released on the web, everyone could access the original articles of the files, helping to avoid distortion of the information provided." However, 61 percent of people were still not satisfied with government websites and less than 7 percent expressed approval. "It is a must that E-government gradually moves to the core of government systems," Sun Songtao said. "At present, because of institutional barriers, government websites find it difficult to drive government in the direction of E-government. In addition, there exists a problem of top-down management systems. In some areas, government websites are managed by publicity departments; in other areas, they come under the responsibility of the Information technology sector. This hinders the consistent development of government websites." Suggestions offered to government websites in this survey: 33 percent: Government websites should offer more online interactive services to enhance communication between government and the public; 21 percent: Government websites should help the public improve their efficiency; 18 percent: Government websites should release timely information on government work or reform measures; 15 percent: Government websites should release information on emergencies, such as earthquakes or public crises; 12 percent: Government websites should increase functionality, in order to offer more services to visitors; 2 percent: Government websites should enhance safety management.


From China.org.cn 12/17/2008

TOP↑

 

Japan: Govt to Issue New ID Cards to Sniff Out Illegals

The government intends to strengthen its efforts to prevent foreigners from staying here illegally by unifying administrative systems for foreign residents in the nation, according to a draft bill to revise the immigration law obtained by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Monday. The draft legislation to revise the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Law states that the justice minister will issue new residence cards to aliens staying in Japan for mid- to long-term periods of time. The current alien registration certificates issued by municipal governments will be abolished, and foreigners will instead use the new cards as identification. The draft bill also includes provisions to imprison or deport people who forge the envisaged cards. The government plans to submit the bill during the current Diet session, according to sources. The new residence cards will carry the foreigner's name, date of birth, gender, nationality, address, status of residence and period of stay. The cards will be issued to aliens staying in Japan legally.

The cards will enable authorities to detect illegal stayers by checking whether they possess the cards. The draft bill will require foreign residents to report to the Immigration Bureau any changes such as to their place of employment, school or address. Under the current law, foreign residents are required to report such changes only to municipal governments. However, this system has bogged down attempts by the Immigration Bureau to keep a comprehensive track of foreign residents. The revised law also will allow the bureau to investigate, on a voluntary basis, institutions and other bodies that are responsible for helping foreigners enter the country. So-called special permanent residents - Koreans living in Japan - will not be required to acquire the envisaged residence cards. Instead, new identification certificates will be issued to them. To reduce the time and paperwork involved in renewal procedures, the draft bill calls for extending the period of stay to five years for aliens who are currently allowed to stay in Japan for up to three years. The draft legislation also includes a provision to create a new status of residence for aliens coming to Japan on the government's foreign trainee system. It stipulates that the Minimum Wages Law and other labor-related laws will be applied to such foreign trainees.

The foreign trainee system is aimed at transferring Japan's technical expertise to other countries. Under the system, foreign trainees participate in workshops and training programs at companies for up to three years. However, the system has been criticized because some companies take advantage of these trainees by making them work excessively long hours for low pay. For the first year of their stay, the foreign trainees are not officially recognized as laborers, and therefore they fall outside the reach of labor-related laws. Meanwhile, the status of residence for international students will no longer be divided into "college students," who attend a college or advanced vocational school, and "pre-college students," who attend a high school or Japanese language school. Under the envisaged new system, the two categories will be integrated to allow foreign students to skip procedures to change their status of residence when they go on to higher education.


From The Yomiuri Shimbun 02/17/2009

TOP↑

 

South Korea: e-Government to Further Improve by 2012

E-government in Korea will develop so completely by 2012 that after an online notification to a village office, citizens will see their change of home address for mail services, children's transfer to new schools and everything else taken care of automatically. Meanwhile, IT infrastructure will become even more sophisticated and the speed of Internet connections will increase ten-fold. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security released an e-government blueprint in the presence of President Lee Myung-bak. So far, the e-government project has focused on taking administrative business online. Over the next 4 years, the government is determined to combine information and application services online. The government says that in the future, anybody can receive all kinds of administrative services through a single online connection whenever or wherever they want. The system will be overhauled so that anybody can file all civil applications or petitions online. There will be an e-document management centre that all government agencies can use. There will also be an IT-based system of food distribution and tracking, allowing anybody to check the names, photos and addresses of food producers and distribution routes on the label using easy-to-carry reader devices that can be attached to mobile phones. Out of 1700 government websites from almost 200 countries, Korea's e-government has been voted first in the world for the third consecutive year in September 2008.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/04/2008

TOP↑

 

Singapore: Open Source Can Boost Innovation

SINGAPORE - Open source technology has a role in aiding Singapore's quest to become a hotbed for the creation of innovative products and services, according to a senior government official. Through its 10-year Intelligent Nation 2015 (iN2015) masterplan, Singapore seeks to create an environment where its people, the private and public sectors can collaborate on innovative next-generation ICT products and services, said Tan Geok Leng, CTO of the country's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). During his keynote address here Tuesday at the Open Source Singapore Pacific-Asia Conference and Expo (OSSPAC), Tan urged attending developers and delegates at the event to use Singapore as a place to create innovative services, pilot them and then provide these services globally. For instance, he said creators of innovative new services could use NextGen NBN, the country's next-generation network infrastructure as a delivery platform for their products. Targeted for completion by 2015, the network is touted to provide access speeds of up to 1Gbps. These developers can "exploit open source technologies" to build their services, he said. Tan added that open source makes it easier for developers to compete without having to bear the cost of acquiring "licenses for 1,000 servers". In the price-sensitive mobile devices market, for example, developers looking to save on costs could build their new products on open source mobile operating systems such as Google's Android or Nokia's Symbian.

Harish Pillay, open source evangelist and sales training manager at Red Hat, welcomed any opportunity for the open source community to contribute to Singapore's iN2015 effort. Also a speaker at the conference, Pillay said commitment by governments toward open source can rapidly boost the technology's deployment. "When the open source community is engaged and recognized, they will join you," he said. However, he noted that here is "not enough contribution in the open source space in Asia, which is very disappointing". "We need people to get the participation going [in the region]," he said. Despite this predicament, Pillay told ZDNet Asia, there are "pockets of contribution" to the course in the region such as Sri Lanka to the Apache technology, as well as significant contributions from Australia and Japan. To help encourage participation from the region, he suggested introducing open source into schools and educating students on the technology. Citing an October report by the Linux Foundation, Pillay said efforts poured into building free Linux community distribution, Fedora 9, would have otherwise cost US$10.8 billion. This figure was estimated based on the 204,500,946 lines of codes written for the software, 59,389.53 man-hours spent, and the average programmer's annual salary of US$75,662.08 as determined by the US Department of Labor.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/17/2009

TOP↑

 

Philippines: First-ever District-Wide Barangay e-Governance System Launched

The benefits of electronic governance became available to some 400,000 residents with the successful computerization of 37 barangays in Quezon City's District1, in Philippines, around Christmas. This being the the first-ever district-wide Barangay e-Governance System (BeGS), with this Quezon City booked another milestone in local governance. The e-Governance initiatives of the Quezon City has won it the distinction of being the country's richest local government unit for the last seven years, with record tax and revenue collections of approximately INR 964 crores in 2008. Barangay e-Governance System (BeGS) would provide services ranging from automated issuance of forms such as barangay clearances to the computerization of all records such as financial transactions, inventory of supplies and equipment, and peace and order council proceedings. The net benefit would be a fast, effective and responsive system of governance, moreover the district-wide project complements the e-Governance system.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/13/2009

TOP↑

 

India: e-Governance for All Spheres of Govt by 2020

Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) has suggested implementation of e-Governance in all spheres, at all levels of government by 2020 and proposed a legal framework for it in its report. In order to check red-tapism and delays in delivery of services through the adoption of e-Governance this 186-page report suggested a lot of measures like the need for Mission Mode Project on Land Records to be carried out by utilising modern technology to arrive at a correct picture of land holdings, rectify outdated maps and to computerise the country's entire land records; through e-governance the aim is to promote the application of information and communication technology in government functioning to create Simple, Moral, Accountable and Transparent (SMART) governance.

The committee, in its effort to promote e-Governance has further observed that illegal immigration into the country was posing a serious threat to national security. So in this regard the committee suggested the issuing of unique identity cards to all citizens in the country. Infact the report pointed out that the Centre has already implemented a pilot project for a Multi-purpose National Identity Card (MNIC) in select areas of 13 districts in 12 states and one Union Territory. The report said that unique identity (ID) was expected to reduce significantly identity related fraud and allow for better targeting of government schemes. To start the process immediately, it is seen desirable to give unique IDs prospectively for all future births that take place in the country. As the system stabilises, this could then be extended to all citizens in a phased manner. Some of the districts covered under the project are Karimganj (Assam), Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir), Kachchh (Gujarat), Jaisalmer (Rajasthan), Pithoragarh (Uttarakhand), West Tripura (Tripura), Murshidabad (West Bengal) and Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu). Releasing the report at a press conference, panel chairman M Veerappa Moily said a legal framework was necessary in view of the 'mammoth dimension' of the task and the levels of coordination between the Centre and the states.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/28/2009

TOP↑

 

Bangladesh: Connectivity by 2015

Internet facility for thirty percent of the Bangladesh population and community-based broadband to all villages by 2015, was announced under the Bangladesh government's National Broadband Policy 2008. Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, in consultation with stakeholders, has already finalised the policy with 11 clauses and guidelines for broadband to flourish in the country. As per the plan e-governance facilities would reach Upazila levels by 2012 and all villages by 2015.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/02/2008

TOP↑

 

Australia: Trial for E-democracy Future

Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, and Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner, today announced a trial of online policy consultation. Lindsay Tanner said: "These trials will inform future policy development in the area of online consultation and improve the processes for e-democracy in Australia." Senator Conroy will today launch the first trial consultation, a blog canvassing the future of Australia's digital economy. "The Rudd Government understands the potential of digital innovation and is proud to be trialling the use of these platforms to engage with the Australian public," Senator Conroy said. "Given the enthusiastic uptake of online communications tools like blogging, it makes sense for Government to experiment with these new methods of engagement, particularly on a vital topic such as the future of our digital economy." Independent research suggests that citizen and community engagement can make policy more practical and relevant. The online environment provides new opportunities for the Government to make this engagement. Lindsay Tanner said: "Governments all over the world are experimenting and exploring Web 2.0 technologies. The potential for these technologies to facilitate and enhance direct and open exchanges between citizens and governments is immense, and the Rudd Government is eager to tap into this potential to advance democratic processes in Australia."

Government agencies and departments are already using some of these technologies and are engaging in online consultation. However, there is a need for a whole of government policy to be developed to ensure a consistent, cost effective and efficient approach to online consultation. Lindsay Tanner said: "In response to our recent consultation about online citizen engagement we are launching a series of online consultations in a trial program. Each of the online consultations has a different citizen focus and the trials are intended to test issues around registration, participation, levels of engagement, the use of blogs and ideas forums and different levels of moderation." The trials will be conducted by agencies and monitored and evaluated by the Australian Government Information Management Office, which will report to the Government on the outcomes of the consultations and the effectiveness of draft online consultation guidance. The Digital Economy Blog can be found at: www.dbcde.gov.au/digitaleconomyblog.


From http://www.alp.org.au/12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

New Zealand: Government Projects Boost Security Awareness, Says RSA

New Zealand's Government Logon Service (GLS) and Identity Verification Service (IVS) have done a lot and will do more to raise awareness of security in New Zealand, says Mark Pullen, Sydney-based Australia/NZ country manager of security firm RSA. GLS and IVS are world-leading, he says, and have a particularly strong influence given the focus on security and identification for services from the public sector in the near future. The New Zealand public sector's awareness of modern security thinking, as a matter of business risk management rather than simply protecting a perimeter, is as much as two years ahead of Australia's, he says and this must filter through to private industry. New Zealand's small size means "it's easier to turn the ship", he says. Pullen expresses surprise that the government is rethinking the Government Shared Network (Computerworld, December 1), but says this is unlikely to detract from the GLS, which is directed at the public and web-based.

The traditional security landscape was about threats and hacks, Pullen says. But, in 2009 it will be different, with attention focusing on business challenges, the economic practicality of security measures and risk management. One impact of the economic downturn will be an increase in fraud of all kinds, including, of course, computer-related fraud. In previous international recessions, he says, "organised crime" was not as well organised, nor as computer-aware. As threats increase, the recession will also put pressure on the budget available to take countermeasures. This will require more careful thought about affordable, effective security. Another effect of the downturn will be redundancy - a large number of employees will be walking out of the door and in the absence of sufficient security could take a lot of company information with them, Pullen says. "In the last recession, we didn't have 8GB memory sticks."

NZ channel to get RSA support RSA now has a fulltime staff member to support its New Zealand customers and resellers. François Marais has held a number of security roles with other companies and with RSA overseas. His title is information security specialist. He comes originally from South Africa and is based in Auckland. The company needed someone to support and advise clients and channels in the fast-growing New Zealand market, says ANZ country manager Mark Pullen.


From http://computerworld.co.nz/ 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

EUROPE: Action Plan on E-signatures and E-identification Adopted

The European Commission has adopted an Action Plan on e-signatures and e-identification to facilitate the provision of cross-border public services in the Single Market. In the framework of the 'Lisbon Strategy for Growth and Jobs', the EU has committed itself to improving the legal and administrative environment with the aim of unlocking business potential. Bringing public administrations online and enabling the cross-border communication of enterprises and individuals with them, favours entrepreneurship and facilitates the citizen's contact with public authorities. Major barriers to cross-border access to the electronic public services are linked to the use of electronic identification and signatures. Since the implementation of electronic identification in each Member State has been focusing very much on national needs and means, the main barrier for an electronic identification is the lack of interoperability, either legal, technical or organizational. This approach creates new 'e-barriers' to cross-border markets as it limits access for enterprises and individuals from other Member States to those public services. In addition, Member States run the risk of not complying with their legal obligations under EU legislation.

The current European Union framework in the context of the Action Plan in question offers horizontal and sectoral instruments to facilitate and enhance the use of e-signatures and e-identification. The e-Signatures Directive establishes the legal recognition of electronic signatures and a legal framework to promote their interoperability. The objective of this Action Plan is to offer a comprehensive and pragmatic framework to achieve interoperable e-signatures and e-identification, which will simplify access of enterprises and citizens to cross-border electronic public services. To achieve this objective, the Action Plan focuses on a number of practical, organisational and technical issues, complementing the existing legal framework. The Commission, in close collaboration with Member States will monitor the implementation of the Plan, aiming to ensure the coherence of the suggested measures, of the various legislative requirements at EU level and of the relevant operational projects. It will also assess whether further horizontal and/or sectoral initiatives are needed.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/02/2008

TOP↑

 

Bulgaria Adopting the Programme for the Development of Broadband Internet Access

On 11 December 2008, the Bulgarian Coordination Council for Information Society adopted a "National Programme for the development of broadband Internet access". The document was prepared by the State Agency for Information Technology and Communications (DAITS) with the participation of telecommunications companies and operators, as well as Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). The objective of the National Programme is to ensure that, by 2015, all Bulgarians gain the opportunity to enjoy reliable and high quality broadband access. The National Statistical Institute reported that, in 2007, 19 % of households in the country had Internet access, and 80 % of these enjoyed a broadband access. According to the estimates of Business Monitor International, the penetration rate of the Internet in Bulgaria will reach 44.9 % in 2010 (a 31 % increase) while the spread of broadband services will increase three times by that year.

The roadmap agreed for the development of broadband coverage includes: the preparation of an analysis for the availability of broadband access in the regions (taking into account macro-economic and demographic elements); the formulation of recommendations for the use of technology by region; the preparation of guidelines for the establishment of public-private partnerships; new recommendations to ensure the funding of broadband access projects and their procurement; and the launch of a system for monitoring and publishing the results of the projects' implementation. Particular attention will be paid to the regulatory framework which should guarantee the rapid development of an efficient and competitive market, as well as technological neutrality, simplified authorisation procedures and transparency. Apart from the State Budget, the possible funding sources of the broadband access projects will be, among others: the EU Structural Funds; the Seventh R&D Framework Programme (2007-2013); the South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme (2007-2013); the Safer Internet Plus Programme; and the Programme for the Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens (IDABC Programme).


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/26/2009

TOP↑

 

Croatian eGovernment Development Strategy 2009-2012 Adopted

On 22 January 2009, the Croatian Government adopted the Strategy for the Development of eGovernment over the period 2009-2012. The document is intended to lay down the foundations for the building of modern, transparent, efficient and streamlined public services for citizens. The new strategy is well in line with the provisions of the Croatian Public Administration Reform Strategy, in particular those relating to the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a key tool for reforming the Public Administration. The purpose of the Strategy for the Development of eGovernment is to put public services online in order to make them more accessible to end-users. In the first stage of implementation, the following actions will be taken: Assessment of the current information systems, communication networks and eGovernment services; Implementation of the first pilot projects; Definition of a single methodology and standards for the functioning of the various segments of eGovernment.

In the second implementation stage, the public authorities will have at their disposal a complete ICT infrastructure enabling them to communicate with each other in a unified environment. Likewise, it will be possible to make an interactive use of eGovernment services through all available communication channels. At the same time, continuous education and information will be provided to those civil servants involved in the process of building eGovernment in Croatia, as well as the users of eGovernment services. The primary goal of the former e-Croatia Programme (2003-2007) was to promote the development of eProjects and eServices. "Now that we have achieved this goal, the time has come to take a step forward - the time has come for the administration to enter a new era: the electronic administration." said Igor Lučić, the State Secretary of the Central State Administrative Office for e-Croatia.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

Calls for Tender for Developing the Information Society in Hungary

The Hungarian Prime Minister's Office (PMO) announced new calls for tender whose primary aim is to increase Internet awareness and use through various services and projects. The financial supports, available in three tenders, amount to €5 million. In the aim to support the development of the Information Society, the calls for tender cover the following three fields: Support to the 'community Internet access points': The aim of this call for tender is to ensure the smooth and improved operation of the already existing 'community Internet access points'. The priority given is to provide assistance from qualified experts (eConsultants) to those citizens wishing to use eGovernment services, or any other electronic services offered from these access points. Extension, development and dissemination of info-communication services: The objective of this call is to grant financial support to those nation-wide or large-scale education projects carried out by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) which aim to raise awareness of the Internet and to enhance its use while expanding the reach of eGovernment services to each and every layer of society.

Extension of the Internet network and development of the Information Society by supporting the pilot projects of NGOs: "Get Net-ready Programme": The objective of the "Get Net-ready Programme" is to provide funding to those pilot projects of national and local NGOs that intend to foster social readiness towards ICT tools, applications and contents. The programme directly aims to awake the interest of the digitally disadvantaged population, taking into special account their fields of interest, habits, possibilities and personal life situations. The indirect aim of the programme is to use the government resources available for the development of the Information Society as efficiently as possible, so as to achieve the highest possible impact on the digital catching up of those digitally disadvantaged social groups.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

Approval of Draft Regulation on the National Register of Spatial Data in Italy

The Italian Committee for the Technical Rules pertaining to the Spatial Data of Public Administrations unanimously approved a draft "Regulation governing the definition of the content of the National Register of Spatial Data, as well as the modalities of establishment and update of the latter". In line with the provisions of the eGovernment Code (article 59), the resulting document is a draft Decree of the President of the Council of Ministers (DPCM). It primarily defines the content of the Register, listing the data of general interest (annex 1) that the Administration shall include in the Register. Moreover, the draft defines the technical rules (annex 2) pertaining to both the creation of the Register and its update. The initial document was prepared by the working group "Register and technical rules" which was set up within the framework of the Committee for the Technical Rules pertaining to the Spatial Data of Public Administrations (here after "the Committee").

To participate in this working group were: the Italian National Agency for Digital Administration (CNIPA); the "Unione Nazionale Comuni Comunità Enti Montani" (UNCEM); the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport; the Italian Regions; the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI); the Territorial Agency; the Ministry of Environment; the Italian Hydrographic Institute (IIM); the Union of Italian Provinces (UPI); Agency for Grants in Agriculture (AGEA); the Ministry of Public Administration and Innovation; and the Agency for the Protection of the Environment (APAT) Following various internal revisions and the preliminary approval by the Committee, the regulation was published and made available to all those interested in order to collect ulterior suggestions. Based on this feedback, the Committee issued its own conclusions which gave way to the final version of the draft regulation. The document naturally takes into account the European Commission's Regulation (no. 1205/2008 of 3 December 2008) implementing the INSPIRE Directive ("Directive establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community") as regards Metadata. The draft regulation will be conveyed to the competent entities so as to be turned into a decree in line with the provisions of the eGovernment Code. In the meantime, the instructions aimed at guiding users in the concrete use and update of the Register will be prepared.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/28/2009

TOP↑

 

Billions in IT Spending Cuts Likely in 2009 Treasury Budget in UK

A senior adviser to the Treasury has revealed that the 2009 budget will include plans for "significant" savings in the £30bn the public sector spends each year on IT and back-office administration. The savings could offset some of the public money being spent on support for struggling banks. Martin Read, former Chief Executive of Logica and now an adviser to the Treasury, gave a hint at a conference last week of what is in Alistair Darling's budget this Spring, in IT and back-office savings. He is lead of the back-office and IT strand of the Treasury's Operational Efficiency Programme, which aims to identify new savings of billions of pounds. He was speaking at the Government IT 09 conference at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in Westminster. He said that a review has identified "significant" savings from the estimated annual spend of £16bn on IT and £18bn on back-office administration. "We will be reporting in the budget in 2009 and you will see what the numbers are involved and also recommendations on how they [the savings] will be achieved," said Read. He said that the review team has a "high level of confidence that significant savings are achievable". He did not reveal any savings figure. "I cannot tell you what it is but do wait for the budget and you will find out more."

UK taxpayers are paying more for IT and the back office than European counterparts and may not be getting better value for the extra spend, he said. "The bottom line is that the UK is spending a lot more money per capita than our European counterparts," he said. The savings will be made through standardisation and simplification. "It is good in one way to have devolution across the public sector, but there is a cost penalty if the devolution is left completely to its own devices. That cost penalty is a lack of standardisation, simplification and sharing back-office operations and IT." Read's talk suggested there could be large new contracts for shared services. But he also made it clear there would be no rip-out-and-replace policy. He said, "It is about standardisation and simplification of IT systems." He added, "There is a lot of good stuff out there, but I am convinced we could do a lot of things better." Read is a non-executive director of British Airways and has been on the boards of Asda and Boots.


From http://www.computerweekly.com/ 02/10/2009

TOP↑

 

NORTH AMERICA: California Releases Statewide Five-Year IT Capital Plan

The new California five-year IT capital plan includes 122 proposed and approved projects - everything from a sex offender address match system to enterprise GIS and positional awareness for Cal Fire aircraft and vehicles. The plan, which sought input from 85 state entities, dovetails with an IT strategic plan the California Office of the State Chief Information Officer (OCIO) released last month. According to the IT capital plan (ITCP), 70 percent of the proposed projects could potentially include multiagency collaboration. Opportunities for collaboration exist in GIS, business intelligence, transaction processing, enterprise content management, customer relationship management and case management, the capital plan says.

Among the proposed projects are: a new vehicle emissions inspections system to replace obsolete equipment used in smog inspection stations; the Franchise Tax Board generating an "enhanced debtor file" in order to identify delinquent debtors; a "pavement rehabilitation" system for CalTrans that would rely upon scheduling and traffic analysis; a new records management system for the California Highway Patrol; a phone system upgrade for the California DMV and an identity verification system in order to comply with the Real ID Act; electronic pay card technology and a Web-based enrollment system for beneficiaries of the Health and Human Services Agency; an automated victim information and notification program that would allow victims to track victims' hearings and release dates; and an IT project management portfolio tool offered by the state Controller's Office. OCIO Deputy Director Adrian Farley said Monday it's important to understand that the capital plan is only conceptual at this point in time. The OCIO will be working with state agencies and departments to fund projects that have a positive or no near-term impact on the General Fund, or prevent lost revenue, such as updating tax systems.

One example of this, Farley said, is a proposed "enterprise data to revenue" project that would cost $400 million but increase tax revenue up to $900 million annually. It's unlikely that all 122 proposed projects will be built, he said. "In this first ITCP cycle, the agency and departmental ITCPs provide a view of all projects being proposed over the next five years, along with summary information concerning upgrade and/or replacement of hardware, software and network infrastructure," according to the report. "In future years, the departmental ITCPs will be expanded to include additional information about IT infrastructure investments."

Projects included in the capital plan were chosen for their business value and their alignment with the six strategic concepts included in the state's IT strategic plan: IT as reliable as electricity; fulfilling technology's potential to transform lives; self-governance in the digital age; information as an asset; economic and sustainable; and facilitating collaboration. The state's ability to build out these projects could be predicated on how the state recovers from a $40 billion budget deficit. California reportedly stopped paying some bills Monday and won't issue tax rebates until lawmakers agree to a budget plan. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a fiscal emergency. State CIO Teri Takai and Schwarzenegger have proposed a statewide consolidation of IT services that includes expanding OCIO to absorb and oversee the state Department of Technology Services, the information security office and Department of General Services' telecom division. The consolidation would save taxpayers at least $2 billion, Schwarzenegger said.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

UN Launches e-Learning Initiative in Over 160 Countries

A new UN e-learning initiative will offer developing countries opportunities to draw upon a rich array of training and capacity-building resources. Sixteen UN agencies, meeting at a forum organised by UN Environment Programme (UNEP) during the 14th International Conference on Technology Supported Learning and Training in Berlin, have agreed to establish UNeLearn - a UN-wide network on technology supported learning to share information and expertise, and to collaborate on the sustained deployment of e-learning. The UNeLearn network will provide targeted training and outreach to help UN country teams implement common programmes of work in over 160 developing countries. The initiative, inspired by the UN “Delivering as One” concept, aims to maximise coherence and effectiveness among UN projects at the country-level as part of efforts to implement the Millennium Development Goals. UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, welcomed the initiative. “Technology supported learning offers tremendous potential to address the capacity development needs of a wide range of beneficiaries in developing countries. The work of the UN country teams will ultimately be strengthened through this collaboration and member states will be better served,” he said. As a first step towards the implementation of the project, a comprehensive stock-taking exercise is planned to commence, early in 2009, to identify and integrate quality-assured training resources from across the UN system. The UN Staff College will host a number of online communities of practice that will bring together capacity development and training expertise in areas, such as agriculture, development, education, environment, food security, health and human rights. By agreeing to pool and share their collective training resources and shift towards technology supported learning, the initiative will help UN agencies eliminate duplicative activities, reduce costs, and reach a wider client base.


From http://www.futuregov.net/articles/ 12/18/2008

TOP↑

 

CHINA: New Optic Fiber Network Combining TV, Phone, Internet Service

China on Friday announced that it will build its first high-capacity optic fiber network nationwide, which is able to carry Internet, TV and phone services through one network. The Ministry of Science and Technology signed an agreement with the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) on building the national network. The backbone network of the new one will have a bandwidth of 1,000 G bits, comparing with the current one of 1 G bits. It will allow every user in the network to have a 100-M-bit per second access to the Internet than the existing 1-M-bit access, said a ministry press release. With such a bandwidth, the network can provide a package of Internet, TV and phone services, instead of services through separated networks. A regional network has been built in the Yangtze River Delta and put on a trial run for one year since December, 2006, covering about 30,000 users. "The lab tests and trial run showed the network and related softwares were stable enough for commercial operation," said a ministry official refused to be named. But the nationwide program is still in a very early stage. The agreement did not mention the timetable of construction nor the cost. "Although the new network has a high capacity, whether it is able to provide a package service will depend on telecom companies," the official said. Insiders here said the SARFT was interested in the new network as the existing copper cable network for TV programs was of low capacity and needed updating. But Internet and telecom service providers might not be so eager to give up the existing network and invest much in a new one.


From http://www.chinaview.cn/ 12/12/2008

TOP↑

 

China to Invest $41b in 3G Network in Next Two Years

China will invest 280 billion yuan ($40.96 billion) in developing third-generation (3G) mobile telecommunications networks over the next two years, said Li Yizhong, head of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in Beijing on Friday. He said the government will give "strong support" to promote the self-developed TD-SCDMA (Time Division Synchronous Code Division Multiple Access) standard. Efforts will be made to enhance industrialization of core chips, terminals and test equipment as well as to expand network coverage. 3G networks handle faster data downloads, allowing cell phone users to make video calls and watch TV programs. The country's top three telecom companies are expected to receive 3G licenses either this month or at the beginning of next year. China Mobile will apply TD-SCDMA, while China Unicom and China Telecom will use Europe's WCDMA and North America's CDMA 2000 respectively.


From http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/ 12/19/2008

TOP↑

 

China Issues 3G Mobile Phone Licenses

China assigned third-generation mobile phone licenses Wednesday to three carriers in a long-awaited step that is expected to prompt $41 billion in spending on new equipment. Licenses were granted to China Mobile Ltd., China Unicom Ltd. and China Telecom Corp., the Ministry of Indutry and Information Technology said. Third-generation, or 3G, technology supports Web surfing, wireless video and other services and the start of service is expected to spur new revenue growth. China has 650 million mobile phone accounts, according to industry minister Li Zhiyong. Companies have not said when commercial service will begin. The awarding of licenses was delayed while China's government developed its own technology to compete with two global 3G standards. The Chinese-developed standard, TD-SCDMA, was assigned to China Mobile, the world's biggest phone carrier by subscribers, the ministry said. That appeared to be an effort to make sure the new system has the financial and technical backing to succeed. The two global standards, WCDMA and CDMA-2000, were assigned to China Unicom and China Telecom, respectively, the ministry said. Chinese carriers are expected to spend 280 billion yuan ($41 billion) on new equipment, Li said in December. Such sales will be important to global suppliers Motorola Inc., Alcatel-Lucent SA, Nokia-Siemens Networks and Ericsson AB as demand elsewhere slumps. But they face competition from fledgling Chinese producers.


From http://news.yahoo.com/ 01/07/2009

TOP↑

 

Rule Aims to Put End to Online Manhunts

A regulation banning online manhunts has been passed in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province, the local people's congress said on its website yesterday. The regulation, which prevents people from publishing "private information" on the Internet, will be implemented on June 6, it said. People who do so will be fined up to 5,000 yuan and could be banned from using the Internet for six months, the notice said without elaborating. An anonymous spokesman for the National People's Congress Standing Committee's Legislative Affairs Commission in Xuzhou said it is illegal to publish people's personal information online. "Private information, such as age, salary, and relationship status are always targeted during online manhunts," he said. A recent online manhunt involved Zhou Jiugeng, an official from Nanjing, Jiangsu province, who was shown in a photograph published online wearing a 100,000 yuan ($14,600) watch and smoking expensive cigarettes. The public outcry led to the local government ordering a probe into Zhou's financial affairs. He was found to have used public funds to buy the cigarettes and was sacked. Dong Zhengwei, a lawyer in Beijing, said publishing information about people online is fine as long as it is true. "It's fair for members of the public to monitor officials, but under the new rules if they publish things about them that are not true they will be breaking the law," he said. A netizen said on an online forum of www.yangtse.com: "I really doubt whom the new law is going to protect, as online manhunts can be conducted by corrupt officials."


From China Daily 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

China Says to Support IT and Electronics Sectors amid Downturn

China said on Wednesday it would boost its electronics and computer sectors with trade financing, credit guarantees and continued export-tax rebates to help them weather the global financial crisis. However, a government statement on the decision offered no specifics on policy steps under the plan, one of several announced recently to help domestic industries cope with falling foreign orders amid the global downturn. The plan was approved on Wednesday in an executive meeting of the State Council, or Cabinet, chaired by Premier Wen Jiabao, a statement on the government website said. The plan would focus on encouraging industry innovation and consolidation and on boosting the competitiveness of the domestic electronics and information technology sectors. The announcement follows recent moves to help the textile, automobile, shipbuilding and other sectors as the world's deepening economic troubles sap overseas demand for Chinese-made goods. Reflecting the hard times the computer industry is facing, Chinese computer giant Lenovo announced last month it would cut 2,500 jobs, roughly 11 percent of its worldwide workforce, after suffering losses amid the global meltdown. Lenovo is the world's fourth-biggest personal computer maker.


From http://tech.yahoo.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

JAPAN: Handbook on How to Introduce Child Monitoring Systems Compiled

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has recently compiled a handbook, How to Introduce Child Monitoring Systems, based on the results of the Service Model of ICT Systems for Monitoring Children in Local Communities project, which was earmarked under the fiscal 2006 supplementary budget and conducted in fiscal 2007. In recent years, there seems no end to the number of disastrous events involving children. Securing the safety of children in local communities is an urgent issue. Therefore, in fiscal 2007, MIC conducted the Service Model of ICT Systems for Monitoring Children in Local Communities project that was earmarked under the fiscal 2006 supplementary budget. Based on the results of the project, it conducted a research study on promoting the introduction of child monitoring systems in local communities in fiscal 2008, and subsequently compiled the handbook. MIC has also developed a compilation of reports on 16 local government projects conducted in fiscal 2007.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 01/09/2009

TOP↑

 

Draft MIC Ordinance to Amend Part of Rules for Interconnection Charges, Etc.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) today received a report from the Telecommunications and Postal Services Council (Chair: TAKAHASHI Atsushi, Chairman of the Board, The Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co., Ltd.) in regard to Inquiry No. 3005 of November 25, 2008, "Draft MIC ordinance to amend part of the Rules for Interconnection Charges, etc.," stating that it is appropriate to amend the Rules as per the draft. The report was compiled based on the comments received as a result of public comment invitation by the Council from November 26 to December 25, 2008. Details of the amendment: MIC intends to partially amend the MIC Ordinance to Amend Part of the Rules for Interconnection Charges (MIC Ordinance No. 14 of 2005). This partial amendment will update the input values for interconnection charge calculation for fiscal 2009 using the Long-Run Incremental Cost (LRIC) method and add provisions to deduct the transmission path cost between the feeder points of remote terminals (RT) and Group Centers (GC), which constitutes part of NTS costs transferred from the local switch interconnection costs.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

More Schools Banning Cell Phones in Japan

Students across Japan have had dramatically fewer chances of pulling out their handsets at school as government-led bans on cell phone use are penetrating deeper among the country's public schools, a recent education ministry survey found Friday. Mobile phone use by students is totally or partially banned at 20,527 elementary schools, or 94% of the schools surveyed, and 9,936 junior highs, or 99%, according to the first-ever nationwide poll of its kind conducted by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Of the total, 11,636 elementary schools, or 57%, and 5,105 junior highs, or 51%, allow students to use a limited range of functions such as simple phone calls based on parents' requests. The survey found that high school students have generally received lenient bans, with 20%, or 887 schools, saying they fully or partially restrict cell phone use. Concerned that "cyberbullying" is becoming rampant, the ministry also demanded that municipalities move forward with efforts to foster the moral development of students over how to handle cyber information and to set guidelines for Internet and cell phone use at home.


From http://www.japantoday.com/ 01/31/2009

TOP↑

 

Ministry Issues Ban on Online Drug Sales

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry on Friday issued a ministerial ordinance banning Internet and mail-order sales of nonprescription drugs except for those with a low risk of side effects, such as disinfectants and indigestion remedies. At the same time, though, the ministry said it would establish a panel to reexamine the appropriateness of the measure, possibly the middle of this month, in light of the stiff opposition to the ordinance voiced by Internet retailers and people with disabilities. At a press conference held Friday, Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe admitted that the topic had not been sufficiently discussed and indicated the ordinance could be revised in the future. "Both people for and against the regulation have yet to thoroughly discuss the matter," he said. "I don't want to jump to hasty conclusions, but if panel members end up agreeing that the ordinance has flaws after an animated discussion of the matter, I believe the ordinance can be revised," Masuzoe added. The panel will comprise 19 members including at least four people who oppose the ordinance, such as representatives of the Internet retailing industry and herbal medicine industry.

The panel will discuss measures on how to ensure the safe use of drugs sold online or by mail, and how to address the difficulties faced by people whose access to drugstores is limited such as residents of remote islands and the disabled. The meetings will be open to the public, the health ministry said. The ordinance has been issued prior to the enactment of the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law in June, providing time for prefectural governments to revise their rules and regulations to coincide with the enactment. Currently, there is no clear government regulation on how to sell nonprescription drugs, and consumers can effectively buy nonprescription drugs without limitation on the Internet or through other means. However, powerful nonprescription drugs with strong side effects have emerged on the market in recent years. To cope with this situation, the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law classifies nonprescription drugs into three categories. According to the law, pharmacists selling Category 1 drugs - those with the highest risk - must provide consumers with written explanations of the drugs, while for Category 2 pharmacists, or those licensed to sell the drugs, have to make a sincere effort to give an explanation. No explanations are required for Category 3 drugs such as vitamin tablets. The ordinance stipulates that only Category 3 drugs can be sold online or by mail order.


From The Yomiuri Shimbun 02/07/2009

TOP↑

 

SOUTH KOREA: Bill to Aid Media Mergers Endorsed by Government

The Lee Myung-bak administration yesterday endorsed a bill to establish a basic law aimed at stimulating mergers between the broadcasting and communications industries. The cabinet approved the legislation yesterday morning, and it will soon be submitted to the National Assembly for a vote. The bill is intended to integrate the existing laws governing broadcasting and communications into one basic legal framework. In order to meet the changing paradigm of the industries, a new term, broadcasting and communication, will be used in the law, according to a government press release. The bill also governs the development of new technologies and services that will help the two industries merge. A broadcasting and communication fund will be established to help with new policies for accommodating changes in the media landscape. The fund will also be used for research projects, standardization of the broadcasting and communications sectors and promotion of new media formats. According to the proposed bill, the broadcasting and communications commission will be responsible for managing fair competition in the new industry. The commission will be required to establish a basic management plan.


From http://joongangdaily.joins.com/ 12/17/2008

TOP↑

 

Korea Plans on Super Broadband

By 2013, South Korea will install a nation-wide super-broadband infrastructure which will enable the downloading of a feature film to be completed in one or two seconds. The Korea Communications Commission (KCC), has revealed plans to spend approximately 34 trillion won (US$24.6 billion) on this project - 1.3 trillion won from the government and 32.8 trillion from the private sector. This investment will increase speeds for fixed line broadband services more than ten-fold to 1Gbps by 2012, with wireless services expected to offer speeds of 10Mbps by the same date. The highest level speeds are only expected to be available in the country's larger cities however, with fixed line subscribers in smaller towns expected to have internet access at speeds between 50Mbps and 100Mbps. All voice traffic will also be migrated to VoIP. State-run National Information Society Agency will be working with KCC to work out a blueprint for the project. The new network is expected to be an "engine of growth" and KCC estimates that 120,000 jobs will be created by this project. South Korea is already one of the most wired countries with citizens enjoying an average download speed of 43.3 Mbps. By comparison, the average American download rate hangs around 8.9 Mbps, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Another interesting point is that this project runs in contrast to the UK government's plan to introduce broadband of a minimum speed of 2Mbps during the same time period.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

MONGOLIA: Bill Submitted to Amend Law on Public Radio and Television

The Globe International NGO has drawn up a bill to amend the law on Public Radio and Television and submitted it to the Parliamentary Speaker, D. Demberel, Deputy Speakers N.Enkhbold and G.Batkhuu, and to the Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs, Ts. Nyamdorj. Mongolia's parliament adopted this law on January 27, 2005 and amended it on February 17 the same year. Over the past period, a criticism and a number of suggestions have been received from the public, individuals and Public Radio and Television staff in regard to implementation of this law. A working group, set up May 2006 by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on State Structure, became au fait with on-site implementation of the law and presented its findings to the Parliamentary Standing Committee. In June 2007, a Council made up of colleagues in Public Radio and Television re-addressed the Parliamentary Speaker, resulting in a working group being set up, comprising six MPs, to study the situation which had arisen in Public Radio and Television.

After revision the conditions, the group released its conclusion and proposal. Amendments are therefore needed to the law in two basic directions, namely to improve the public monitoring and responsibility mechanism and to ensure Public Radio and Television's independent status in terms of the State and financing.In passing this draft law, the National Council's composition and structure and the Monitoring Council will be clarified and their independent status will be strengthened. By improving its monitoring and responsibility system, effective operation by Public Radio and Television and the National Council will be increased. In addition, legal concepts' and principles' implementation will be improved with considerable progress being made to promote and format Public Radio and Television in real terms. The Department of Legal Policy at the Ministry of Justice and Internal Affairs plans to submit this bill to the Government for discussion in the near future.


From Montsame 01/23/2009

TOP↑

 

INDONESIA: Bali Steps Up E-Government Plans

Governor Made Mangku Pastika of the Indonesian island, Bali, has announced its complete transition towards e-government in two years. "It is my aim to migrate government services online in two years," he said during a meeting with the executives of the local chapter of Alliance of Independent Journalists (AIJ). The transition to e-government, according to Pastika, was necessary to create a modern bureaucracy that was cost-efficient and able to cope with the growing needs of the public. The modernisation process will be carried out gradually. In this first phase, Pastika has plans to reduce the number of staff meetings and has also instructed every division and agency to begin work on establishing databases. "There is no need to waste resources on casual meetings which can be discussed through electronic means. Also, searching for specific data should not take up too much time," he said.

Pastika expressed his concern over the large volume of paper consumed in the administration's daily operations. "Eventually, heaps upon heaps of paper will be left abandoned somewhere," he said. He pointed out that producing the province's annual budget was one activity that consumed a staggering amount of paper. "The budget ends up as a thick stack of paper and every time a revision is made, a new version is printed and distributed to each and every official and legislator involved in the deliberation process. What a waste of paper," noted Pastika. Pastika envisions that in the near future, the government agencies and divisions will be interconnected through an integrated IT infrastructure. "We will have a paperless environment. We will be able to save a lot of money because we won't have to buy so many office supplies," he said.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/01/2008

TOP↑

 

PHILIPPINES: Govt Looks to Improve Communications Strategy

More than 100 Government Information Officers from 50 government agencies in the Philippines have met amid concerns that poor information supplied to the media will lead to bad press.

Press Secretary Cerge Remonde says that Government Information Officers (GIOs) must be ready to respond to queries from the media, "no matter if they call in the dead of night or ask irreverent questions." Silence will always be construed as guilt, he said. Remonde is of the view that in this "age of commercial media", GIOs are handicapped. And "this is the challenge that we must address because the role of GIOs in a democracy like ours cannot be underestimated". It appears that Remonde is worried about bad information service to the media might lead to bad press. He said: "Government deserves better than how we are portrayed by private media outfits. When information isn't relayed correctly to journalists, there will be damages inflicted by falsehood." The GIO meeting was conducted to rebuild a vast network of GIOs who would provide or react to issues in real time as much as possible. Remonde described GIOs as "the people who really know the accomplishments of government". "Practiced and relayed the negative way, false or irresponsible journalism is like poison that can kill society - far more destructive than when a bad doctor can send a patient to a morgue and a bungling lawyer his client to prison," Remonde added. At the end of the consultations, the GIOs joined hands together to "uplift the public image of their respective agencies and government as a whole and the Presidency."


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

VIETNAM: State Pushes Open-Source Software

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Information and Communications has said that all servers of IT divisions in Government agencies must install open-source software by June 30. The ministry also said that at least 50 percent of those who use them must be trained to use the software proficiently. Open-source software products include OpenOffice, e-mail software for servers of Mozilla ThunderBird, Mozilla Firefox web browsers and the Vietnamese typing software Unikey. The instruction also said that by the end of December, 70 percent of servers in local State agencies must have the software installed and 70 percent of IT staff trained in its use. The agencies been told to increase the number of documents and information exchanged between them processed by the software. And by the end of next year, all staff at these agencies must be able to use open-source software.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 01/10/2009

TOP↑

 

INDIA: IT Initiative to Expand Digital Literacy in Western India

In a move to fulfill the manpower needs of a thriving software industry in the state, a public limited company plans to set up 1,000 IT Gyan Kendras in western India. These e-learning centres will train youth in basic computer skills and improve their employment prospects. Rajasthan, poised for rapid growth in the IT sector, is facing acute shortage of IT professionals. Hence, the state government recently set up an institutional mechanism through Rajasthan Knowledge Corporation Limited (RKCL) - a public limited company. The project aims to develop trained manpower with basic IT skills and aims to revolutionise the computer literacy scenario in the state. M L Mehta, Chairman of the RKCL, said that it is expected to make at least one lakh people computer literate by 2009, through establishment of 1,000 IT Gyan Kendras in all the districts of the state. Ten computer-based industries have been selected as Programme Support Agencies (PSAs) to spread the digital literacy. "People of the state are set to reap benefits of this innovative initiative," he said. The programme hopes to considerably improve the employability of the youth in the state.

Today, youth have realised that it pays to have multiple qualifications. Looking at this need, RKCL has introduced a course called Rajasthan State Certificate in Information Technology (RS-CIT). Under the three-month programme approved by the Department Information and Technology and Communication, Government of Rajasthan, learners will be taught basic computing skills, word processing, computation and tabulation, database management, personal information management, use of graphics and presentation and internet web browsing. Mehta informed that Vardhman Open University, Kota will conduct an examination at the end of the training programme. Shivankar, Managing Director, RKCL and an IT expert from Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation, Mumbai claimed that this unique cost-effective project comprising class work of two hours a day is also expected to bridge the digital divide in the state. The course will be taught in English and Hindi and there is no age bar or any minimum educational qualifications needed to enroll for the course. Shivankar said that a similar course is being successfully offered in Maharastra since 2001 and a couple of other Indian states are also running such programmes. The course fee of Rs 2300 can be paid in two to three installments.

The RKCL plans to have at least 500 Gyan Kendras functional by January 12, 2009 and by December 2009, the number is expected to be over 1000. C.K. Mathew, Principal Secretary, Government of Rajasthan described that this perfect combination model to help people of the state become computer literate, would be a successful venture. Mehta said that that Corporation is in the process to spread this message at the village level in various districts. Deliberating on the other potential ventures of the Corporation, He informed that they also plan to establish the digital university concept in the state. This would offer a fully web-based student facilitation framework to the universities and their affiliated colleges and recognised institutions in the form of Digital University in partnership with Maharastra Knowledge Corporation Ltd (MKCL). The digital university concept has already been implemented at the Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Udaipur. The concept was also presented to the Governor who directed all the vice-chancellors to consider implementing the same in their universities within the state. Further, the Company also proposes to provide centralised on-line admission facility to all stakeholders including students and institutions. The Rajasthan Knowledge Corporation is a multi-stakeholder public limited company comprising the Rajasthan government, Maharashtra Knowledge Corporation, University of Rajasthan, Maharana Pratap University of Agriculture and Technology, Vardhman Open University and Centre for e-Governance, Jaipur.


From http://southasia.oneworld.net/ 11/27/2008

TOP↑

 

Single Universal Identification for All Indians by Early 2010

An Empowered Group of Ministers (EGOM) headed by the External Affairs Minister, Shri Pranab Mukherji has approved the establishment of a Unique Identity Authority for all residents of the country. The UID Authority will be set up under the Planning Commission. This UID Authority will formulate a detailed proposal covering the full cost of implementation and for the full contingent of staff needed and place it before the Cabinet for its approval. The UID is expected to become available to an initial set of users by early 2010. Creation of a person identity system in a country of over a billion people poses monumental challenges. The approval by the EGOM lays the foundation for the implementation of a Unique Identity system for all residents in the country based on a proposal formulated by the Department of Information Technology at the request of the Planning Commission. There has been a long felt need in the country for a system of unique identification of every individual for a variety of purposes such as better targeting of government's development schemes, regulatory purposes (including taxation and licensing), security purposes, banking and financial sector activities, etc.

The Unique Identity Project seeks to assign a unique identity (UID) number to each individual in the country that would remain a permanent identifier right from birth to death of the individual. From the point of view of any person in the country, the UID offers many benefits. First and foremost, it would obviate the need for a person to produce multiple documentary proofs of his identity for availing of any government service, or private services like opening of a bank account, etc. This would end needless harassment that people face for availing of basic government services like issuance of passports, driving licences, Electoral Identity Cards, etc. Backed by intensive use of technology, it would greatly facilitate easy verification of a person's identity and enable a single communication to trigger address changes in all relevant agencies records. It would also serve as the basis for many e-governance services incorporating online verification of a person's identity. UID would enable government to ensure that benefits under various welfare programmes reach the intended beneficiaries, prevent cornering of benefits by a few people and minimize frauds. It would enable financial institutions to exchange information regarding defaulters and encourage responsible borrower behaviour.

The scheme envisages that at the inception, the UID number will be assigned to all voters by building on current electoral roll data and progressively adding other persons including persons below 18 years of age who are not a part of the voters list in the country. Over a period of time, through failsafe procedures backed by intensive use of technology and with the help of multiple government agencies, the currency and comprehensiveness of the database will be perfected. The scheme is designed to leverage intensive usage of the UID for multiple purposes to provide an efficient and convenient mechanism to update information. Photographs and biometric data will be added progressively to make the identification foolproof. Easy registration and information change procedures are envisaged for the benefit of the people.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

Govt to Invest INR 20,175 Cr. in e-Governance Projects

Centre has decided to invest INR 20,175 crore for as many as 27 projects under its National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) in the next four years. Department of administrative reforms and public grievances and department of information technology jointly formulated this programme. These projects once implemented will cover almost all kind of services which can be provided to citizens online. While 16 projects worth INR 10,622 crore have already got the Cabinet's approval, the remaining ones will be unveiled in due course by taking state governments on board. With these projects fully in place the citizens will have all the services - land records, ration cards, immigration details, vehicle registration, public grievances, government certificates, traffic challans and registration of criminal cases - available on touch-screen computers or online on their own computers. The services would be delivered in a phased manner through the satellite-based State Wide Area Network (SWAN) in all states and Union Territories (UTs) in the country. SWANs - connecting the state capital with all the blocks - are expected to be in place by June. Subsequently, the government would set up one lakh Common Services Centres (CSCs) across the country - one for every six census villages - for delivery of the services.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/12/2009

TOP↑

 

Indian IT Suppliers Warn Against Dangers of Protectionism

If the UK government turns to economic protectionism and UK businesses are forced to buy British IT services they will become uncompetitive, senior executives of Indian IT suppliers have warned. At the launch of an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) designed to improve trade between the UK and India, IT suppliers spoke about the dangers of protectionist economic policies. Protectionist policies could involve governments setting rules on where businesses that have been bailed out with taxpayers' money buy products and services. President Sarkozy of France has given French car makers billions of dollars in exchange for promises not to shut French plants or sack French workers. The US president, meanwhile, has a "Buy American" clause in his $789bn economic stimulus package. With the US and France introducing protectionist policies, Indian IT suppliers said this type of policy would harm UK companies through limiting its IT choices.

Martyn Hart, chairman at the National Outsourcing Association (NOA), said protectionist measures could be introduced in the UK. "We agree with British jobs for British people, but we are concerned because we want competitive UK companies and if we deliberately source from an expensive area we will be uncompetitive," said Hart. Raghu Venkatesam, assistant vice-president at Indian supplier Cognizant, which has 60,000 staff globally, said he expects to see certain protectionist measures. "But it needs to be a mix and match approach and work that involves operational efficiency can still use offshore companies," he added. Bindi Bhullar, head of marketing and alliances Europe at Indian service provider HCL, said that UK companies should not just think of offshoring IT as an opportunity to cut costs. "If you can leverage what the Indian firms are doing it is not just about cost savings and you can actually create jobs." He cited a joint venture that HCL has with BT in Northern Ireland that created thousands of jobs. Whether the UK introduces protectionist measures depends on the US stance, he said. "The big thing will be how the US behaves." A S Lakshminarayanan, head of Europe at Tata Consultancy (TCS), said businesses must be able to access global talent." One has to be concerned about protectionism, but not too concerned because nobody in the UK is talking about it," he said. Conservative MP Shailesh Vara, who is on the APPG, said protectionismis not the way forward. "We have to ensure we are in a global market so the UK does not miss out," she said.


From http://www.computerweekly.com/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

PAKISTAN: New Rules for Media Notified

ISLAMABAD: The federal government notified new rules for the media on Saturday, that include a requirement for print media organisations to obtain registration certificates every three years for their declarations to remain valid. The Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Rules of 2009 was notified using powers conferred under Section 44 of the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance of 2002. According to the rules, publishers requesting more than three titles or names of publications would require government approval. The application for obtaining an NOC for the title or name of the publication will be submitted on a prescribed proforma along with the requisite documents and paid copy of Rs 500 as prescribed fee. The application for issuance of a registration certificate will be submitted to the press registrar or its authorised officer in a similar way with a Rs 500 fee, and copies of the most recent seven issues in case of daily publications and one issue in case of weekly or monthly publications. The fee for renewal of the registration certificates or acquiring a copy of the certificate will also be Rs 500. The NOCs or Registration Certificates will be dispatched to the publisher directly, with a copy to the Regional Office of the Press Information Department. (by Irfan Ghauri)


From http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/ 01/11/2009

TOP↑

 

AFGHANISTAN: Ministry of Communications and IT Covers Underserviced Areas of the Country

Ministry of Communications and IT plans to extend Communications and IT's facilities to twenty underserviced and rural areas of the country. To cover the under serviced and remote areas of Afghanistan where communications services still have not been facilitated by any operators, Ministry has created a Telecom Development Fund (TDF) to extend the telecom services to these areas. According to the licenses issued to the current GSM operators, they should pay 2.5% from their net revenues to this fund to facilitate the communications services to remote and under services districts of the country, said Eng. Barialai Hassam Deputy Minister Technical in a news conference organized for this purpose in the Ministry on January 29, 2009. The mentioned money should be paid by the operators to this fund quarterly and till date there are nearly 26m USD. Afghanistan Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ATRA) is the only Governmental Administration that regulates the telecom services in the country and also manages the procedure of expending the Telecom Development Fund (TDF) to extend the telecom services to rural areas. Deputy Minister Technical added that by starting this project four four districts of the five rural provinces will be decorated by telecom services including Badakhshan, Paktika, Zabul, Daikundi, and Nooristan and it is estimated that totally 400,000 people will get benefit of this project. According to ATRA, these are still more districts where telecom services have not been facilitated by any operators and the same projects will be announced in near future for these rural areas.


From http://www.mcit.gov.af/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

UZBEKISTAN: Measures to Scale-Up Electronic Stock Trading System

In accordance with the Programme on the Intensification of Reforms and Development of Banking System of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2007-2010 approved in the Resolution of the President of Uzbekistan of 7 November 2007 No. PR-736 "On measures to further develop the banking system and attract idle funds into the banking circulation", a set of measures was developed to scale up the electronic system of stock trading, a part of which envisages the expansion of the network of regional request processing offices. The National Bank of Uzbekistan for Foreign Economic Activity (NBU) together with Elsis Savdo is working to organize the network of offices for processing requests (OPR) to work on the basis of new program products. One of the main tasks of the OPR created within the structure of divisions and branches of the bank is to accept client requests for the purchasing and sale of securities.

The software support of the OPR allows submitting requests in an online regime. The requests sent, after going through the necessary procedures, are included in the electronic system of off-board trades. If the request is satisfied the client may receive all the papers and information relating to the deal from the OPR to which the request was submitted. Successful pilot testing of the software for OPR under the Head Department of the NBU in Tashkent demonstrated the real opportunity to create a highly organized, wide, reliable off-board market. There are now offices accepting client requests in all departments and branch offices of the NBU. Along with the paperwork for the purchase/sale of securities, at the OPR the client may receive high quality consulting services on the listing of requests for the purchasing and sale of securities, be briefed on the operation mode of Elsis Savdo settlement-clearing chamber and the regulation on the OPR.

A distinguishing feature of the organization of purchase and sale of securities through the OPR opened in the bank offices, is not only the convenience of the organization of the deal, but also the opportunity for the owner of funds to choose the most attractive from among the offered banking products, such as deposit, services on investment in securities, and others, as well as an opportunity to transfer savings to a different banking products without stepping away from the cash desk. The relations between the OPR and the clients are built on contractual basis. A register card is started at the OPRs for the clients. The opening of a "depo" account of the client in the depository and the presentation of a receipt from the "depo" account is a mandatory condition. Moreover, the legal entities are required to present an evidence of state registration, a letter of attorney from the authorized person, a card with the sample signatures, an order on the appointment of the first and the second persons. Private individuals are required to present a copy of their passport, and open an account with the bank. This format of the package of papers is valid for the clients turning to the OPR for the first time. The following requests may be processed with simple submission of an application (request) for the purchase or sale of securities.


From http://finance.uzreport.com/ 12/24/2008

TOP↑

 

AUSTRALIA: NSW Issues $200m PC, Wireless Tender

The NSW Government has commenced an expressions of interest process for its planned $1,000 per student roll-out of 200,000 notebooks, and the wireless networks to support them.The program, with a total value of $200 million, is part of the Labor Government's proposed digital education revolution. The notebooks will be provided to students in years 9 to 12, with the tender documents specifying that the devices must cost no more that AU$500 each, excluding GST. Respondents may offer more than one device for consideration.Along with the supply of notebooks, the tender also specifies that vendors must "install wireless connectivity to ... support the students' use of the learning devices".In order to create these wireless networks, the Department of Education and Training (DET) "envisions that site surveys would commence on March 1 2009 and the installation would commence on April 1 2009 and be completed by February 1 2010." The wireless networks would be rolled out to 571 schools.

Vendors are free to tender for either the notebooks or the wireless networks and notebooks separately, but the tender documents note, "vendors should read both tender documents in parallel, even when they intend to offer a solution for only one part." In order to meet this large tender, "the department encourages vendors of learning devices, connectivity and service deliver to form consortia to offer combined, cost effective solutions." The tender also expects vendors to provide the appropriate services to complement the notebooks with wireless networks. In particular, the documents note: "vendors are expected to provide innovative solutions [for] delivery, deployment, and asset tracking for the machines when they are in operation." The closing date for the expression of interest is 14 January 2009. The DET expects the roll out to occur over the subsequent four years. Funds for the program will be coming from both the state and federal governments, with the federal government recently handing out an extra $807 million for the laptops in schools program nationally, bringing the total value of the program to $2 billion.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 12/03/2008

TOP↑

 

Expert Panel's Broadband Report

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy today announced that the final report from the Panel of Experts on submissions to the National Broadband Network process has been received. The Minister stated that the receipt of this report marks a significant milestone in the NBN process: "The Government is now considering the Panel of Experts' report." "Until this point, the evaluation of proposals received in the National Broadband Network process has proceeded at arm's length from the Government." "The Government had not seen the contents of any proposal, nor had it received detailed briefings on any proposals from the Panel of Experts." "The Government will give this serious and detailed report careful consideration." The Minister emphasised that while the Government had now received the final report of the Panel of Experts, the NBN process and associated probity requirements remained active. The disclosure of the contents of the Panel of Experts' report before the completion of the process, particularly any negotiation phase, has the potential to prejudice the outcome of the process. As such, the Government will not be commenting on the contents of the report. The Minister also took the opportunity to congratulate the Panel of Experts for their contribution to the NBN process: "I would like to thank the members of the Panel of Experts for their hard work." "The Panel has made an invaluable contribution to the realisation of the Government's commitment to the roll out of the National Broadband Network." The Minister also acknowledged the important contribution to the process by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission which had provided its own report as input to the Panel's consideration.


From http://www.alp.org.au/ 01/22/2009

TOP↑

 

Budget 2009: AMA Pushes E-Health Agenda

The Australian Medical Association has named e-health infrastructure as one of the highest priorities to receive cash from the government's $10 billion Health and Hospitals fund, in a submission to the 2009-2010 Federal Budget released today. "Further investment in e-health infrastructure, particularly in hospitals, medical practices, aged care, pharmacy and other allied health practices, is needed to fully enable the sharing of patient information electronically in Australia," the submission said. The Health and Hospitals Fund was formed by the Rudd Government to enable investment in health and hospital facilities and equipment, medical technology and major medical research facilities. Applicant guidelines for the fund specify that capital funding can be used for information management and technology systems installation. The AMA named e-health infrastructure as one of three "critical" investment areas alongside equipment in rural hospitals and training facilities in general practices.

Last week, the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) also lodged a submission to the Budget, calling for its e-health funding, which ends this June, to be extended. It recommended $13 million per year be allocated. The AGPN would use the funding to continue and extend its current work on training and support of roll-outs on various e-health strategies. It would look to employ 60 new division-based e-health program officers as well as paying for current staff. The National E-health Transition Authority (NEHTA), which has been charged with developing better ways of collecting and exchanging health information, would not be lodging a submission because it had a clear funding channel - Council of Australian Governments (COAG), a spokesperson for the authority said. NEHTA was allocated $218 million at a COAG meeting last year. More money may be doled out at a future COAG meeting to fund the individual electronic health record business case.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

NEW ZEALAND: Release of Research, Science & Technology Briefings

Four briefing papers from the research, science and technology sector were released publicly at 1pm today. The briefing documents are now available on the Beehive website:

Ministry of Research, Science and Technology - Briefing to the Incoming Minister
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/MoRST_BIM.pdf
An introduction to the Foundation for Research, Science, and Technology
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/FRST_BIM.pdf
Briefing to Incoming Ministers on entities monitored under Vote Crown Research Institutes
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/CRI-OIA-BIM.pdf
The Health Research Council of New Zealand - Briefing for the Incoming Minister
http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/HRC_BIM.pdf


From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ 12/12/2008

TOP↑

 

Government Readies for New Moves on Broadband

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce has today moved to clear the decks of the previous Government's broadband programmes in preparation for the next move towards the roll-out of ultra fast broadband. Mr Joyce says the Broadband Investment Fund (BIF), suspended at the time of the election, will not proceed, and funding for the Digital Development Council and Forum (DDC) will be withdrawn immediately. "The BIF was not compatible with the Government's roll out of ultra fast broadband to the premises - it had its own specific set of criteria and was not focussed on our key objective of achieving widespread ultra fast broadband. "Funding for the DDC has been withdrawn because it is our intention to work instead directly through the relevant industry groups. "We remain committed to engaging with the groups represented by the DDC but believe that direct interface is a much more effective means of receiving input and advice from these organisations." Mr Joyce says he will be announcing the next steps towards the roll out of ultra fast broadband in the near future. "I am having good discussions with stakeholders and will present a paper on options to Cabinet soon. "This is a $1.5 billion investment and, to get this right the first time, we will work carefully through the detail and ensure we have the right structure in place to secure the digital infrastructure which is so important to New Zealand's future prosperity."


From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ 02/05/2009

TOP↑

 

EUROPE: First Version of the eProcurement Map Now Available

A map of activities having an impact on the development of European interoperable eProcurement solutions has been issued by the eProcurement Forum Team in cooperation with IDABC. The strategic objective of the eProcurement Forum, which together with IDABC promoted the production of this document, is to make the eProcurement experts aware about what is happening in the complex European scenario. A number of activities are running contemporaneously, addressing different aspects and adopting different approaches. The risk is that they proceed on their own, with no or limited contacts with the other ones, sometimes spending precious effort and time towards the same objectives. There is a strong need to make all these initiatives aware of the possibility of cooperation and sharing actions. Therefore the eProcurement Forum took the initiative of composing the whole picture and make it available for consultation, revision and integration to as much eProcurement practitioners as possible. The first version of this picture is proposed in a lively document available at IDABC website. This document will be periodically revised and updated. Those wishing to express comments or to contribute are invited to contact: eprocurement@epractice.eu.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/22/2008

TOP↑

 

ENISA Presents Its First Report on Pan-European EIDM

On 29 January 2009, the EU Agency ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) presented its first report on the current state of pan-European eID interoperability. Europe has bold ambitions regarding interoperable eID services by the end of 2009. This report looks at how various initiatives such as the STORK project and the Services Directive could make eID work for business and government eServices across Europe. Security and interoperability of eID systems across Europe is a current topic. European eID Management (eIDM) presently stands at crossroads. This is a vital and delicate stage, as pilot studies and models are now transformed into actual working systems. ENISA calls its report a "milestone", as it is the Agency's first experts' snapshot of Europe's state of play in eIDM. The study charts the origins and scope of European eID interoperability. It focuses specifically on the triangle of three intrinsically connected drivers: Policy level; an examination of the eID Roadmap and the eID -2010 goals to be reached by 2010.

The analysis of the recently initiated €20 million STORK Project. Among several EU projects focusing on eID, this initiative develops a series of pilot projects for citizens of 13 EU Member States, using their governments' eID/authentication systems. Thus, the STORK project pilots a basic infrastructure in the EU for cross-border eID systems. But, the report strongly underlines that although STORK is significant, it is not to be seen as the panacea for all eID interoperability problems. Many European eIDM projects overlap but the solution does not lie in any single project. Instead the outcomes of all eID building blocks must eventually be put together to create a coherent and pragmatic infrastructure for European eID interoperability. The implementation of the Services Directive. The Directive requires Member States to put electronic points of single contact in place by 28 December 2009. By then, service providers from any Member State should be able to complete formalities, to offer their services and to identify themselves electronically in a reliable way. The report identified the following four main policy priorities for European eIDM:

In 2009, the policy objectives of the eID Roadmap will need to be reviewed and updated. The results of the STORK project and how the pilot infrastructure can be expanded into a full-scale system, will need to be examined. Once an interoperability infrastructure is in place, Member States will need to decide on the security requirements of their applications which do not discriminate against foreign citizens and enterprises. Greater emphasis will need to be given on the citizen-centric approach to eID. It is crucial to give users sufficient personal control over their identity. Mr. Andrea Pirotti, Executive Director of ENISA commented: "This report shows that the pioneer eID systems soon must move into interoperable systems. This is a crucial time for EU Member States to make the right decisions, not only to guarantee interoperability, but also security and usability." From On 29 January 2009, the EU Agency ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) presented its first report on the current state of pan-European eID interoperability.

Europe has bold ambitions regarding interoperable eID services by the end of 2009. This report looks at how various initiatives such as the STORK project and the Services Directive could make eID work for business and government eServices across Europe. Security and interoperability of eID systems across Europe is a current topic. European eID Management (eIDM) presently stands at crossroads. This is a vital and delicate stage, as pilot studies and models are now transformed into actual working systems. ENISA calls its report a "milestone", as it is the Agency's first experts' snapshot of Europe's state of play in eIDM. The study charts the origins and scope of European eID interoperability. It focuses specifically on the triangle of three intrinsically connected drivers: Policy level; an examination of the eID Roadmap and the eID -2010 goals to be reached by 2010.

The analysis of the recently initiated €20 million STORK Project. Among several EU projects focusing on eID, this initiative develops a series of pilot projects for citizens of 13 EU Member States, using their governments' eID/authentication systems. Thus, the STORK project pilots a basic infrastructure in the EU for cross-border eID systems. But, the report strongly underlines that although STORK is significant, it is not to be seen as the panacea for all eID interoperability problems. Many European eIDM projects overlap but the solution does not lie in any single project. Instead the outcomes of all eID building blocks must eventually be put together to create a coherent and pragmatic infrastructure for European eID interoperability. The implementation of the Services Directive. The Directive requires Member States to put electronic points of single contact in place by 28 December 2009. By then, service providers from any Member State should be able to complete formalities, to offer their services and to identify themselves electronically in a reliable way.

The report identified the following four main policy priorities for European eIDM: In 2009, the policy objectives of the eID Roadmap will need to be reviewed and updated. The results of the STORK project and how the pilot infrastructure can be expanded into a full-scale system, will need to be examined. Once an interoperability infrastructure is in place, Member States will need to decide on the security requirements of their applications which do not discriminate against foreign citizens and enterprises. Greater emphasis will need to be given on the citizen-centric approach to eID. It is crucial to give users sufficient personal control over their identity. Mr. Andrea Pirotti, Executive Director of ENISA commented: "This report shows that the pioneer eID systems soon must move into interoperable systems. This is a crucial time for EU Member States to make the right decisions, not only to guarantee interoperability, but also security and usability."


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

Personal eGovernment Services Account Launched in France

'Mon.Service-Public.fr' is now live throughout the French territory, aiming to provide citizens with unified, personalised and secure access to online Government services. Those wishing to use the new portal first need to create a personal account which will enable them to securely manage their administrative procedures online, while accessing personalised, customised information. This way, the access to online services has been drastically simplified, since the user does not need to remember several passwords. As of December 2008, the first eServices available on 'Mon.Service-Public.fr' included: For those employing home-workers: online declaration of employment, possibility to check and edit employment certificates and tax certificates; For public services agents: retirement management services online. More eServices are to be added in the course of 2009.

Another major advantage for users consists in gaining a general overview of all their ongoing administrative formalities online. One can receive at any time, via his/her personal account, alerts on the state of progress of the relevant administrative procedures. Last but not least, the owner of a personal account has a secure online personal data space at his/her disposal for: Entering his/her personal data once and for all (name, address, etc) so as to simplify the filling out of administrative forms; Storing eDocuments (eCertificates, income taxes declarations, reimbursements files, birth certificate extract, etc.). 'Mon.Service-Public.fr' was first tested on samples of users over the period 2006-2007 before being launched on a nation-wide level at the end of 2008. The Directorate-General for State Modernisation (DGME) of the Ministry of Budget, Public Accounts and Civil Service is responsible for the coordination and development of the new portal.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/23/2008

TOP↑

 

Italy: Memorandum of Understanding for the Digitization of Public Administration in Campania

The Italian Minister for Public Administration and Innovation and the President of the Region of Campania have signed on 19 November 2008 in Rome a three-year Memorandum of Understanding for the digitization of Public Administration. The Italian Minister for Public Administration and Innovation and the President of the Region of Campania have signed on 19 November 2008 in Rome a three-year Memorandum of Understanding for the digitization of Public Administration. The aforementioned project of digitization of Public Administration and services in the region of Campania is financed by National Operational Programmes (PON), Regional Operational Programmes (POR), Funds for Underprivileged Areas (FAS) and the 2015 Industry Programme. The framework of the digitization project provides, among many sub-projects: the implementation of national and regional cards for the provision of generalized services to be used as a transport card or for the scheduling of health services; the integration of databases (digital registers and cadastre); the dematerialization of documents, processes and administrative procedures of the Public Administration; the development of infrastructure and broadband services to overcome the digital divide in the country. The signed Protocol for project is part of the Industrial Innovation Plan which provides 60 agreements with central and local government.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/01/2008

TOP↑

 

Malta New Government IT Agency Goes Online

MITA, the newly established Malta Information Technology Agency now has its own website. MITA has been appointed by the Government of Malta as the Agency responsible for propagating the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) policy in the country and for implementing the National ICT Strategy 2008-2010, the so-called "Smart Island Strategy". The new Agency reports to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Communications. MITA has taken over the functions of several entities, namely: the former Information Society Secretariat; the ICT in Government Unit; the Core ICT Advisory Committee; and the Malta Information Technology and Training Services Ltd (MITTS Ltd, a Government-owned company which was supplying IT systems and services to Government departments). The new website intends to provide a databank of relevant up-to-date information on national ICT projects and to highlight MITA's contribution towards the achievement of the Smart Island vision for Malta: bringing Malta's Information Society in the world's top 10 by 2010. Additional information and social media functionalities are planned to be made available on the website over the coming months. The constitution of MITA was approved by the Cabinet on 4 July 2008, and the Agency's statute was registered through a public deed on 18 August 2008.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

Medvedev Pushes for Paperless Government in Russia

President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday scolded the government for dragging its heels on introducing electronic filing and storage procedures aimed at reducing the consumption of paper. Russia ranked 60th in a 2008 UN survey of world governments' e-government readiness, placing it below Costa Rica and above South Africa, according to materials distributed by the Kremlin press service. Sweden ranked first in the survey. "Tons of paper are used every month just for sending rules and regulations to state agencies," Medvedev said in the Kremlin on Thursday during a meeting on developing the country's information society. "No one does this any more. We're just rich; we have lots of wood and plenty of paper." Medvedev has made developing an "innovative economy" a priority of his presidency in an attempt to wean the country from its dependence on exports of natural resources such as oil, natural gas and metals. To show his leadership on the issue, the president has taken symbolic steps such as starting a video blog on the Kremlin's web site. While Russia boasts engineers and software specialists who earn more than $1 billion a year exporting their wares, the country is struggling to break into the top tier of high-tech countries, Medvedev said. Russians cannot contact government agencies electronically, Medvedev said. A single portal for federal and municipal agencies, scheduled for a Jan. 1 launch, is still on the drawing board, he said.


From http://www.themoscowtimes.com/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

Scottish Govt Upgrades Records Management System

The Scottish Government has successfully upgraded its mission critical electronic Records and Document Management (eRDM) system for all 6300 users. The upgrade provides the Government with a platform for future growth, enabling further development and exploitation of eRDM including the ability to support workflow and case handling solutions. With an annual budget of £30 billion, the Government for Scotland is responsible for most of the issues of day-to-day concern to the people of Scotland, including health, education, justice, rural affairs, and transport. The eRDM system, supplied by Objective, manages all unstructured information held by the Scottish Government in a secure environment. It also serves as a foundation for improvements in operational effectiveness and collaboration by allowing staff to have authorised access to appropriate information when they need it, no matter where they are located. "The eRDM project is the single biggest IT enabled business change project ever undertaken by the Scottish Government and it is viewed as highly successful," said Ben Plouviez, Head of Information Services, Scottish Government. "Placing a greater emphasis on effective information management enhances the collaborative sharing of information between different teams, enabling us to comply with Freedom of Information legislation and importantly, helping to improve the public's perception of government handling of personal data.

The upgrade was delivered successfully with the absolute minimum disruption of service to the end users. Minimum disruption of service to end users was ensured during the upgrade, which happened simultaneous across the entire organisation whose 6300 staff members are distributed across multiple sites throughout Scotland. The Scottish Government's initial eRDM implementation took place in 2005, following a detailed business analysis review by the Scottish Government. The business requirements were carefully scoped out and an in-depth, extensive benchmarking exercise was carried out on the complex legacy paper-driven records system. The system the Government's improved corporate governance, in terms of both compliance with legislation and better risk assessment, which can be done based on more complete information. Sharing of information within the organisation was also bolstered to ensure that staff are more aware of other initiatives and activities. Other benefits of the eRDM include reduction in costs associated with storage of paper records, improved opportunities for flexible working practices, more robust and reliable disaster recovery, as well as version control and process automation. "Information is the lifeblood of the Scottish Government. Placing a greater emphasis on accessibility, accuracy, efficient storage and retrieval of information is seen as key to securing sustainable improvements in the organisation's agility and effectiveness," said Anne Moises, CIO of the Scottish Government.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/09/2009

TOP↑

 

United Kingdom: DWP Plans Transformative Role for Directgov

A review of the government's central web portal says it must work with departments to 'truly transform' services and not just relocate them. In a document deposited with Parliament on 10 February 2009, the Department for Work and Pensions says this will require a substantial programme of research and development to make Directgov services more personalised, by responding to users' preferences and behaviour. In the short term the management of Directgov will be given to a much wider cross-government team. This will create new challenges around product coordination and control, according to the review. Ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review in 2010, new IT will be needed to enable remote authentication, with the aim of making Directgov the foremost secure destination for citizen registration and enrolment in services. The department is planning to set up an overall customer service strategy to support the transformation of user experience, along with a business model capable of supporting substantial and long term change in the way public services are delivered. According to official figures, Directgov already receives some 11m visits each month, making it the second most visited government website, and it is on target to become the most visited in 2009. Earlier this month it took over Jobcentre Plus online services to provide support for people looking for work, including a 'job kit', advice on redundancy, preparing for interviews and identifying strengths and skills. Following the UK's heaviest snow for 18 years, it launched a prototype service to warn parents about school closures due to severe weather.


From http://www.kablenet.com/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

NORTH AMERICA: United States: Citizen Satisfaction with Federal E-Government Hits All-Time High

Security Administration (SSA) scored the top three sites in customer satisfaction, with the SSA Retirement Estimator leading at 89 percent. Federal Web sites continue a trend of improving satisfaction, reaching a new all-time high in the fourth quarter according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Government Satisfaction Index. The report, released today from the University of Michigan and e-government sponsor ForeSee Results, finds that citizen satisfaction climbs 0.3 percent from last quarter to 74.1 on the ACSI's 100-point scale. The E-Gov Index improves 1.6 percent from the fourth quarter 2007, and is 4.5 percent higher than the first Index measure five years ago. The improvement of e-government over the last year is due largely to an increase in the performance of federal e-commerce and transactional sites, which improved an impressive 4 percent over the last year. Of the four major categories of federal government Web sites (which also include portals/department main sites, news/information, and career/recruitment) e-commerce/transaction sites have been the best performing for the last two quarters.

"The high levels of satisfaction with e-commerce and transactional federal Web sites indicate citizens' eagerness, willingness and enthusiasm to take advantage of online government services," said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee Results and author of the report. "President Obama, who as a candidate harnessed the power of the Internet better than any before him, recognizes e-gov's ability to engage, inform, and serve, and he should give it the resources needed to fulfill that potential." In the survey, the Social Security Administration (SSA) scored the top three sites in customer satisfaction, with the SSA Retirement estimator leading at 89 percent satisfaction. Although e-government continues to lag private sector Web sites, citizen satisfaction with e-government far surpasses satisfaction with the federal government overall. Offline federal government scored 68.9 in the latest annual ACSI report on satisfaction with the federal government, which was released in December 2008.

"Doing business with the government online delivers convenience that is unparalleled in the offline world," said Claes Fornell, head of the ACSI at the University of Michigan. "While e-government may never catch up with its private-sector counterparts, improving e-government satisfaction may be the most cost-effective way of improving government satisfaction as a whole." The improvements are noteworthy because higher satisfaction increases use of federal Web sites and leads to greater efficiency in serving citizens. Highly satisfied citizens are 86 percent more likely than dissatisfied citizens to use an agency's Web site as a primary resource before using a call center or visit a branch office. "Although the Index has reached an all-time high, there is room for improvement," added Freed. "E-Government is unique in its ability to address the Obama administration's stated priorities of communication, transparency and participation, so I expect that e-gov will continue to improve if given the proper attention and resources it deserves."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 02/03/2009

TOP↑

 

Internet the Key to Obama's Campaign Success

Thomas Jefferson was renowned as the first US president to harness the power of print. Similarly, Roosevelt used radio and JFK used TV. And now Barack Obama has become the champion of the internet. Enabling that to happen was Ben Self, the former computer scientist who served as technology director for the Democratic National Committee. In Australia last week as a guest of the Internet Industry Association, Self was the keynote speaker at a lunch hosted by search engine group Google, whose local chief Karim Temsamani says Obama used the internet to lower the cost of building a political brand. "And Ben Self is the architect of the most remarkable online campaign we have seen so far," Temsamani says. The campaign featured more than 3 million online donors who between them contributed 6.5 million times (and of those donations, 6 million were $US100 or less). "And 25 per cent of people who 'pulled the lever' for Obama on election day were already connected to him electronically," Temsamani says. Self first worked for former Democratic presidential nominee Howard Dean, who became renowned as the first US politician to actively use the internet to raise funds. Afterwards, Self and three other Dean staffers formed Blue State Digital, which helps political candidates, non-profits and companies develop their online presence.

Self says that previous political campaigns were developed with a "top down" approach, but Obama adopted a different strategy. "He had an established opponent who was supported by media with whom he'd been involved with for some time," Self says. "So he decided he wanted to run a 'bottom up' campaign where he took the power outside Washington and used individuals to build the campaign." Self was approached 10 days before Obama nominated for the presidency to build a new website that had more features than any other of its kind. That goal was achieved and over the course of the campaign the website amassed some amazing statistics. For example, the campaign created more than 1800 YouTube videos, which were viewed more than 50 million times and with the average time spent watching the videos hitting 14 minutes. During the campaign the DNC directly communicated with more than 68 million voters through the website and raised more than $US770 million. "The website made it easy for people to get involved," Self says. "It wasn't really about the money but bringing people in and getting them to make that commitment ... that increases their bond with the campaign."

In terms of fundraising, Self says, email was by far the most effective tool. He says that the Obama experience showed the ability to use the internet to get people "to do amazing things for you that they would never have done before". For example, during the campaign, donors would write to other potential donors identified by campaign HQ to encourage that donation by explaining why they supported Obama. "People were blown away because they would get these letters ... it would make them want to pledge four, five or six times," Self says. Another website was created (www.fightthesmears.com) to fight false claims made against Obama during the campaign. The DNC then paid to ensure it was top of related search queries. "We wanted to make sure the real truth was the first link there, so people would find it and send it on to others," he says.


From http://www.australianit.news.com.au/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

US Government Uses Online Social Media to Manage Salmonella Outbreak

Online social media is becoming an important tool for governments to engage citizens during emergencies to rapidly disseminate information. in fact it is even beginning to be credited with saving lives during health crises. According to Nextgov, Federal health agencies relied heavily on social media to inform the public about the recent outbreak of salmonella tainted peanut butter, possibly reducing the number of death and injuries caused by the illness, according to federal health officials. Officials with Health and Human Services Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said social media helped them spread the word that peanut butter recall. The agencies used widgets, blogs, Twitter, podcasts, mobile alerts and online videos to warn the public that peanut butter manufactured by Peanut Corp. of America for institutional use and for additives in other products such as snacks may be tainted with salmonella. Eight people died and 500 were sickened by the infected peanut butter. "The response has been really amazing," said Janice Nall, director of the division of eHealth marketing at CDC, on the public's reaction to her agency's social media campaign. "We look at social media as additional channels to reach people where they are." The article, Agencies used social media to manage salmonella outbreak, goes on to say that agencies were surprised with the response, with the widget, designed for use in websites, blogs, Facebooks and MySpace, was accessed 1.4 million times in nine days. We've begun to see similar use of tools such as Twitter and widgets in Australia at state government level, and hopefully the success of these tools will see greater use across all Australian governments.


From http://egovau.blogspot.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

White House Launches Recovery.gov

The White House has launched Recovery.gov, a site that intends to bring transparency to the government spending authorized in the $787 billion economic package the president signed Tuesday. "The size and scale of this plan demand unprecedented efforts to root out waste, inefficiency, and unnecessary spending," President Obama says in an introductory video on the site. "The important decisions about where taxpayer dollars will be invested will be yours to scrutinize." The site includes charts that break down how the money in the legislation will be distributed. As federal agencies distribute funds, those allocations will be added to the site. A map of the country shows the number of jobs the legislation is expected to create in each state. The site also has a separate page explaining the president's call for transparency, as well as an "about" page that summarizes the bill and provides a timeline of its progress. Visitors can sign up for e-mail updates and are encouraged to share through a comment form on the site how their lives have been affected by the economic downturn.


From http://news.cnet.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

Asian Countries' E-govt Rankings Revealed

According to the "Improving Technology Utilisation in Electronic Government around the World 2008" report by the Governance Studies of the Brookings Institution, the most highly ranked e-government nations are South Korea (securing the 1st position for the second consecutive year), Taiwan, the US, Singapore, Canada and Australia The study reviewed the current condition of e-government in countries and made practical suggestions for improving the delivery of information and services over the internet. Singapore, which was placed 4th, is the top ranking country among Asean nations with 53.1 per cent, dropping down two places from its 2nd position (54 per cent) in 2007. Singapore was placed among the top four as it scored 100 per cent in privacy policy and security policy, 97 per cent in publications, 67 per cent for databases, 63 per cent for online services and 10 per cent in disability accessibility.

Brunei Darussalam has moved up to the 17th position out of 198 countries. This has been a big leap for the country which was at 28th position in 2007. The rankings are decided on the basis of 18 different features. According to the report, points are awarded to web sites that have the following features: publications, databases, audio clips, video clips, foreign language access, not having ads, not having premium fees, not having the user fee, disability access, having privacy policies, security policies, allowing digital signatures on transactions, an option to pay via credit cards, email contact information, areas to post comments, option for email updates, option for web site personalisation and PDA accessibility. Brunei scored 41 per cent in the study, an increase from 36.5 per cent that had put Brunei in the 28th position in 2007.

Brunei has done reasonably well in terms of online services where it scored 50 per cent, 100 per cent in publications and databases respectively. However, the research also showed that Brunei has weak points or shortcomings in privacy policy where it scored 25 per cent, and zero per cent in security and disability accessibility. These shortcomings need to be overcome for future e-government initiatives. Other Southeast Asian countries ranked above Brunei include Malaysia at 11th place with 42.8 per cent, a significant leap from its 25th position in 2007. Malaysia scored 75 per cent in its online services, 88 per cent in publications, 50 per cent in data bases, 75 per cent in privacy policy, 50 per cent in security policy and 38 per cent in disability accessibility. Cambodia is placed at 70th position with 33 per cent, moving up 17 places from its position in 2007. Philippines is at 89th position with 31.3 per cent, Myanmar at 93rd position, Thailand at 138 position, Laos and Indonesia at 151 and 175 positions respectively.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

Free Voices on Internet New Path to Democracy

Chinese netizens have made their voices heard more loudly and their presence better recognized in headline news events over the past year. When the Beijing Olympic torch relay overseas was disrupted in April, almost all the Chinese msn messenger users posted "I love China" beside their names, a move that looked "overwhelming" to Kevin, a French man who was living in Shanghai at the time. As to domestic affairs, netizens did not sit aloof. After the dairy scandal emerged in September, netizens' strong criticisms finally led to the resignation of Li Changjiang, then director of the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine. Yan Jirong, professor at Peking University's School of Government, said this incident showed the government was paying attention to public voices on the Internet. A report released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences on Dec. 2 showed about 206 million Chinese use the Internet as their main source of news. According to the China Internet Network Information Center, under-30s are the majority of online news readers, accounting for about 69 percent of total Internet users. On June 20, Hu visited the Qiangguo Forum, which is affiliated to people.com.cn, and chatted with netizens.

Hu's visit drew so many clicks that it almost crashed the site. Premier Wen said frankly at a press conference on March 18 that he had been using the Internet to listen to netizens' opinions and suggestions during the annual sessions of the National People's Congress, the top legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, the top advisory body. Fans of the two leaders started to post suggestions and support to the two leaders at beginning of July on a bulletin board of the people.com.cn, a website of the People's Daily. It was prompted by affection for Hu and Wen after seeing how they dealt with the May 12 earthquake, the fans said in their postings. After the magnitude-8.0 earthquake struck the southwestern Sichuan Province and the neighboring provinces on May 12, the two officials paid repeated visits to the devastated areas and impressed netizens with moving behavior and words. Some scholars said bluntly that the Internet had indeed built a direct link between the grassroots and the central power. Local officials, on the other hand, are going a step further to write blogs and hold debates with netizens on hot issues.

Li Ou, vice mayor of Siping in the northeastern Jilin Province, has been hailed by netizens as being the most active mayor who uses his real name to debate with netizens on social affairs. Li's blog was selected as one of the "top 10 blogs of 2008" in a poll by the People's Daily based on the votes from millions of netizens. Another local official, Liao Xinbo, deputy director of the Department of Public Health of the southern Guangdong Province, was also on the list. His blog was picked for pointing out the keyto China's new medical reform plan which is likely to be issued in January, reported the People's Daily. Liao wrote on Dec. 25 that China should learn from other countries, such as Cuba, in drafting the long-delayed medical reform plan. "The government is seeking new ways for the public to voice opinions," said Yan. A survey taken by the China Youth Daily's poll center showed about 72 percent of those responding hoped the Internet would be anew path to democracy. More than half of those surveyed said the exchanges on the Internet helped to bring the government closer to the public.


From Xinhua News Agency 01/04/2009

TOP↑

 

Internet Changes Political Landscape in China

On his salary, public servant Zhou Jiugeng couldn't afford the expensive cigarettes and a Vacheron Constantin watch he was seen with in an Internet photo in 2007. Moral outrage from web surfers on Zhou's extravagance triggered an official investigation which finally ruined the district real estate administrator's career at the end of December, 2008. For a populous country keeping up with the information age, the Internet has become a new way for people to express their opinions. On June 20 of last year, President Hu Jintao visited a news portal. For the first time he chatted with netizens during the Qiangguo Forum at people.com.cn about issues which sometimes aroused heated debate. "I try to know through the Internet what people are concerned about and what they think (on a wide range of topics)," Hu said during the visit. "I'm willing to get an idea on people's complaints of and proposals to the work of our Party and the government." Hu's stance for openness and transparency was echoed by the extraordinarily active publicity of various levels of governments. The central and provincial governments in 2008 hosted 1,587 press conferences, up 179 year on year. That was the most number in the country's history. The welcome policy of the Chinese government towards journalists from around the world was announced in October.

As long as interviewees are willing to, foreign journalists could freely discuss any topics with them. Official approval was no longer needed. While presenting itself to the world as honest and reasonable, China became more confident of accepting diversified opinions from various channels. Li Ou, vice mayor of Siping in the northeastern Jilin Province, has been hailed by netizens as the most active mayor in China. He uses his real name to debate with netizens on social affairs. His blog was even selected as one of the "top 10 most popular blogs of 2008" in a poll conducted by the People's Daily. The Internet was also a tool for soliciting a huge number of opinions on and even in opposition against public policies or draft laws. According to the Yangcheng Evening News on Oct. 18, more than 30 law experts from south China's Guangdong province voluntarily gathered to discuss the seventh draft amendment of the Criminal Law. They sent 12 suggestions to the National People's Congress (NPC), raising issues like personal information protection and the definition of pyramid selling. The latest draft amendment of the Criminal Law, which focuses on hot issues like anti-corruption, economic crimes and punishment for violating citizen rights, drew so much attention that about 400 suggestions were submitted online to the NPC in the first four days of opinion solicitation.

The open-minded attitude and tolerance towards dissenting opinions showcases China's confidence of bettering its governance. However, a regular and effective system linking governance to new media is yet to come. Convenient as it seems, the Internet, like newspapers and television, is no more than a medium. When netizens' outcry indicate possible problems like corruption, there is no formal system in place to have those concerns investigated. The country needs formal procedures to monitor online information and carry out investigations accordingly. Progress towards more transparent governance was an encouraging, although discreet, step for China as it makes strides on the long path towards democracy.


From Xinhua News Agency 01/07/2009

TOP↑

 

Chinese Court Moves to Allow People Easier Access to Judicial Services

China's Supreme People's Court is trying to ensure legal services are within easier reach of citizens by allowing online access to judicial documents and delivering case registrations to the homes of the handicapped and seniors. According to a plan for facilitating judicial services for the people, put forward by the Supreme People's Court Wednesday, courts at different levels are now required to set up information centers and dispatch staff to take care of people's complaints and case inquiries. Information about publicly-tried cases should be announced ahead of trials to ensure that people can sit in on the proceedings. Eligible applicants should be allowed to witness the trial by using hearing certificates or their ID cards, according to the plan. Also, deputies to the people's congresses, the country's legislative body, and members of political consultative conferences, the country's advisory body, should be invited regularly to hearings.

Courts should gradually establish an information inquiry service for judgement and litigation documents, or make that information public online according to law if conditions permit. A public hearing system could be introduced in execution cases, examination proceedings for case retrials and cases involving penalty reductions, parole or state compensation. The plan went on to say, local courts should offer case registration services through the phone and Internet. They were also encouraged to deliver door-to-door service for the sick, disabled and seniors. Courts and judicial personnel will be publicly reprimanded and held accountable if they attempt to persuade parties to withdraw lawsuits for the purpose of gaining higher case settlement rates and if they make unauthorized decisions to stop litigation and execution of court cases. The proposals also advise courts to provide regular or flexible mobile services for people in remote areas and dispute-intensive regions. Local courts should offer circuit and on-spot trials, as well as mediate or deal with cases there and then, according to the proposal.


From http://www.chinaview.cn/ 02/19/2009

TOP↑

 

Gov't Opens Website to Aid Foreign Traders

A website that provides useful information for Guangdong companies involved in international trade was opened yesterday by the provincial government. Vice-Governor Wan Qingliang said at the launch ceremony yesterday that the site - www.gd218.org.cn - will serve as a platform for local businesses, featuring such things as information on global markets and government trade policies. "The website is one of several measures we have taken to help local firms cope with the global financial crisis, which has a huge impact on Guangdong because of its close involvement in foreign trade," he said. Companies can use the site to apply for documents and licenses, put forward suggestions, and seek advice from officials in charge of the province's foreign trade, he said. Guangdong's imports and exports totaled 36.6 billion yuan ($5.3 billion) in January, down 31 percent on the same period last year, Wan said. "We are facing unprecedented challenges in terms of foreign trade," he said. Speaking at a banquet held for trade officials yesterday, Liang Yaowen, director of the provincial foreign trade and economic cooperation department, said Guangdong's foreign trade may fall further in the first quarter of this year. "Many firms are importing fewer raw materials, so their exports will dwindle accordingly," he said. Also, several hi-tech firms, including Taiwan-funded Foxconn and Singaporean-funded Flextronics, have downsized their operations as a result of the global economic slump, he said.


From China Daily 02/19/2009

TOP↑

 

JAPAN: Lesson: High-Speed Network May Be Slow Stimulus

Despite fibre roll out next generation applications including cloud computing have been slow to take off due to security, reliability issues. A decade ago, Japan embarked on an infrastructure-led fiscal stimulus package that included spending $25 billion on high-speed fiber-based communication infrastructure to drive new services such as e-government and remote healthcare.


From http://www.totaltele.com/ 01/26/2009

TOP↑

 

Results of Public Comment Procedure on Draft Verification Results (FY 2008) Based on the Competition Safeguard System

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) invited public comment on the draft verification results (FY 2008) based on the Competition Safeguard System, from December 25, 2008 to January 30, 2009, and received nine comments. Based on the New Competition Promotion Program 2010 (developed in September 2006 and revised in October 2007), MIC has placed in force a competition safeguard system intended to periodically check the validity of the scope of the Designated Telecommunications Facilities System and accumulated fair competition requirements concerning the NTT group (including those related to the Regulatory Frameworks Pertaining to Authorization of Business Activities Using Facilities, Technologies or Staff of NTT East and NTT West) since fiscal 2007. In this connection, MIC developed the Guideline for Application of the Competition Safeguard System in April 2007. Prior to conducting the verification in accordance with the competition safeguard system for this fiscal year and for reference in its future verification efforts, MIC invited public comment as to the validity of applying the system to the items that are to be verified under the guideline, from July 24 to August 25, 2008. MIC invited further public comment from August 28 to September 29, 2008. Based on the comments received in the comment invitation procedure and the comment re-invitation procedure, MIC compiled draft verification results and invited public comment on the draft from December 24, 2008 to January 30, 2009. MIC received nine comments.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

Fujitsu Tests E-Newspapers at Japanese Cafe

We've already seen restaurants with touch-sensitive tables and 3D menus, so it's just natural for Fujitsu to explore the possibility of installing e-newspapers into popular cafes. The outfit is working with SoftBank and Mainichi Newspapers in order to test the feasibility of placing e-readers in certain eateries, which would allow patrons to check up on the day's latest headlines while waiting for their coffee and eggs. As expected, the companies are closely monitoring whether the idea would promote sales and boost customer satisfaction, and unless they do something horribly wrong, we can't see this not having those effects. In order to make ends meet, the terminals will flash advertisements if the reader sits for an extended period of time, though they should shy away once a customer starts fiddling. If you're eager to check things out, hop a flight to Japan and have a sit at Termina Kinshicho Fujiya Restaurant before February 13th.


From http://www.engadget.com/ 02/09/2009

TOP↑

 

SOUTH KOREA: Four Year Plan for E-Govt Improvement

E-government in Korea will develop so completely by 2012 that after an online notification to a village office, citizens will see their change of home address for mail services, children's transfer to new schools and everything else taken care of automatically. Meanwhile, IT infrastructure will become even more sophisticated and the speed of Internet connections will increase ten-fold. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security released an e-government blueprint in the presence of President Lee Myung-bak. So far, the e-government project has focused on taking administrative business online. Over the next 4 years, the government is determined to combine information and application services online. The government says that in the future, anybody can receive all kinds of administrative services through a single online connection whenever or wherever they want. The system will be overhauled so that anybody can file all civil applications or petitions online. There will be an e-document management centre that all government agencies can use. There will also be an IT-based system of food distribution and tracking, allowing anybody to check the names, photos and addresses of food producers and distribution routes on the label using easy-to-carry reader devices that can be attached to mobile phones. Out of 1700 government websites from almost 200 countries, Korea's e-government has been voted first in the world for the third consecutive year in September 2008.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/04/2008

TOP↑

 

Advanced E-Governance for South Korea

In South Korea, by 2012 e-Governance will enter an advanced phase. Information Technology (IT) infrastructure will become even more sophisticated and the speed of Internet connections will increase ten-fold. With this in place, anybody can receive all kinds of administrative services through a single online connection, whenever or wherever they want. The Ministry of Public Administration and Security recently released an e-government blueprint in the presence of President Lee Myung-bak. The system is being overhauled such that anybody can file all civil applications or petitions online. There will also be access to e-document management center for all government agencies. Till now e-government projects have focused on taking administrative business online. Over the next four years, the government is determined to combine information and application services online. There will also be an IT-based system of food distribution and tracking, allowing anybody to check the names, photos and addresses of food producers and distribution routes on the label using easy-to-carry reader devices that can be attached to mobile phones.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/05/2008

TOP↑

 

New KOTRA Foreign Recruitment Website Goes Online

The Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) last Thursday opened the pilot version of a new portal called "Contact Korea" (www.contactkorea.go.kr) to help Korean SMEs attract foreign human resources. Once companies register at the website, they can search a database of overseas experts, which has been verified by KOTRA. If they cannot find appropriate candidates there, they can conduct extra searches through Korea Business Centers in 40 countries. The service is free for the time being.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 01/05/2009

TOP↑

 

Korea.kr Launches Web Promotion Event - Prizes to Be Won

What kind of life will people on the Korean Peninsula lead in the far distant future? They may have become "primitive people" with big ears and thick hair to adapt to the desertified land. Or they may enjoy an abundant life in a pleasant environment. All this depends on whether we choose green growth or not. "Korea.kr," the Korean government's policy portal, has launched a promotion event lasting until Feb. 1, offering gifts to people chosen at random if they publicize their own UCC (user created content) videos on the importance of green growth. The motto is "Promote Green Growth and Have Green Habits!" The event aims to achieve a public consensus on green growth. It is the second of its kind following the first held in December. Anyone interested in the event can take part in it the same way as they did the first event. Just download UCC from the Event Page of "Korea.kr" (green.korea.kr/html/event_02.html) onto your own blogs or sites, and post a reply using the URL of your own videos and your own green habits onto the Event Page. "Korea.kr" will select 326 winners by lot. The top winner will be presented with a cultural gift coupon worth 300,000 won, and other winners with USBs or eco-bags. Considering that winners are chosen by lot, the more often you apply, the more chance you will have to win. The lottery results will be announced on "Korea.kr" (www.korea.kr) on Feb. 6. You can get detailed information from the website's Event Page. The list of 326 winners of the first event has recently been made public. Eco-bags are made of environment-friendly colorless cloth decorated with bright design symbolizing green growth. The design for the bag was created by artist Ahn Sung-hee, who is engaged in various artistic activities using images of plants.


From http://www.egov.go.kr/ 01/08/2009

TOP↑

 

Taking the Best of Web 2.0 into the Public Sector

With the widespread use of the internet and the enormous success of social network platforms, governments around the world are jumping on the bandwagon and work on strategies how to expand their services by incorporating Web 2.0 technologies. Anthony Williams, Vice President and Executive Editor of the international business innovation think tank New Paradigm says "the Web offers the public sector huge opportunities to collaborate with citizens". He also foresees Web 2.0 technologies being employed to transform service delivery, make smarter policies, flatten silos, and most importantly, reinvigorate democracy. However, using Web 2.0 does come with certain security threats and issues such as malwares and the easy access to private information. In addition, according to South Korea's Dr Kim Seang-Tae, President of the National Information Society Agency (NIA), "current discussions concerning e-government have some limitations in addressing possibility and current change, because they ignore development of civil society and democracy". Dr Kim Seang-Tae has published numerous works of research in the field of e-governance and he will be the keynote speaker on the topic of "Government & Web 2.0" at the Government Information Forum 09, coming up on 4- 5 March 2009 in Singapore. Dr Kim will be addressing how governments can take the best of the social internet to improve access and data capture - whilst at the same time maintain secure, transparent and responsible decision-making processes.

Beside Dr. Kim Seang Tae this high-level conference, organised by FutureGov magazine, will gather numerous public sector ICT leaders from APAC and beyond to discuss five key fields that must be embraced for agencies to drive organisational efficiency, enhance customer engagement while at the same time improving corporate accountability and transparency. The five featured fields will be Information Management, Interoperability, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Content Management and Information Security. International experts like Rain Ottis (Scientist, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, ESTONIA), Chim Voon How (IT Director, Singapore Land Authority, SINGAPORE), Dr Chao Han-Chieh (IT Director, Computer Centre, Ministry of Education, TAIWAN), Dr N.T. Cheung (Chief Medical Information Officer, Hong Kong Hospital Authority, HONG KONG), Jeremy Shen (Director, Information Centre, Ministry of Interior, TAIWAN) and many more will update participants on their experience, current developments and how to ensure successful government modernisation. Registration for the Government Information Forum 2009 is open for all public sector officials.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/03/2009

TOP↑

 

South Korea Ranked 1st Out of 198 E-Government Countries

Brookings Institution of Governance Studies has ranked South Korea at the 1st position out of 198 countries. Other highly ranked countries in the study are Taiwan, United States, Singapore, Canada, Australia, Germany and Ireland. Singapore, which was placed 4th, is the top ranking country among Asean nations, dropping down two places from its 2nd position in 2007. This study was done towards e-Government country ranking in the 'Improving Technology Utilisation in Electronic Government around the World 2008'. The rankings are decided on the basis of 18 different features which were: publications, databases, audio clips, video clips, foreign language access, not having ads, not having premium fees, not having the user fee, disability access, having privacy policies, security policies, allowing digital signatures on transactions, an option to pay via credit cards, email contact information, areas to post comments, option for email updates, option for website personalisation and PDA accessibility. Brunei Darussalam was ranked at 17th position out of 198 countries, this has been a big leap for the country which was placed at the 28th position in 2007. Other Southeast Asian countries ranked above Brunei include Malaysia at 11th place, a significant leap from its 25th position in 2007. Cambodia is placed at 70th position, moving up 17 places from its position in 2007. Philippines is at 89th position, Myanmar at 93rd position, Thailand at 138rd position, Laos and Indonesia at 151st and 175th positions respectively.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

National Intellectual Property Education Portal Launched

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and its Commissioner Jung-Sik Koh launched the National Intellectual Property Education Portal, or "e-Portal." Starting January 30, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may use the e-Portal to find complete e-learning services on intellectual property. R&D researchers, students, teachers, and others visiting www.ipacademy.net will also find the information offered beneficial. The e-Portal is an expansion and revision of its predecessor, which has been providing online IP and patent materials since 2002. In 2009, it will continue to serve its 320,000 registered users with more than 140 types of content. All Koreans are eligible for online membership and free to browse materials on such topics as obtaining patent rights and rights dispute resolution. SMEs especially will enjoy the site's practicality. Issues like how to write a patent application or how to file an electronic application are all covered without charge. Upon request, SMEs can even receive customized information from patent experts and attorneys who, on site, will teach employees. Researchers can likewise freely use content related to search. They can prevent overlapping work by setting research goals according to the search results.

E-Learning services that improve creativity, invention, and innovation are sure to be popular with students of all ages. And teachers teaching invention and creation will find the resources and teaching methods offered on the e-Portal invaluable. This program is acknowledged as a work-related training course by the Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology. In short, anyone who finds it difficult to understand patents or simply wants to gain information on patents can visit the e-Portal to find all related information at a single click. In some cases, if a group of students, companies, research labs, or universities are looking for something in particular, perhaps something that is not already represented within the site's content, an advanced request will get them a customized program and an exclusive online website. Inquire for further details. The e-Portal also provides post-management services supporting online education and evaluation, as well as reports of student satisfaction with the resources. According to one KIPO official, "KIPO will continue to develop premium content that reflects the most recent IT technologies. We will also put forth efforts to open a mobile education environment, where students can learn anytime, anywhere."


From Korean Intellectual Property Office 02/05/2009

TOP↑

 

Top Court to Publicize Acquittals Online

The Supreme Court has decided to publish the details of acquittals on its homepage the procedure to restore the reputation of defendants, it said Sunday. The name and details of the trial of criminal defendants who are cleared will be published at their request from next month.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

CAMBODIA: Leverage on Video-Conferencing

Hun Sen Prime Minister of Cambodia has announced plans to install video-conferencing facilities at key military headquarters throughout the country with the aim of promoting e-government, reducing government expenditure on transport, and improving national security. "We are moving towards e-government, and we will continue to install video-conferencing systems at all regional military headquarters for commanding soldiers," he said. He further explains that video-conferencing will allow the government to cut costs and work faster as military and civilian officials would need to attend fewer meetings in person. The Cambodia government has already installed video-conferencing systems in all provincial cities, meaning that the PM can speak to all provincial governors from his home. He called on provincial governors to invest in the technology so they can do the same with district governors. In addition to installing the facilities at military headquarters, Hun Sen said that the government also plans to establish video-conferencing links with Asean members and other world leaders. So Khun Minister of Posts and Telecommunication said, "The technology could also be used for education, as students could use it to participate in classes taking place abroad." Viettel - Vietnam's military-owned mobile company - has installed 5000 kilometres of fibre-optic cable nationwide, some of which will be for video-conferencing. Viettel will install 5,000 to 8,000 additional kilometres in the future.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/28/2009

TOP↑

 

MALAYSIA: Broadband Centre for Every Parliamentary Constituency in Malaysia

The Malaysian Communications & Multimedia Commission (MCMC) aims to establish a broadband community centre for every parliamentary constituency in the country, which currently numbers 222 According to Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor, Minister of Energy, Water and Communications, US$30.8 million has been earmarked for this objective for Sarawak alone. Shaziman said the budget for other states had not yet been determined but reiterated that it was a nationwide objective. The Sarawak Rural Broadband Initiative (SRBI) provides school children in Sarawak, aged six to 12 years, with a low-cost WiFi terminal known as one-laptop-per-child (OLPC). The broadband infrastructure, such as fibre optics and satellite coverage, to support the OLPC terminals is provided by a joint venture between Danawa Resources Sdn Bhd and Sarawak's state-run Sacofa Sdn Bhd. "To date US$5.6 million has been spent on the SRBI project, with US$2.9 million contributed by the MCMC's universal service provision (USP) fund," Shaziman said. The project qualifies for the USP fund as it brings broadband internet access to the rural and underserved areas. "Other states that have similar initiatives can submit proposals to increase broadband coverage in rural areas to MCMC and will be considered for funding," he added. After one and a half years of operations, the SRBI has achieved 20 per cent broadband coverage of Sarawak and aims for 50 per cent by 2010.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/22/2008

TOP↑

 

Board to Introduce e-Stamping from Jan 1

KUALA LUMPUR: Stamping of documents will go online with the introduction of an e-Stamping system by the Inland Revenue Board (IRB). To be used initially from Jan 1 for the stamping of documents for landed property, the new system will also see the end of the use of impressed stamps and official receipts. IRB chief executive officer Datuk Hasmah Abdullah said e-Stamping would benefit those who have high volume of stamping to do such as lawyers and developers. "Registered users will be able to print out the e-Stamp to stick on important documents. Payment for the stamp can also be made online," she said. Hasmah said although the e-Stamp could be printed by any printing machine, there were security features that would make it impossible to fake an e-Stamp. "There are anti-photocopy features and a watermark appears if the stamp is printed for a second time," she said, adding that the unique number on each stamp could also be checked online to see if it was authentic.

Those needing an e-Stamp could also get it at IRB stamp offices, she said, adding that the move was planned under Budget 2009. Hasmah said the e-Stamping system would later be extended to cover all other important documents such as cheques, contracts and insurance policies. She said the IRB had been managing stamps since they took over the business from the Accountant-General in 1978. Hasmah added that the setem hasil (duty stamp) that could be bought from post offices was not being phased out but would get improved security features by Feb 1.


From http://thestar.com.my/ 12/24/2008

TOP↑

 

Cyber Court for Malaysia?

MARANG, Jan 5 (Bernama) - Malaysia may need a "cyber court" to deal with cyber crimes in view of the increasing number of such cases lately, said Energy, Water and Communications Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor. He said that the ministry had submitted over 30 cases to the Attorney-General's Chambers in the past three years. "If in future if we cannot cope anymore due to too many cases, we may need to have a cyber court," he told reporters after launching a community broadband centre in Kampung Merchang here. On a newsreport that a weblog had published contents found to be offensive, in particular comments relating to Prophet Muhammad and Islam, Shaziman said, the police were still investigating. According to the report, the offending article was published in a blog using the name of a Malay woman. The woman had denied her involvement. Meanwhile, Shaziman said broadband penetration rate in the country currently stood at 18 per cent for each 100 households. "For Terengganu, the rate is 8.8 per cent, which is a drastic increase compared to 0.7 per cent in 2005," he said. He added that the government had targeted to increase the nationwide penetration rate to 50 per cent by next year to enhance IT literacy among the society. He also said that 1,268 communication towers would be built throughout the country to expand cellular phone coverage from 92 per cent at the moment to 97 per cent by 2010. "Of the total, 98 towers will be built in Terengganu," he said.


From http://www.bernama.com/ 01/05/2009

TOP↑

 

PHILIPPINES: Office of the President Launches Its New Portal

The Office of the President launched its new portal today, December 8, 2008. The Office of the President website, which has been in use since 2002 has recently been upgraded and redesigned with the aim of improving service and user-friendliness to the public. It now has a fresher look with new features while retaining its previous contents. With the aim of enhancing direct connection to the citizenry, a section called Ask Malacañang, was added where the public can ask questions directed to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's Cabinet officials, each of whom would be featured within a specific time frame. Answers to the questions will be posted on the site. The upgraded presidential portal makes use of open source programming, which is being promoted by the Advanced Science and Technology Institute (ASTI) and the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT) as a low-cost, legitimate alternative to proprietary solutions, in an effort to stem piracy. The new website will have the same link, http://www.op.gov.ph. The Office of the President website's launching was set to coincide with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Responsible for the portal's up-grade, redesign and development as well as its launching is the Information and Communications Technology Unit of the Office of the Press Secretary.


From http://www.gov.ph/ 12/08/2008

TOP↑

 

IT Upgrade to Enhance SSS Operations

The Social Security System (SSS) has started an extensive upgrading of its information technology (IT) facilities to process applications faster and handle more transactions. SSS president and chief executive officer Romulo Neri said SSS has been acquiring new hardware as part of a major mainframe overhaul, which is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2009. He said the upgrading would fast-track transactions involving contribution posting, online inquiry and benefit claims processing. "This is a big boost to SSS operations. It enables us to keep up with a growing membership, which is about 28 million at present," Neri said. "One immediate effect in the foreseeable future is self-service capabilities in which members can remit contributions, get quick confirmation of posted payments and check easily their eligibility for loans and benefits without going to an SSS office," he said. With a new computer system, SSS can start modifying its current applications and incorporate new features, such as the self-service capabilities, with an improved business recovery system in place to protect members' data from loss or damage due to man-made or natural disasters such as fires and earthquakes. Neri and SSS is also acquiring new high-powered servers to prevent downtimes or temporary stoppages, which were recurring problems in the old system due to the aging equipment and the increasing volume of transactions.


From http://archive.inquirer.net/ 01/06/2009

TOP↑

 

NTC Transfers Back to CICT

MANILA, Philippines - (UPDATE 2) The National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) will be transferred under the Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), a government statement said. CICT said President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Executive Order No. 648, which effectively moves the NTC from the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to the agency. "This is not new to us," said NTC Deputy Commissioner Jorge Sarmiento in a telephone interview, as he reacted to the news. "There will be no changes, except that we will be reporting to the CICT," the official added. CICT said EO 648 was signed on August 6, 2007 but was only released by the Malacañang Records Office on December 23, 2008. In a separate interview, CICT chairman Ray Anthony Roxas-Chua III said the agency was surprised that it was only recently that the executive order was made known. "We didn't know about it until this December," Roxas-Chua III said, adding that he is not aware why the executive order was shelved for so long. He said the EO 648 was signed almost the same time he was appointed as the new chairman of this agency, which is under the Office of the President.

"It will be easier for us to coordinate with the NTC," the official said, citing several pending policies on digital television and Internet Protocol version 6 or IPV6 that need to be addressed soon. "We hope to tackle this with the NTC." Roxas-Chua III is scheduled to meet with the NTC officials this week. In another interview, CICT Commissioner for cyber services group Monchito Ibrahim said the NTC will remain independent from CICT's operations. "We [CICT] are not allowed to interfere in their day-to-day operations since NTC is a quasi-judicial agency," Ibrahim said. Ibrahim said the transfer was "but natural" since there should be consolidation of information technology and telecommunications. "The current situation warrants that there is convergence in both technologies." However, Ibrahim said that even under the DICT, the NTC will remain independent. The NTC was first transferred from the Department of Transportation and Communication to the CICT in 2004. Less than a year later, the NTC was again transferred back to the DOTC in 2005. In a statement, the official said this development signals that the President has identified the growth and development of the information and communications technology sector as a priority of her administration.

"As communications and information technology continue to converge, there is a need to converge the policymaking functions as well," said Roxas-Chua III. NTC will now be an attached agency to the CICT. Roxas-Chua III said this move will also bolster the agency's effort to become a department. A bill creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) proposes to transfer the NTC from the DoTC to the planned department. The DICT bill remains pending in Congress. CICT said the NTC was first transferred from the DOTC to the CICT when the CICT was created in 2004 by EO 269, but was subsequently transferred back to the DOTC in 2005 by EO 454. EO 648 effectively repealed EO 454. CICT said that NTC will remain an independent body, as it still assumes its regulatory and quasi-judicial functions. The NTC is currently headed by Commissioner Ruel V. Canobas.


From http://archive.inquirer.net/ 01/08/2009

TOP↑

 

SINGAPORE: Govt Services on the Go

Under the Mobile Government (m-government) project by the Ministry of Finance and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), the Singapore government currently has 200 of its services accessible though mobile devices. These services include Central Provident Fund account enquiries, Certificate of Entitlement results and updates on traffic condition. Similar to the Indian state of Hyderabad, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has set up an SMS hotline service. The service was introduced by SPF and National Council of Social Service to cater to the hearing and speech-impaired community - estimated to number about 10,000. The government directory is also made available through SMS. Mobile phone users can conveniently obtain the contact information of government officers (currently available online at Singapore Government Directory Interactive)be sending a text message to 74688. Singapore Land Authority has moved its maps onto an electronic street directory, StreetMap@Singapore. This utility can be downloaded for free and runs on mobile devices operating on the Windows Mobile system. The m-government project involves 15 ministries, nine organs of state and more than 60 statutory boards, and is part of the Government IT Masterplan iGov2010.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/21/2009

TOP↑

 

Singapore Govt to Respond to Citizens Via Web

Government officials in Singapore will soon respond directly to comments on an internet discussion board. Dr Amy Khor, chairman of Reach, the Government's official feedback arm, said she was holding talks with various ministries to join the discussion on Reach's web site. "Recognising that the whole process of engagement and consultation is as important as the outcome itself, Reach will continue to work with government agencies to act on and respond to feedback in a timely manner and keep contributors abreast of the status of their feedback," she said. "Towards this end, government agencies, could, where it is useful, respond to feedback on our discussion forums," she added. Minister of Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishnan had given Dr Khor the task of addressing Reach-related questions in the debate on the Ministry's budget.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/17/2009

TOP↑

 

Singapore Looks to Export e-Government

SINGAPORE - The government unveiled Tuesday a new entity designed to export its public sector infocomm expertise to administrations around the world. IDA International, formed as a subsidiary of Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) - the country's ICT regulator and promoter - will focus on collaborating with overseas public sector agencies to execute projects. Such expertise includes national infocomm planning and e-government consultancy. Led by CEO Seah Chin Siong, IDA International is expected to explore partnerships in Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Central and South America and the Caribbean. "There are many countries today that can benefit from Singapore's ICT experience and expertise," Seah said in a media statement. "Singapore is in a unique position to assist these countries in areas such as national infocomm planning, Government Chief Information Office (GCIO) capability development, ICT industry development and human capital development, amongst others. Through IDA International, we are able to bring our public service infocomm solutions to accelerate the execution of government infocomm programs in these countries." The new organization is expected to work not only with local IT companies, but may also partner sister agencies such as International Enterprise Singapore and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise to export Singapore's ICT capabilities. To date, the new agency has signed agreements with several local companies, which it will involve in its foreign engagements. They are: NCS, ST Electronics (Info-Software Systems), Infowave, Eucharist, SQLView, Ecquaria Technologies, Netrust and Elixir. Tan Yen Yen, chairman of Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation (SiTF), said the formation of IDA International helps "internationalize" the local ICT industry, opening up new opportunities for companies. "Through IDA International's engagement with overseas markets, Singapore infocomm companies can now leverage on the opportunities that previously may not have been available," she noted in the statement. "The eGovernment Chapter of SiTF will collaborate closely with IDA International to play an important role in accelerating Singapore ICT industry and gain greater recognition for Singapore innovative solutions and services in the global market."


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/17/2009

TOP↑

 

Singapore's IDA Launches E-government Consultancy

Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority has launched an international consultancy to help other countries develop their e-government infrastructure. The wholly-owned subsidiary, called IDA International, will also serve as a platform for Singaporean technology firms - many of which are struggling in tough economic conditions - to expand overseas. The Minister of Information, Communications and the Arts (MICA), Lee Boon Yang, said that growth for the infocomms industry was expected to fall by a half this year, and IDA International would help local IT companies find new sources of revenue. The unit will offer "holistic" solutions, from high-end strategic planning to implementation. "Teaming agreements" will see local firms such as NCS, Netrust, Elixir and ST Electronics club together to offer complimentary e-government solutions. "It's taken Singapore 28 years to get e-government where it is today," said Seah Chin Siong, the CEO of IDA International. "Other countries want to get there in a much smaller timeframe - they want to leapfrog others using Singapore's experience." Seah admitted that the biggest challenge will be how Singapore's e-government model could benefit countries of different sizes, languages and cultures. However, he insisted that the city-state's size should not mean that its model cannot work in bigger countries. "We can be of as much help to China as we can to Bhutan," he said. Central and South America, the Caribbean, the Middle East and South Africa were identified as target markets for IDA International. Brunei was the only Asian country mentioned. The idea to create an international arm was first mooted during an industry dialogue session with MICA in 2007, according to Tan Yen Yen, chairman of Singapore Infocomm Technology Federation.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

S'pore Govt to 'Facilitate' Interoperable NFC

To accelerate the development of near field communication (NFC) in Singapore, the government will facilitate the development of a trusted backbone - a concept that has the buy-in of industry stakeholders. In a statement Wednesday, Singapore's ICT regulator, the Infocomm Development Authority, said it would facilitate the establishment of an interoperable infrastructure, or a Trusted Third-Party (TTP) backbone. This would serve as the foundation for innovative NFC services, it noted. According to the Authority, interoperability will allow subscribers of any telco to have access to NFC services offered by any service provider. Ubiquitous access by consumers will in turn spur businesses to deploy NFC services, it said, adding that initial services would be in the area of transportation and payment. Citing a consultancy study it conducted last year, the IDA noted that a fully interoperable NFC ecosystem would generate a market that is eight times that of a non-interoperable environment. The study also concluded that an estimated that S$60 million (US$39.3 million) annually could be derived from NFC mobile payments and advertising in Singapore, during the early adoption phase. The IDA also held a roundtable last month, which saw participation from 11 industry players including telcos and payment providers. The representatives agreed to have the TTP act as a neutral single point of contact for all banks, payment providers and telcos. "IDA sees interoperability as a key success factor for NFC and is pleased that all the NFC Roundtable members share the same conviction," IDA CEO Ronnie Tay said in the statement. "Beyond transit and mobile payments, IDA will continue to work with the industry to support development of innovative services to create a rich user experience for consumers and businesses."

Two of the country's mobile operators, SingTel and StarHub, have held NFC trials prior to the announcement. Ying Lai Chang, SingTel Mobile's vice president of consumer products, said in the statement that the benefits and convenience of NFC were "evident" based on feedback on the trial. Nicolas Lee, executive director of EZ-Link, also noted positive feedback of its trial with StarHub. With the collective efforts of the IDA and industry, NFC services will be positively received by mobile phone users, he added. Going forward, the IDA said it will "facilitate industry collaborations in the establishment of the TTP", as well as in the deployment of NFC payment services. It will also aid the adoption of contactless payment standards such as Cepas, Visa payWave and MasterCard PayPass. Mobile payment gains momentum in Australia Separately Wednesday, Visa reported that Australia's contactless mobile phone payment trial had exceeded expectations. Visa together with Telstra and the National Australia Bank, its partners in the trial, would work toward commercialization of the technology, the payment provider added. According to Visa, 90 percent of trial participants said they were very or extremely satisfied with contactless mobile phone payment, while 95 percent indicated they would use the technology in future.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

Royal Thai Navy Updates Network

The Royal Thai Navy (RTN) has committed to a US$1 million upgrade of its administrative LAN, with the objective to keep up with rapid growth of users, who demand for faster online applications. The new network backbone consists of 3Com core switches between the RTN's headquarters in Bangkok and its Sattahip naval base supported by an optical fibre cable WAN network. Captain Suchart Nutchanart, Head of Operations of RTN's Naval Electronics Department, says the Navy's large and distributed IT network across the country required a more reliable and stable network. The chosen solution met RTN's requirements within a reasonable budget, and Captain Suchart was happy that adequate training programmes were provided. The new network effectively delivers 10Gbps bandwidth across the backbone network, and gigabit speeds across the distributed network, a significant improvement over the Fast Ethernet 100Mbps Fast Ethernet in the old network. It supports a wide range of applications, including electronic archiving, human resource management, financial management, supply management, and other in-house applications.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/17/2008

TOP↑

 

VIETNAM: Lao Cai Opens E-Government Portal

Lao Cai (VNA) - Northern Lao Cai provincial Department of Information and Communications (DIC) and Microsoft Vietnam LLC officially announced on Dec. 12 the launching of an e-government portal. This project was designed and implemented based on a Services Agreement (MSA) between the two parties signed on April 9 when Kevin Turner, Microsoft Corporation's chief operating officer, first visited Vietnam. The first stage of the project has been completed under the approval of the People's Committee of Lao Cai province. Under the signed agreement, Microsoft provided Lao Cai with advanced e-government solutions and deployment supports based on Connected Government Framework (CGF) which was successfully deployed in Egypt , the UK and some countries in Asia and Eastern Europe . Based on this architecture and design, Lao Cai's Department of Information and Communications together with Tan Dan Informatics JSC, built Lao Cai's e-government portal, transferred the information on the province's current website into the new portal and provided two online public services: 'Business License Registration and Issue' and 'Question/Answer'. Lao Cai e-Government Portal was designed on a secured and flexible platform which offers easy management, development and integration with other services from different providers. Apart from the portal, Lao Cai province also owns a high level master design of the whole e-government system which includes all e-government components like infrastructure, portal, gateways along with MS's recommendation on hardware, software and the implementation roadmap. This will help Lao Cai avoid overlapping investment and un-integrated applications that could lead to miscommunication and overspending.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 12/13/2008

TOP↑

 

Faster Tracking of Applications for Vietnamese

In Vietnam, the Ho Chi Minh city government has launched an electronic certificate tracking service on December 12 this year, allowing people who have applied for business registration certificates, land documents, building permits or other documents to track the progress of their application. The "Electronic One-Door" system, available through the Department of Information and Communications web site, is designed to reduce the time and money citizens spend following up on their applications for various certificates. To check the progress of an application, one can visit the web site, enter the application receipt number and automatically receive an update on the status of the application. The applicant can also call 1900 545 444 to make enquiries. The web site also provides visitors with updated information about the total number of applications received by relevant authorities, the number of applications finalised and the total number of applications being delivered on schedule. According to the Department of Information and Communications, the system links databases of 19 districts, departments and branches in the city, including the Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The system is scheduled to be fully operational by 2009 when the databases of other districts, departments and branches are also accessible.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/17/2008

TOP↑

 

E-Govt in Vietnam Must Tie in with Administrative Reform

In Vietnam, Minister of Information and Communications Le Doan Hop said the implementation of e-government should go hand-in-hand with administrative reform rather than simply an effort at computerisation. He spoke during the 6th annual Vietnam e-government Symposium held recently. There have been major progress in the e-government programme in recent years, said Hop, but it remained below government expectations and needed to be faster. "Despite the progress achieved, there is still a considerable gap between the development of e-government in Vietnam and international standards," said Hop. The symposium, under the theme of integrating e-government and public administrative reform in Vietnam, gathered around 1000 attendees, including policymakers, IT experts and sponsors. Reviewing the results of the e-government programme over the past several years, Hop pointed out its shortcomings - lack of technical coordination and an overall e-government structure, and poor network security.

According to Nguyen Thanh Chuc, head of the ministry's IT Application Department, the implementation of e-government reached some milestones in 2008: all provinces and cities nationwide now have their own web sites and all public sector employees have their own email addresses. He said the government had improved the environment for e-government by passing new laws on electronic transactions, copyright, and IT. According to the UN Public Administration Network survey for the period of 2005 to 2008, Vietnam has risen from 107th to 91st place worldwide in e-government, below regional neighbours such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei but higher than Indonesia. In 2007, in the Vietnam ICT Outlook Report by the HCM City Computer Association, the country's e-readiness rose one level, to 65th out of 69 nations surveyed. The e-government development programme, initially named IT2000, debuted in 1998 with a project to develop six national databases. The latest phase of the programme saw the launch of an e-government portal for the northern province of Lao Cai last week.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/19/2008

TOP↑

 

Ministry Promotes Online Public Services

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will provide online 41 public services under its management, according to its recent decision. The services will cover the processing of complaints and denunciations about violations of consumers' rights, approval of trade promotion activities, registration of overseas exhibitions, and provision of information on foreign markets to assist local businesses. Businesses may also apply online for permits to do business in the fields of electricity, and import and export of certain commodities. The MoIT also asked online service providers under its administration to comply with Vietnam 's commitments to trade facilitation and non-paper trade as well as the country's orientations for the application of information technology in administrative reform.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 01/06/2009

TOP↑

 

e-Procurement Adopted by Vietnam

The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Department of Public Procurement (Ministry of Planning and Investment) announced plans for the establishment of an electronic procurement system in Hanoi, Vietnam. The project will establish a key e-bidding system, based on the Korean national e-procurement system, the Korea Online e-Procurement System (KONEPS). The system has been experimentally used by three selected parties, including the Hanoi People's Committee, the Electricity of Vietnam (EVN), and the Vietnam National Post and Telecommunications Group. The Ministry of Planning and Investment and other relevant agencies will evaluate the results before drawing up a comprehensive plan to develop the e-procurement system. Before expanding the use of the system to all economic sectors; governmental bodies, state-owned enterprises and administrative agencies will be the first agencies to draw an advantage from the project.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

Rampant E-Govt Plans for Vietnam

The Vietnamese government will upgrade its IT infrastructure in tandem with requirements for modern e-government activities. The new IT infrastructure is aimed at matching other e-government offices in the ASEAN region. It will serve as the backbone for various IT applications, helping Vietnam keep up with the e-ASEAN programme that it committed to from 2008. The government also announced several other IT projects to boost IT applications in the government. The biggest among them is a VND38 billion (US$2.2 million) project to deploy the second phase of the government information portal. This will include a specialised government e-news service, integrated in the portal. By 2010, the portal will also be equipped with more technical features and applications, enabling better connection and information sharing among various government agencies and provide a variety of e-services to citizens. It will allow access from any computer as well as from mobile handheld devices. Two other projects valued at VND5.5 billion (US$315,000) aims to develop and deploy new IT systems and applications to serve the daily operations of the government and integrate data from all ministries, cities and provinces for the long-term target of constructing a centrally managed data centre.

Government agencies at ministerial and other levels are also pushing for more e-government services available to citizens. The Ministry of Industry and Trade announced a score of new online public services to be provided in 2009, including the issuance of franchising licenses between domestic and foreign businesses, business licenses for oil and gas exports, imports, electricity activities and consideration of commercial promotion programmes. The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) is also expanding its online services. MIC Minister Le Doan Hop said the ministry would increase online communication with citizens by establishing a question and answer section on its website. Discussions of IT issues by MIC leaders will also be broadcasted on television channels. As the governing authority for the IT industry, the MIC also promised to push for high IT growth rate in 2009, in spite of economic challenges. Hop was optimistic that IT would be less hit by these challenges and still possessed many advantages to allow for better development. He pointed out that in 2008, the IT industry recorded an impressive growth of over 20 per cent, while the telecommunication and internet industry posted a 38 per cent growth. As a result, the MIC has set the growth target for the IT industry in 2009 at 40 per cent, aiming to make up for the other industries. Plans to deliver this include the preparations for 3G mobile services, the launch of more satellites, more IT applications and e-government services and the training of more IT experts.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/21/2009

TOP↑

 

BANGLADESH: Govt to Introduce Telehealth Services

DHAKA: The Bangladesh government will introduce "Telehealth Care Services" across the country from next month aiming at providing health care facility to all the people, a senior official said Wednesday. Director General of Health Services under Bangladesh's Health Ministry Md Abul Faiz said that all public hospitals at the country's 481 sub-districts will be provided required logistics including mobile phones for establishing a unit of telehealth care center. "Through telehealth system, we'll be able to provide medical care closer to home for all," he said. Doctors will be on duty in each unit of telehealth centers to receive phone calls from patients. The telehealth centers will remain open for 24 hours, he said.

Faiz said all hospitals authorities have already been asked to complete necessary formalities by this month so that the operations in telehealth centers can be started at the beginning of the next month. More than half of Bangladesh's 144 million population, who can't avail health care facility due mainly to poverty, are expected to be immensely benefited from the services as they will not require to pay any fee, Faiz said. The telehealth system will also help the mass people to be aware of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), Faiz said. The World Health Organization estimated that by 2010 NCDs would be responsible for 59 percent of deaths in the country compare with 40 percent in 1990. Underlying factors that contribute to the increasing burden of NCDs include unplanned urbanization, changing dietary habits, unregulated tobacco consumption, air pollution, road traffic injury and lack of awareness about health behavior, Faiz said.


From http://www.southasianmedia.net/ 01/09/2009

TOP↑

 

INDIA: Tamil Nadu the Best e-Governed State - IDC Survey

Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have emerged among the top five e-governed states in India in 2008-09, says a national e-governance survey. Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have climbed three spots over their last years ranking to emerge as the No 1 and No 5, respectively as per the survey conducted for the year 2008-09 by IDC, a global provider of market intelligence for IT. Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana have secured No 2, 3 and 4 positions, respectively in the survey. Delhi has slipped two ranks from No 1 last year and Himachal Pradesh and Haryana have climbed up 5 and 14 places, respectively. The results of the study are based on a two-level survey that assesses every states IT vision, implementation plan and ease of use of services. It also takes into consideration IT allocation for new projects in 2007-08, implementation of new projects and user satisfaction among 3,150 citizens and businesses. India's states are lining up ambitious e-governance projects for taking governance to citizens doorsteps. From being one among many government programmes, e-governance has now become a top priority for the government. The Union Budget for 2008-09 increased the allocation to the department of Information Technology to Rs 1,680 crore, an increase of nearly 12% over the previous year, the IDC study reports.


From http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/ 12/24/2008

TOP↑

 

e-Procurement System Implemented in Orissa

Government of Orissa has taken to e-Procurement system (http://tendersorissa.gov.in/) in four of its engineering departments - Works, Water Resources, Rural Development, Housing and Urban Development, as well as other government departments and corporations under the national e-governance plan (NeGP). An e-Procurement Cell has also been set up under which an e-Procurement Mission Team and Project Management Unit of e-Procurement are functioning. Also a Project Management Unit (PMU) has been set up by Orissa Computer Application Centre (OCAC) to assist the department in rollout of the project for initial period and capacity building at the Department and contractor/supplier community for smooth operation of the project afterwards. Under this e-Procurement system a bidder can participate in the bid process through internet at his own place i.e. home/place of business/common service centre at a nominal cost. Similarly, the bid evaluation can also be processed in much less time and bid can be awarded online. Information about the tender, amendments to it, bidding evaluation status/intimation/notice etc. can all be seen through the portal.

Already 1570 tenders of Water Resources, Rural Development and Works Department had been floated through e-Procurement System till November end in the year 2008. As per the official estimates 1294 engineers/government officials and 892 contractors have already undergone training on e-Procurement application. Training at district level has also started and 1147 contractors and 243 government officials have been trained in the application. Besides this, a state level training facility has also been in operation to impart training to officers and bidders at free of cost on a regular basis. A complete help web portal has also been developed for support on e-Procurement system. Further, a dedicated team has been deployed to do the handholding support needed by the implementing departments. Moreover, help desk is available on a 12x7 basis. When a government officer, supplier or contractor has difficulties in using the e-Procurement application, he or she can call the helpdesk and obtain help from the help desk executives for resolving difficulties.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/30/2008

TOP↑

 

Himachal Launches Grievance Redressal Portal

Himachal Pradesh government has recently launched an internet based grievance redressal portal (http://admis.hp.nic.in/esamadhan/), named 'e-Samadhan'. This system would not only enable one to register a complaint with the concerned official but would also provide the chief minister's office and other concerned officers downstream an overview for checking whether timely action is taken upon it or not. Access for lodging a complaint can be done from any internet based computer and where computers have not penetrated then one can use that Sugham Centre, which are being set up in each panchayat for offering various kind of internet enabled services. In order to take care of 'E-Samadhan', the IT based grievance redressal program, each department has appointed a nodal officer down to the tehsil level who would oversee that all complaints received are timely dealt with.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/30/2008

TOP↑

 

New Avenue for Indian Citizens to Post Grievances

To streamline and improve the civil administration, the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) in Goa, India, has stepped up on its e-governance by encouraging people to post their problems and seek solutions by sending their queries to the e-mail address: mmc@gmail.com. This email address is being protected from spam bots and will require Javascript to view it. MMC chairman Savio Coutinho said the service will be functional from January 2009 and hoped that it would go a long way in solving the problems of the people who often have to come to the council to seek solutions to their problems. Now, queries about documents required for any particular purpose, procedures for obtaining licences or keeping abreast of the status of certain applications and so on, can be provided directly to the people. According to Coutinho, the queries or information sought will be forwarded to the concerned department. He also pointed out that the mail service serve as a window of correspondence and redressal of grievances but for actual work to be done, the concerned persons will have to make a trip to the council itself.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/05/2009

TOP↑

 

Over 13,000 Indian Local Govts Get Broadband Connection

In India, the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has inaugurated a project that will provide broadband connectivity to all 13,693 local governments at the village level, otherwise known as gram panchayats. "With broadband connectivity provided to all gram panchayats, we have brought government to citizens' fingertips," said Modi during a public meeting. "The citizens of Gujarat will get the same communication facilities that is available in the PM's house," said Modi, adding that Gujarat is the first state in the country to provide such a connectivity. Gram Panchayat can further offer services like issuing of documents and certificates, application forms for various development and welfare schemes, property registration, vehicle registration, driving license, passport, commercial services, healthcare, employment registration and distance learning. Also, villagers can take advantage of internet and cyber services through the establishment of this e-gram services. This e-gram would gradually also incorporate other e-services, like electricity and telephone bills, visa and postal services.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/28/2009

TOP↑

 

Indian State Establishes e-Governance Agency

In India, the Government of Jammu and Kashmir has set up an exclusive e-governance agency, called the JAKEGA, with an empowered Board of Governors, headed by the State Chief Secretary Mr C. Phunsong. Modelled on similar agencies working in many progressive states like Karnataka or Punjab, the JAKEGA has been registered under the Societies Registration Act on January 14, 2009. This will provide the agency with much-needed flexibility to implement IT-related projects throughout the State, and to receive grants directly from the government of India and other donor agencies. Additionally, JAKEGA will take on the responsibility of procuring all types of IT resources and services like hardware, software, power, printing and networking peripherals for government agencies. This will help streamline the IT-related activities of all the departments and help them save time and money by providing them with a single point mechanism for design, development, procurement and training. JAKEGA shall also have the mandate to create permanent, temporary or project-based positions that shall help boost the employment prospects of the thousands of IT professionals in the State. The day-to-day operations of the JAKEGA shall be overseen by an Executive Committee, headed by the Mr Khurshid Ahmad Ganai, Principal Secretary for IT in the State.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/15/2009

TOP↑

 

Five e-Governance Awards Bagged by Gujarat

For the best e-Governance initiatives in the country, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will receive a gold medal. In all Gujarat will receive five awards for the best use of information and technology services. The drug logistic and management system of the health department is to get silver medal while e-Procurement of Industries and Mines department, e- Krishi Kiran of Anand Agriculture University and Hospital management system of health department have respectively have been named for bronze medal. The awards will be given by the Administrative reforms and public grievances and Information technology department of the Central government. The awards would be given away on February 12, 2009 at a function in Goa.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

Indian Domain '.in' Selling Like Hot Cakes

National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI) is working hard to make .in domain extension into a hot property across the world. The World's largest domain name registrar, GoDaddy also agrees that .in domain name is fast becoming a 'catchy domain extension.' NIXI is already in talks with twenty of the biggest registrars of the world to promote .in domain. Six new registrars, including three in the top-10, have been added in the last two months. This takes the total number of registrars to sixty. According to NIXI, over five lakh domain names ending with .in have been registered, but registrars are convinced that there is scope for more. Its natural that once a domain name extension starts getting popular, companies rush in to protect their brandnames. As growth in the domain registration industry is expected to slow over the next three years in the US and Europe, so developing markets like India and China are expected to grow. The majority of the growth in domains name sales will come from Bric nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China), according to the latest report from Melbourne-based Map Research. It also forecasts that the domain name industry will grow to $5.3 billion by 2011 from $3.6 billion last year and number of registered domains to grow from the current 185 million to 300 million by 2011.

Moreover, hundreds of top level domain names are expected to be released later this year, as the US-based Internet governing body, ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) says current top-level domains such as .com have reached a saturation point, resulting in long and unwieldy internet addresses and creating the need for new releases. Obviously, companies will have to spend much more on protecting their brand names by registering new addresses on various domain names. And furthermore a new dimension will be added to the new name economy as language domain names come into the picture. It will create new potential for those in domain business as as language specific domain names will also need to be protected.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

'Jankari' An e-Governance Initiative of Bihar Wins National Award

Bihar government's e-Governance 'Jankari' project has bagged the National award for e-governance. This Jankari project envisages Call Centre facility under Right to Information Act (RTI). This award will be given away on February 12, 2009 at the national conference on e-governance in Goa, by the Department of Administrative Reforms under Ministry of Personnel, New Delhi. Bihar is the first state to start the Jankari project, which enables people living in remote corners of the state to make applications under RTI through a telephone call. The operators receiving the calls in call centres draft the applications under RTI and send it to the public authorities for providing requisite information to applicants. In the two years of its existence, the call centre received 22,600 calls of which 7,070 were to submit applications under RTI, 3016 calls for filing first appeal and 1,400 calls for filing second appeals before the state information commission.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

m-Governance Adopted by Traffic Police in Kerala

Under the pilot project launched by Kerala Government, 38 traffic rule offenders landed in police net after the city police have started using the Blackberry mobile phones. Three complimentary Blackberry handsets had been handed over to the police personnel recently. Complete information about the vehicle and its owner can be instantly accessed by policemen using these mobile phones. These phones will be connected through a network with the database of the motor vehicle department. The new technology could be extended to other parts of the state with some modifications. The advantage of the new technology is that it enables the police to identify whether the person was involved in any such violation previously and enhance the level of punishment. The technology had been specially developed by mobile service provider Vodafone (Kerala) with the assistance of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) based on a request from the city police.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

MP's e-Governance Initiative Bags National Award

Madhya Pradesh (MP) Forest Department has bagged the National e- Governance silver medal for its Fire Alert and Message System (FAMS). The award will be given away at the 12th National Conference on e- Governance in Goa on February 12, 2009, by the Information and Technology Department of Government of India. Fire Alert and Message System is being widely used for conservation and protection of forests in MP, and even the villagers are aware of this System. The MP Forest Department has linked all its territorial and wildlife branches with 460 ranges via internet at the data centres. As many as 52 centres have been set up in remote areas with the help of Edu-sat system of ISRO for providing training in IT to the staffers and officers of the forest department.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

e-Governance Adoption by GUVNL

Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Limited (GUVNL) is fast adopting the IT solutions software towards becoming e-Governed. This software will increase GUVNL's operational efficiency, transparency, organisation, integration and also improve its customer service. This e-Urja project is an integrated solution and aims to share a centralised database with all users. The project is being implemented by GUVNL and all its subsidiary companies. These include the Gujarat State Electricity Corporation Limited (GSECL), the Gujarat Energy Transmission Corporation Limited (GETCO) and four distribution companies. With this software in place human resources, payrolls, e-procurement, accounting, budget, and other departments will all be served by the same database through a single entry point. The project will also eliminate corruption to a large extent as every application for a new connection will have a unique login Id.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

Goa Provides for Payment of Taxes via Internet

Goa's chief minister Digambar Kamat formally inaugurated Goa's Cyber Treasury scheme at the second day of the 12th national conference on e-governance which began at a South Goa resort on 12th February 2009. This cyber treasury scheme will facilitate online payment of taxes through the Goa portal, both for commercial establishments and for individuals.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

IRAN: Iran to Open Office on Internet, SMS-Related Crimes

Tehran's Prosecutor-General Saaid Mortazawi says a special office will open this week to review Internet- and SMS-related crimes and violations, RFE/RL's Radio Farda reports. Mortazawi said his office will review election campaign violations made in the sending of SMS messages. He said the office will also investigate offensive statements made in SMS messages. There is currently no law on SMS or Internet-related messaging in Iran. Iranian communication authorities claim they keep a record of all SMS messages sent, though some estimates have more than 80 million SMSs being sent in Iran each day. One expert told Radio Farda that Iranian authorities can, in fact, monitor and trace all SMS messages. In recent years some student groups, workers unions, and other groups have used SMS to notify each other of meetings, demonstrations, or information about detained colleagues.


From http://www.rferl.org/ 12/21/2008

TOP↑

 

TURKMENISTAN: Minister of Communication Severely Reprimanded

Turkmen minister of communication Resulberdi Hojagurbanow has been severely reprimanded by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who signed a resolution to this effect. According to the resolution, the minister has been reprimanded for failing to ensure the high quality implementation of the president's instructions, "for poor control over the operation of equipment and sound effects of the New Year congratulatory messages sent by residents in regions during a TV conference between the capital and the regions". The communication minister has been warned that he will be relieved of his post if he fails to take measures to improve operations in line with the requirements, the Turkmenistan.ru correspondent reports from Ashgabat quoting the press service of the president of Turkmenistan.


From http://www.turkmenistan.ru/ 01/03/2009

TOP↑

 

AUSTRALIA: Connect with Government Online

The Rudd Government today released the report Interacting with Government: Australians' Use and Satisfaction with e-Government Services - 2008 which shows that in 2008 the internet has replaced contact in person and by telephone as the most common way people had made their last contact with government. Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation said: "Over the four years this study has been undertaken we have seen successive increases in use of the internet as a tool to interact with government." The results of the 2008 study demonstrate the increasing importance of online service delivery and the potential role new technologies could play in assisting governments to reach out and engage with citizens. Lindsay Tanner said: "The study provides vital insight, not only into how and why people use e-government services, but also how they would like to do so in future. "Citizen-centric delivery of government services is evolving; governments must continue to keep pace with technological change and meet public expectations about how government services should be delivered.

"That is why the Government is about to conduct trials involving Web 2.0 technology as a means of undertaking public consultation with the wider community. "The 2008 study reinforces many of the trends seen in previous years while also dispelling some assumptions about who is using the internet, and how and why they are doing so." Results show that older Australians are using the internet more, and Australians of all ages are using it to contact government. New technologies are being used by all age groups, in all parts of Australia. Large numbers of people who are already using the internet to contact government also use blogs, social networking websites and wikis. Lindsay Tanner said: "Research such as the Interacting with Government study highlights the opportunities we have to improve government services by applying new technologies, providing secure and trusted environments and making the ways of interacting with government simple, convenient and easy to use." Interacting with Government: Australians' Use and Satisfaction with e-Government Services - 2008 is now available online: http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/interacting-with-government/index.html


From http://www.financeminister.gov.au/ 12/19/2008

TOP↑

 

NSW Police Armed with Information

New South Wales police will benefit from the introduction of a new national information-sharing platform that enables police and law enforcement agencies to exchange and access detailed profiles of persons of interest across all jurisdictions. Developed by Crimtrac, the agency reponsible for using and developing the technology required to give police ready access to information, the National Police Reference System (NPRS) is a gamut of police information available to officers on the beat. The new system will be rolled out nationally to 50,000 police by March 2009, allowing users to access 9.7 million police records and some two million photographs. This NPRS includes warnings, orders, offence histories and records of people who are wanted, unidentified, missing, escapees or on child protection registers. Whereas under the previous system, offenders fleeing a crime committed in another state could evade arrest as police could only check on offences committed in NSW.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

Qld Govt Shrinks Transformation Tender

The Queensland Government has gone to market for a smaller than expected raft of technology and services to lay the foundation for a centrally managed government-wide data platform, which it hopes will be ready by 2010. The Invitation to Offer (ITO) released late yesterday evening is the first stage in implementing the state's so-called Foundation Infrastructure Project (FIP), which comes under its Technology Transformation Program (TTP) - an ambitious reform agenda hatched in 2006. The goal of the FIP, headed up by TTP's program director Sharon Valuch, is to establish a centrally managed network, datacentre and services offering, which city-based agencies will have the choice to hang off by 2010. Citec, the state-owned ICT service provider within which the Queensland Government's chief technology office sits, will be critical in rolling out the project. The government hopes via the ITO to establish a standing offer arrangement, which is expected to commence in October 2009 for a duration of three years with the option of two 12-month extensions.

Services and hardware included in the ITO cover equipment for Queensland's two primary datacentres, network infrastructure, such as ISP and WAN gateways, as well as security management tools. Servers and storage hardware, however, such as mainframes, super computers, and hardware for regional centres - initially included in the ITO - have been dropped from the tender. This category has been limited to virtualisation software. "It appears that instead the TTP, and CITEC, will rely on the existing whole-of-government purchasing arrangement (QP707) already in place with Fujitsu, Dell and Data #3 covering HP, IBM and Dell server hardware and services for additional and replacement server technologies," Longhaus principal research analyst Sam Higgins told ZDNet.com.au. The executive summary of the ITO documents, penned by Queensland's chief technology officer, Bob Gurnett, noted that the scope of the project had been pared back from plans outlined in the Service Delivery and Performance Commission's 2006 review of ICT governance across the Queensland Government.

The plan had been for the project to extend to agencies across the state rather than just the CBD and certain headquarters, but following a Cabinet Budget Review Committee assessment in February last year, the project's timeframe and geographical spread had been reined in. Gurnett's office will use the standing offer arrangement to facilitate the roll-out of services to come as a result of the FIP deployment, he said. Longhaus analyst Higgins said the reduced scope of the project would likely make it more manageable for the state; however, he said that positioning Citec as the key service provider and integrator could temporarily see an "EDS effect" take hold within the Queensland Government - a phenomenon which gripped the South Australian Government when it commenced its wholesale outsourcing of infrastructure with EDS in the 1990s. "I don't expect Queensland will suffer the industry atrophy that South Australia did, but CITEC will become that hub of technology infrastructure activity over the next 24 months," said Higgins.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

IT Budget Runs Over at Victoria Police

The IT arm of Victoria Police appears to have blown its budget by millions, according to reports detailing a review completed by an external consultant. The consultant, SAHA, believed that the police's Business Information Technology Service (BITS) was missing $89 million needed for a major contract due to cost overruns, according to documents received by The Australian. SAHA had found discrepancies between recorded costs and the totals for invoices received from suppliers, The Australian reported, with BITS staff ignoring government and departmental purchasing guides. The organisation acknowledged the report's existence, telling ZDNet.com.au that it included "broad assumptions" in reaching its conclusion that Victoria Police would be overspent on its IT budget. "We are now in the process of reviewing the findings in the report as some of the conclusions reached do not appear to be consistent with internal budget projections and costings," a Victoria Police spokesperson said. The news comes after Victorian Police CIO Valda Berzins left last October amid news her department was undergoing an investigation. A spokesperson for the police said that the position had not been filled and it was not intended that it would be in the "immediate future". Instead, a board of management had been put in place. "An internal audit has been completed which has identified a range of matters around process. The BITS board of management is working to rectify these issues," the spokesperson said.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

Qld Govt Signs Placard Smartcard Deal

The Queensland Government has signed a contract with Australian card manufacturing company Placard to provide millions of smartcard-based drivers' licences to the state. With plans to roll out in 2010, the smartcards are designed as a more secure replacement for laminated plastic licences that have been used in Queensland for twenty years. The agreement between Placard and the Queensland Government follows the passing of legislation by the Queensland Parliament, making it possible for the use of digital photos and the ability to incorporate a smart chip in the new licence designs. Queensland has approximately 2.7 million dated laminated drivers' licence cards. The replacement cards will feature in-built computer chips that could be read in the field by police. The new system also means that addresses would no longer be printed on the cards, instead being stored electronically on the embedded chip. However consumers and businesses would be able to buy a card reader for approximately $20. Based in Melbourne, Placard was established in 1987. Ganesh Ganeshalingam, Placard's Managing Director said in a statement that the Queensland rollout of smartcards will be "the first of its kind in Australia". The overall project is being led by Queensland Transport chief information officer Cathi Taylor.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

WA Agencies Seek IT Outsourcer

The Western Australian Departments of Corrective Services and the Attorney General have advertised for a single contractor to manage their IT infrastructure over the next five years. The departments, which share a common IT function, collectively span 94 sites statewide, servicing 5,200 full-time staff. The contractor would be expected to provide base services to keep infrastructure up and running, as well as project services for ad-hoc requests. The tender documents considered base services to include help desk, server, desktop, network and security management services as well as enterprise services. The departments use mainly Wintel server platforms running Microsoft Server 2003 R2. The desktops are mainly Windows XP. The contractor needed to take the departments' ICT agenda into account, including a plan to migrate as many physical servers as possible to a VMware platform, upgrading the storage area network to avoid a capacity problem, adopting application and desktop virtualisation, undergoing a network redesign and deploying Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007. Since the departments were standardising on Prince2 and ITIL, the contractor was expected to be familiar with these standards. Only qualified suppliers under Western Australia's Spirit ICT procurement framework are eligible to tender for the opportunity.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

Vic Government Releases Facebook/Myspace Widget for Bushfire Support

Capitalising on the huge Australian audience on Facebook (over 4 million people) and MySpace, the Victorian government has bolstered its online response to the Victorian bushfires by developing a widget that provides news and updates while encouraging donations. The widget is available from the Premier's website and is also in Vic Premier's own Facebook profile. It is down the page in the left-hand column. For those of you who use social media, you can install the Facebook application from http://bit.ly/4mGlr4 and the MySpace application from http://tinyurl.com/c4s6v3. The widget was developed using SproutBuilder, a (currently free) tool for creating widgets. Just in case you were wondering how long it takes or how hard it is to build these widgets, Dave Fletcher has posted in his Government and Technology Weblog, v. 2.0 that he built a widget as a practice for an eGovernment Product Management Council meeting. Using SproutBuilder for the first time, it took him about 15-20 minutes. These widgets can be embedded on any website or leading social media site, such as MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Friendster, Blogger and Typepad. The Vic government is also using YouTube, Twitter and blog-like comments pages via the Vic Premier's site to help engage and communicate with people in relation to the bushfires. I hope that other governments across Australia will learn from these examples and do more themselves to better engage people via their most preferred channel for interacting with government. After all, in these cost-conscious times, it's also the most cost-effective channel for getting direct messages to the public.


From http://egovau.blogspot.com/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

Net Filter Plan Nurtures 'Open Source Government'

The campaign to prevent the mandatory internet filter in Australia has been like no other campaign before it. Though the subject matter naturally lends itself to the type of campaign we're witnessing - and participating in as never before - it also offers a fascinating glimpse into the way more mainstream campaigns will be run in the future. We are witnessing what may come to be seen as the beginnings of open source government in this country. Twitter - now among the 100 most visited sites on the internet - has been one of the primary conduits for these conversations. Such is the power of this medium that even with mainstream media focus squarely on stimulus packages and savage bushfires, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy's announcement was met with an immediate response. The interwebs never sleep. Senator Conroy is trapped by something akin to a virtual hydra - every time he "responds" to one piece of criticism, numerous other more refined, more powerful and more targeted arguments arise from all sides. Perhaps as a result of this, perhaps just purely by coincidence, the minister recently revealed the first six internet service providers selected to trial the filter. The three largest ISPs in Australia are conspicuously absent from the list. Of particular interest is iiNet, the company that declared their intent to participate in the trial, "to make sure the public, media and political players are well informed and realise that it is bad policy". Surely if the minister has confidence in the system - if he genuinely believes that the technical concerns raised can somehow be addressed - then it stands to reason that he'd welcome such intense scrutiny as an opportunity to silence detractors. Alternatively, if he wishes to improve the system, then the feedback provided by a dedicated and highly tech-literate naysayer would be invaluable.

The ISPs selected are for the most part business providers. This could be taken to suggest that this trial is an opportunistic attempt to salvage some credibility by the Government. They could proclaim 'success' without ever testing the filter in a scenario remotely typical of the circumstances it is designed for. Notably, these enterprise-focussed ISPs are very unlikely to be used by many of the more vocal opponents of this scheme, and thus the Government can mask the deficiencies a little while longer. Some critics are attempting to acquire the services of one of the nominated ISPs, to experience first-hand the impacts - such as speed degradation and "false positives" which the system will almost certainly deliver. The diversity of people campaigning on this issue has meant that every one of the numerous flaws of this proposal has been exposed - from the numerous technical shortcomings highlighted by a range of experts in the field, to the dubious and perennially secret contents of the expanding ACMA blacklist, from the assault on free speech that the filter represents, to the ineffectiveness of such a system in addressing genuine and valid concerns about internet safety. With one unified voice this campaign polyglot has resoundingly denounced the mandatory internet filter.

They have also, universally, condemned Senator Conroy and his few supporters for their attempts to equate critics with advocates of child pornography. But most encouraging of all is the agreement that concerns about internet safety are absolutely justified, and warrant concerted action. And therein hopefully lies the next stage of the debate. We're all in vociferous agreement about what won't work. But what will? Can this enormously empowered campaign speak with one cogent voice about what we're for? How do we empower parents to make the best choices for their families, and law enforcement agencies to prosecute the creators and distributors of the worst material trafficked over the internet? Is there a way to adequately prepare children to understand other threats such as cyber-bullying, without asphyxiating the greatest information sharing tool in history? Can we directly challenge the epidemic of sexualised violence against women and children in this country and place the online tip of the iceberg into its proper context? I believe that most people involved in this debate - including, I suspect, many in the Government - would rather see these issues tackled head-on than pursuing the disturbing and expensive distraction of internet censorship.


From http://www.abc.net.au/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

NEW ZEALAND: Police Ask for More ICT Spending

A plea for further ICT investment is part of the New Zealand Police's briefing to the incoming Police Minister. The document, which was presented to Police Minister Judith Collins, was cited in a media release from Collins yesterday, in which she affirmed the new government's commitment to law and order issues. The briefing document notes that "The Police ICT infrastructure is reaching the point where Police is compelled to make an increased investment to secure the integrity and capability of its core ICT functions and to meet increasing demand". Citing projects such as the development of new tools for the management of Police information and reporting, improvements in storage and management of data and images, and telephony and network requirements to support increased staff, the document puts its case to Collins for more money in the following terms:

"It is suggested that baseline funding increases would be needed to maintain the ICT infrastructure, comprising the personal computers, station servers and back-end storage and key applications that provide day-to-day services." The document cites the Police's shift to IP Telephony, a data network upgrade, ongoing refresh programmes for hardware and network components, and the move from analogue to digital radio, as ongoing projects in the ICT sphere. It also notes that work proceeded this year on the Electronic Crime Strategy to 2010 project. While not addressing ICT specifically in her media release, Collins notes "As minister, my priority is that Police have the tools and support they need to carry out their difficult role, and that they are as safe as possible while serving their fellow New Zealanders. According to the MIS 100, a ranking of New Zealand ICT use by size of organisation, NZ Police is the 16th biggest user of ICT in the country. It has almost 250 ICT staff, and its ICT is headed by former Telecom executive Murray Mitchell.


From http://computerworld.co.nz/ 12/17/2009

TOP↑

 

Ministry Pushes Ahead with Controversial Animal ID Project

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry and Biosecurity NZ are pushing ahead with scoping a controversial livestock identification system, going to market for system design services.

The tender comes as the project faces increased opposition from farmer groups and after the new government announced it would not commit to the project until the completion of a second stage business case in June. The tender is seeking consultancy suppliers to undertake the "ongoing activities of the technical work stream", and to assist with transition and implementation planning, among other functions. It emphasises that the services "relate to Phase 1 of the project i.e. delivery of the Stage 2 Business Case and to provide evaluation of the RFI phase, along with preparation of the RFP for the technical solution". A subsequent tender will determine the vendor for development and delivery of the system.

The project has faced strong opposition from some farmer groups, forcing biosecurity minister David Carter this week to call for an end to scaremongering over the scheme. The National Animal Identification and Tracing (NAIT) system involves microchipping cattle and deer to protect export markets and ensure a quick response to biosecurity threats, such as disease outbreaks. Farmers fear the system could be extended to other types of livestock and question the value of the project. Some are also reported to fear it could be used to calculate greenhouse gas liabilities. Cattle and deer already having a mandatory identification system for disease control (bovine tuberculosis) purposes. The tender say written submissions received on the project "reflected broad support" for the principles set out in a 2004 consultation document.

"General assent to proceed was given, provided there was more detail on the design of the system and ongoing dialogue as the practical details were defined. A number of suggestions relating to design elements were provided and a number of submitters sought more cost information before making a final, informed decision." In December 2007, a Stage 1 business case was submitted, requesting funding for the Crown's share of NAIT design, development and operation. This was approved in principle in May 2008, subject to completion of additional work in specified areas of the Stage 1 business case. The NAIT project was formally launched by the then minister for biosecurity at the National Fieldays event in June 2008. The project aims to develop a single animal identification system for all cattle and deer by June 2011, incorporating a core registry linking people, property and animals to replace existing disparate systems. This would be used by approved organisations for biosecurity, food safety, market access and statistical purposes and for electronic storage of all animal movement records to replace paper-based records. It would then be possible to trace forward and back all individual cattle and deer from property of birth to place of slaughter, replacing herd-based traceability.


From http://computerworld.co.nz/ 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

Government Shared Network Gets the Chop

Agencies to be transferred to private provider within a year The long-expected axe has fallen on the Government Shared Network (GSN), which State Services Minister Tony Ryall pronounced "financially unsustainable" yesterday. The network, designed as a dedicated secure network for communication within and among government agencies, will now be dismantled and shut down. "The previous government wrote off $10.6 million from the GSN project in the 2007/2008 financial year," says Ryall. "The project had been running at a considerable financial loss ever since it became operational in September 2007 - losing $700,000 per month. "Despite that the previous government had planned to carry on with it," Ryall says.


From http://computerworld.co.nz/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

Government Improves Mobile Infrastructure

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce today announced the completion of two cellular spectrum transfers that will improve infrastructure for all mobile network operators and promote more competition in the New Zealand mobile market. Vodafone and the Crown have completed a settlement process for Vodafone to renew rights to spectrum it uses to provide cellular services. In addition, the Crown has swapped some spectrum with the anticipated new entrant to the mobile market, NZ Communications. Mr Joyce says these spectrum transfers help lay the foundations for better mobile network infrastructure. "Network operators can now make long-term investment decisions, which will bring us better services and technology such as mobile broadband, and intensify competition - ultimately lowering costs for consumers." The swap in January of two 4-MHz portions of spectrum between NZ Communications and the Crown came about following discussions involving all the mobile network operators. The Government can now amalgamate some spectrum it manages, which means more will become available for non-cellular uses. "The swap gives NZ Communications the bandwidth it needs to invest in both second generation and third generation networks, and the government has the opportunity to free up its spectrum for other uses," says Mr Joyce. As part of the swap, Telecom and NZ Communications agreed to jointly manage their adjacent spectrum holdings so as to prevent any potential radio interference issues. This leaves the government out of matters which are more efficiently dealt with by the private sector.


From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

Local Governments Ignore E-govt

New Zealand's local governments have been ignoring the benefits of moving online. Research released last year found that although 96 per cent of council CEOs and IT managers agree that technology is integral to the delivery of government information, only 15 per cent of councils have formal strategies to build e-government services. Rod Titcombe, Chairman of Local Government Online (LGOL), says, "Councils should start to "walk the talk" on delivery of e-services." "The lack of planning means actual delivery of web-based services by councils is very low," he says. Research have shown the public to like online transactions, and web-based services are a money-saver (cutting photocopying, postage, double-handling and processing costs), yet, to Titcombe's puzzlement, not even a tenth of councils let ratepayers do something so simple as track the progress of a building consent application online. Himself a Council Chief Executive, Titcombe doesn't hold up the middle-sized council he heads, Manawatu District, as a paragon. "We've still got a way to go in a number of areas. It does require some investment and we're working our way towards it." Although provision of online services is at the forefront of an overall review of the council's information systems, "It's pretty early days for us yet". In contrast, Hurunui District Council ratepayers in the North Canterbury resort of Hanmer Springs can request a land information memorandum (LIM) fully online, which council staff process digitally. Hurunui is using GoForms software written and hosted by Auckland company Ubiquity which is not complicated or costly for councils to adopt. Instead of potentially expensive integration with council administrative systems, the software works by automatically emailing forms filed by ratepayers to the relevant council staff, at a cost of about 40c a transaction.

Freshly arrived forms, which are saved as pdf files, are marked "Processing" until a council officer has determined their fate. Their status is then changed to "Approved", "Declined" or "Withdrawn", and the ratepayer notified accordingly by email. The electronic form is then stored in the council's document management system. Jim Higgins, LGOL's Chief Executive Officer, feels that it isn't enough. "That's not e-government; it's not interacting with councils online," says Higgins, whose local authority IT experience stretches back to the 1970s, when he helped Palmerston North City Council computerise its billing. He says that although councils have for years been earnestly discussing making services available electronically, in most instances that merely mean putting forms online for ratepayers to download, print, complete and mail or fax back. "We're now beginning to talk to the people with the problem - planners, for example. Telling them that the saving in time we've discovered just on electronic filing of forms is at least two days." When that message gets out, it sparks immediate interest. Councils have dozens of forms for the range of services they provide and GoForms can be used for any of them, Higgins says. "The thing is not a super-giant complicated system. It's meant to be an efficient means of interacting with the public, allowing them to apply for LIMs or liquor licences or whatever it is without the council having to develop and integrate complex systems. For a small council, GoForms is perfect. It's great for people living in outlying districts - they can do all their business online, they don't have to come into town." Large councils stand to make significant cost savings, Higgins says, while for smaller ones it can free up staff for other tasks. "There are national organisations that have an interest. The legal fraternity, for example, has an interest in speeding up delivery of reports. They've really just got to go and put pressure on councils."


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

ASIA: Manufacturers Go Digital in 2009

The region's manufacturers need to prioritize investments that help them differentiate themselves from the competition in the current 'survival of the fittest' climate, according to a new study. Released Wednesday, the report by IDC's Manufacturing Insights indicated that IT spending growth by manufacturers in the region remained positive, despite revised forecasts and a gloomy outlook for the sector. Manufacturers in the automotive and high-tech sectors appear to be the most badly hit, with a year-on-year growth of just 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent, instead of double-digit growth in earlier forecasts. The consumer package goods industry, which Manufacturing Insights believes to be slightly less affected, is expected to register 3.2 percent growth in IT spend this year. "Amid the growing uncertainty, investments in IT and process improvements will come under increasing scrutiny," said Christopher Holmes, vice president of Asia/Pacific Manufacturing Insights. "To weather the global financial crisis, manufacturers in this region will need to strike a balance between immediate cost reduction and investments in areas that will allow them to stay competitive." Among the top predictions for the manufacturing industry, Manufacturing Insights expects more digital factories to emerge within the region, particularly in China and India. Despite a slowdown, markets in the Asia-Pacific region are still growing, which translates into demand for new products, said Holmes. In such a climate, companies "will look beyond the current downturn and invest for the future either by investing in existing plants or building new plants".

When building new plants, these manufacturers will "adopt latest technology and latest thinking" in running the facilities, he added. The "digital factory" approach may mean simulation of the entire production process is carried out before the actual production takes place. Product lifecycle management (PLM) is also expected to be a big area of investment for manufacturing companies in the region. According to Holmes, manufacturers will be looking to differentiate themselves from the competition by investing particularly in PLM, as it helps businesses gain greater control internally, allowing for predictable product development outcomes and effective resource management. In addition, Manufacturing Insights expects manufacturers in the region to have higher expectations of their IT vendors in 2009. Holmes noted that vendors servicing the sector would be required to advise clients of the latest trends and processes, as well as introduce industry-specific workflows. "For ICT vendors, it is crucial to provide additional value to manufacturing clients at this time - they will also need to have expertise within sub-industry verticals," he added. "This includes best practices, advice on implementation and suggestions for organizational changes."


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/12/2009

TOP↑

 

EUROPE: Mid-term Report of the Expert Group on E-Invoicing Available for Comments

The Expert Group on e-Invoicing issued its mid-term report on 27 January 2009. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the report until 13 March 2009. e-Invoicing, short for electronic invoicing, is the electronic transfer of billing and payment information, via the Internet or other electronic means, between the parties (businesses, the public sector, consumers) involved in commercial transactions. Compared to paper invoices, e-Invoices may offer huge advantages for companies - they are said to be easier to process, they reach the customer faster and can be stored centrally at very low cost. The Expert Group on e-Invoicing was set up by the European Commission on 31 October 2007. Its task is to establish a European Electronic Invoicing Framework by 2009. This Framework will include legal and best practice guidelines, commercial and operational rules for e-Invoicing systems and technical standards. Its aim is to support the wider uptake of secure, high-quality and compatible e-Invoicing services across Europe. The newly published mid-term report outlines the progress made during the first year of the Expert Group's mandate. According to the European Commission, this interim report represents an important step towards the establishment of the European Electronic Invoicing Framework. All stakeholders' comments on the interim report are welcome until 13 March 2009. They should be sent by email to markt-e-invoicing@ec.europa.eu. Responses will be shared with the Expert Group and potentially be placed on the Commission's website unless explicitly indicated otherwise by the stakeholders in their response.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

Macedonia Launched New Online System to Facilitate Cross-border Trade

EXIM, an online application system for export/import licences and quotas, has been officially launched on 22 December 2008 in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The USAID funded eGov Project has provided technical assistance to the Government of FYROM and the Customs Administration to streamline the complex and complicated procedures for export/import licences and quotas by introducing the EXIM application. The result is a tool that will enable businesses to engage in cross-border transactions much faster and at a much lower cost than before. The EXIM system will enable FYROM companies involved in foreign trade to electronically apply and obtain import, export and transit licences from fifteen government institutions involved in foreign trade regulation. This application is part of the Trade Facilitation Single Window initiative implemented by the Government of FYROM. The Project is coordinated by the Customs Administration. The EXIM system was implemented in close collaboration with sixteen government institutions and it included the harmonisation and simplification of the legal and administrative procedures, as well as the transformation of the application and approval process from paper to electronic.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/07/2009

TOP↑

 

More than Half of UK Population Does Not Shop Online

More than half of the UK population still does not shop online, with security fears putting off many. Electronic payment systems firm CyberSource commissioned research among 1,000 consumers. Reasons for not shopping online ranged from a simple preference for high street shopping to lack of a computer or internet access, but 41% of those that did not said online security was a fear. Of the full sample - including those that did shop online - 66% said they were concerned about the level of risk in web shopping. According to survey respondents, the most common source of information about the safety of online shopping is stories in the media, which focused on crimes or losses of credit card information.


From http://www.computerweekly.com/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

NORTH AMERICA: Colorado Web Site Assists Business Development

"In these tough economic times, it's more important than ever to keep making Colorado a business-friendly state." - Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter (pictured) Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Secretary of State Bernie Buescher yesterday officially unveiled Colorado Business Express, a new Web service that puts Colorado at the forefront nationally of state-of-the-art online business assistance. "In these tough economic times, it's more important than ever to keep making Colorado a business-friendly state," Ritter said. "With today's launch ... of Colorado Business Express, we underscore our commitment to helping companies grow, prosper and compete in today's challenging marketplace." The new Web site provides Colorado business owners, for the first time, a single site where they can easily access all the vital information they need to interact with state government. Until now, they needed to contact each agency separately to get the same information. "Colorado Business Express is truly a one-stop shop," Buescher said. "Instead of surfing the Internet or standing in line at four separate state and federal departments, people will be able to get their crucial businesses information on line by visiting a single Web site."

With the new system, business owners can use Colorado Business Express to access the Secretary of State's Web site where they can register their business entity, and get information on how to apply for a state sales tax license from the Department of Revenue or an unemployment insurance identification number from the Department of Labor and Employment. The new service also links directly to the Internal Revenue Service's online system, allowing users to quickly get a Federal Employer Identification Number. Also, people who use the Web site will be linked to the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to obtain additional information about doing business in Colorado. The year-long project was a collaboration of five state departments and Colorado.gov, the state Internet portal. This is the first time a project of this magnitude has been undertaken jointly by these agencies to benefit the business community. "Colorado Business Express is a major leap forward toward a more streamlined government, with better service and less paperwork for the benefit of Colorado's new businesses," said state Sen. Bill Cadman, chairman of the Statewide Internet Portal Authority, which oversees Colorado.gov.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

Global Mobile Connections Reach 4 Billion

Mobile broadband users near 100 million; GSMA expects total number of mobile connections to hit 6 billion by 2013. Global mobile connections have now reached the 4 billion mark, announced the GSMA Wednesday. And, citing statistics from Wireless Intelligence, the industry body predicted that the world will hit six billion connections by 2013. The GSMA said the growth is primarily being driven by the integration of mobile technology into previously unconnected devices, and subscriber additions in emerging markets. Mobile broadband connections account for 100 million of the 4 billion connections, as the uptake of 3G dongles and mobile broadband-enabled laptops has accelerated. In August the GSMA reported that the number of HSPA mobile broadband connections stood at 50 million. However, it is difficult to calculate the exact number of mobile users worldwide, since many consumers in mature have more than one handset, while consumers in emerging markets often share devices. The GSMA also said Wednesday that innovations in mobile technology can help drive productivity in a slowing economy. "As we enter 2009, the world is in the midst of a broad economic slowdown, one that is impacting every facet of business, every link in the communications value chain," said Michael O'Hara, chief marketing officer at the GSMA, in a statement. "Industry initiatives in the areas of mobile broadband, mobile lifestyle and mobile planet will help drive this innovation and growth despite the challenges of the global economic downturn," he said. The announcement was made ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, which is run by the GSMA. "Mobile phones have evolved to become broadband-enabled multimedia devices that connect mass markets in mature and emerging markets alike," said O'Hara. "Mobile World Congress will showcase how the industry will continue to push the boundaries into the mobile future," he said.


From http://www.totaltele.com/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

CHINA: Online Advertising Set to Rebuff Global Crisis

Online advertising spending in China will continue to grow rapidly next year but the growth of the online search-related advertising, where Baidu.com dominates, will slow down, industry officials told a digital advertising conference yesterday in Shanghai. China's online advertising spending, including display and search, will grow between 30 and 40 percent year-on-year in 2009, despite the global financial crisis, according to Hans Yu, chief executive of CR-Nielsen, Nielsen's China joint venture on research of China's Internet market. Traditional media advertising income will also increase in 2009 but with a slower growth rate. On CCTV's 2009 prime-time advertising auction last week, sales climbed to a record high of 9.3 billion yuan (US$1.36 billion), up 15 percent from a year ago. "Some firms like auto makers and real property developers have cut spending in newspapers and television. Instead, they have increased their spending online," Yu said during ad:tech Shanghai 2008, a two-day exhibition and forum, which opened yesterday.

Online spending from consumer brands, like Nike and Coca-cola, and online game operators increased spending on QQ, said S.Y. Lau, Tencent's executive vice president of online media. Tencent, the country's No. 1 online instant message operator, will seek more clients in the auto industry in 2009, Lau said. In the third quarter, China's online spending reached 5.16 billion yuan, 78.0 percent up from a year before, attributed to the influence of the Beijing Olympic Games this year, according to iResearch, a Shanghai-based Internet consulting firm. US online advertising spending will remain in single-digit growth or even drop in 2009, said iResearch. Click fraud (where phony hits are created on advertisements), credit search results and distribution channel problems will affect the future income of search firms, including Baidu, according to Nielsen's Yu. Last week, Baidu was the subject of two critical reports by CCTV that questioned its paid-link business and whether advertisers influenced the company's search results. Robin Li, Baidu's founder and chief executive, was scheduled to speak during the ad:tech event but was absent yesterday.


From Shanghai Daily 11/25/2008

TOP↑

 

China Telecom Launches eSurfing

China Telecom officially launched its eSurfing mobile services on Thursday in Shanghai which now has three mobile carriers for the first time. As a result of the national telecommunications industry reorganization, China Telecom acquired the mobile business from China Unicom to make the market more transparent and fair. The eSurfing service, with its 189 prefix number, integrates China Telecom's other fixed-line businesses, such as Wi-Fi and broadband. It allows users to access packaged services through one unified account, according to Shanghai Telecom, China Telecom's Shanghai branch. LG, Samsung and Dopod's eSurfing phones went on display yesterday. As a newcomer to Shanghai's mobile market, Shanghai Telecom is expected to provide users services based on its Wi-Fi and CDMA networks to compete with local rivals Shanghai Mobile and Shanghai Unicom. But the carrier will not use an aggressive pricing strategy to grab market share, according to Shanghai Telecom.

By the end of this year, China Telecom will establish 25,000 Wi-Fi hot spots nationwide and about 3,000 of these spots are going to be in Shanghai. Based on wireless broadband networks, users will be able to access the Internet at speeds similar to home broadband services. Before the launch yesterday about 20,000 people had booked 189 numbers. By the end of 2007, Shanghai Telecom's market share of the local telecommunications revenue was 43.6 percent, ahead of Shanghai Mobile's 40.5 percent and Shanghai Unicom's 9.9 percent, according to Shanghai Telecom. "It takes time for Shanghai Telecom to catch up with rivals like Shanghai Mobile as it needs time to integrate business with China Unicom," said Sandy Shen, an analyst at Gartner, a US-based IT consulting firm. "China Telecom is expected to launch real competitive products but not before April." During the industry revamp, China Telecom acquired China Unicom's CDMA (code division multiple access) network.


From Shanghai Daily 12/19/2008

TOP↑

 

China's Video Sharing Websites Hunger for Capital

More than half of China's 200-plus video-sharing websites plan to cut jobs to save costs to stay float as the financial crisis makes it hard for them to get financing. Only 1 percent of those websites managed to turn profits, with the remaining 99 percent in the red, according to iRearch, a Shanghai-based online marketing research firm. Uncertainty about returns on investment and the financial turmoil have made venture capital (VC) investors hesitant in investing in the video sharing website industry, the Shanghai Securities News reported. The sector only received six VC investments this year. "I think the entire video sharing industry is unlikely to raise funds within the next three years," said Gary Wang, CEO of Tudou.com, one of the country's largest video sharing websites. "It would be much harder to raise capital at the moment, especially for those who don't have a clear business plan." Cutting jobs will be the first step for these companies to save costs, though some insiders doubt its effectiveness, because labor only accounts for less than 30 percent of the total costs, while servers, bandwidth, and other hardware costs take up the remaining 70 percent.

Victor Koo, CEO of Youku.com, Tudou.com's major rival, believes the severe market situation will help to restructure the industry, leaving the most competitive one or two video sharing websites to survive. And acquisitions by major portal websites seem to be another way to survive, said some analysts. For example, Hupo.tv and Mofile.com, two small websites merged recently. China overtook the United States to have the world's most Internet users at 253 million at the end of June, 160 million of which are video sharing website users, according to the China Internet Network Information Center, the country's network information center. The changing consumption patterns have encouraged advertisers to put their ads online. Sources from iResearch said that the market size of Internet-based economy came to 14.63 billion yuan ($2.14 billion) in the third quarter of 2008. iResearch's statistics show that ads on video sharing websites were worth 170 million yuan in 2006, and 410 million in 2007. The number for 2008 is expected to be larger.


From http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/ 12/19/2008

TOP↑

 

IT Sector Damaged as Demand Shrinks

The growth in information technology imports and exports slowed in the first 11 months of last year, as the financial crisis took its toll on United States demand, the government said yesterday. However, the export of laptops, cell phones, integrated circuits and LCD panels was still strong, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. In the first 11 months of 2008, IT exports and imports were valued at US$484.22 billion, a 16.8 percent growth year-on-year. The growth rate was 9.4 percentage points lower than the same period in 2007, according to the ministry. Exports to the US, where the financial crisis has battered consumer confidence, were valued at US$93.38 billion, up 8.32 percent, but growth was 7.6 percentage points lower than in 2007. Exports to Japan grew 17.57 percent, 1.5 percentage points higher than a year ago. Global cell phone sales will have single-digit growth or lower in 2009, according to research firms such as US-based Gartner Inc. The slowing demand of the global market has hit the export-oriented domestic IT industry and forced many firms to shut their doors, especially in southern China. "It's a challenge, of course," said Chen Wenhai, secretary general of the Chinese Institute of Electronics. "But it's also a chance for China to upgrade its industry structure and inject high-quality and innovation into domestically made products." The export of laptops jumped 25 percent in the period to US$60.5 billion.


From Shanghai Daily 01/06/2009

TOP↑

 

Bank Card Business Up 70% in Value over New Year Period

Chinese consumers spent 59 billion yuan (US$8.63 billion) in 89.17 million bank-card-based interbank transactions from Jan. 1 to Jan. 3, China UnionPay said yesterday. The number of transactions was up 55.8 percent year-on-year, while the value was up 70.5 pecent, the bank card alliance added. Credit-card-based consumption was 16.5 billion yuan, up 89 percent. Bank-card-based business accounts for 25 percent of retail sales, it said. As of Dec. 31, retail outlets hooked up to UnionPay's bank-card network numbered more than 1.1 million nationwide, with some 1.7 million point of sale terminals and 160,000 automatic teller machines.


From Xinhua News Agency 01/05/2009

TOP↑

 

China: Web Shopping Touches Record High in China

Shanghai topped the country's online shopping cities with a total volume of 16.5 billion yuan (US$2.4 billion) in 2008, and yearly spending online was 2,200 yuan per capita, according to the latest report on online shopping. The report, conducted by the iResearch Consulting Company, was based on a nationwide survey of 100,000 Internet users interviewed through 84 major websites. The total volume of online shopping in China reached a record high of over 120 billion yuan in 2008, up 128.5% over 2007. "E-business has become a vital part of the retail world, and large cities, like Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen that dominate the offline retail world also lead the pack online," said Liu Zheng, senior consultant from Beijing-based SDR Consulting Company. "It is also notable that the second and third tier cities such as in Shandong and Jiangsu provinces have become the major growing areas for online shoppers," he added. "More than 70% of users of Taobao.com are from those second and third tier areas." Male online shoppers outnumber women, accounting for 55%.

Electronic products are the main consumption choice among male shoppers, the report said. Despite the proximity of several large shopping malls, 27-year-old Shanghai resident Xiao Gao said she prefers shopping on the Internet. "Online shopping has increasingly become a mainstream lifestyle, and I purchase products or services online at least once a week," she said. "Low price is the chief consideration." "It's kind of life support that can reduce the traffic driving to those stores," she added. "I am making online shopping a habit and spending more." "Shoppers across the country are increasingly turning to the Internet for the variety, value and convenience that it offers," Liu Zheng said. "Online sales will continue to gain momentum as the economic depression period continues." So far, Taobao.com retains a stable leading position in online shopping with 82.2% market share, followed by PAIPAI.com and eachnet.com, with 9.9% and 7.9%, respectively. Consumers' main complaints about online shopping involved the inconsistency between picture and product and delayed delivery, the report said. (By WANG HONGYI/ China Daily/ ANN)


From http://www.mysinchew.com/ 02/17/2009

TOP↑

 

China Mobile Publishes 2008 CSR Report

China Mobile, one of the world's largest mobile communications operators, has just published its corporate social responsibility report for 2008. In the report, China Mobile says that it invested a total of CNY19.5 billion in 2008 to make mobile telephone services accessible in more than 60,000 remote villages in China. In addition, it donated up to CNY300 million in both cash and material contributions to earthquake areas in Sichuan and helped train several thousand teachers for rural schools in western China. The report shows that China Mobile established 2,135 environmentally-friendly base stations in 2008 and it made tangible headway in promoting green packaging with its suppliers and greatly reducing its energy consumption. According to Wang Jianzhou, head of China Mobile, in 2009 the company will continue to fulfill its responsibilities in such key areas as rural communications, emergency communications, mobile phone culture, green packaging, and staff volunteer activities. In addition, in 2009 it will promulgate the China Mobile Corporate Social Responsibility Management Rules to integrate corporate social responsibility into its daily operation and development plans. As a member of the UN Global Compact, China Mobile is the only company from mainland China that has been included in the Dow Jones sustainability index.


From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

JAPAN: Figures and Estimates for Broadband Subscription Numbers and Network Traffic

MIC compiles statistics on the number of broadband subscriptions, based on the Rules of Reporting on Telecommunications Business (Ministerial Ordinance of MPT No. 46 of 1988), as well as collecting figures and estimates on Japan's Internet traffic with help from six Internet service providers (referred to below as "cooperating ISPs") and researchers in order to grasp the situation of the shift to broadband. Trends in the number of broadband subscriptions: The number of subscriptions to broadband services at the end of June 2008, as announced at the end of September 2008, was 29.34 million. The figure stood at 28.75 million at the end of March 2008, and there was an increase of 590,000 over the previous term. In addition, the number of FTTH access subscriptions at the end of June 2008 stood at 13.08 million (an increase of 930,000 over the previous term), overtaking the number of subscriptions to DSL access services for the first time.

Total volume of download traffic by broadband subscribers: MIC announced in August 2008 figures and estimates for Japan's Internet traffic as of May 2008. Types of traffic as calculated by cooperating ISPs and researchers are shown in Figure 2. As of May 2008, the proportion of traffic (B1 out) from cooperating ISPs within traffic exchanged (C) at Japan's main Internet exchanges (IX) was 42.6%, and this was assumed to be the share of cooperating ISPs within Japan's broadband subscriptions as a whole. The total estimated volume of download traffic by broadband subscribers from this share and from the download traffic (A1 out) by broadband subscribers to cooperating ISPs averaged at 880 Gbps (Figure 3). In comparison to the estimated index as of May 2007, this shows an increase of 1.2 times. In addition, the total volume of download traffic, plus the total volume of upload traffic that was obtained using the same method were divided by the number of broadband subscriptions that are collected and announced by MIC, based on the Rules of Reporting on Telecommunications Business, to give an average traffic figure per subscription. Since 2006, the increase in average traffic per subscription has been noticeable.


From MIC Communication News 01/09/2009

TOP↑

 

Opportunities in Japan for Korean IT Professionals

The Japanese IT industry needs an extra 500,000 professionals, the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency said in a report Monday. KOTRA based the report on analysis by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, adding now is the time for Korea's skilled labor force and corporations to advance into the Japanese industry. The Japanese government has extended the maximum period of residence for families of foreign IT technicians to five years as part of efforts to attract overseas manpower to Japan, which fell to 19th in the IT competitiveness ranking by the World Economic Forum last year, far behind Korea, which ranked ninth.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

SOUTH KOREA: Phone Industry Competes for Next-Generation Technology

LG Electronics is grabbing the attention of industry watchers with the latest development of next generation technology. The buzz is about a small chip which experts say is the first of its kind in the world. The chip is expected to make wireless communication even more convenient thanks to technology dubbed Long Term Evolution or LTE. The advantage of LTE chips is in their speed. The download time of a movie on a cell phone with this chip is only about a minute, five times faster than the wireless technology out on the market now. Early development of LTE chips was led by European giants like Nokia and Ericsson. The latest achievement by LG Electronics has brought the commercialization of the technology that much closer. Company officials hope to come out with LTE computers and cell phones by 2011. This puts rival Samsung Electronics on edge as it leads the domestic market in wireless broadband technology and is in the process of commercializing a product similar to LG's. The race is on between the two electronics companies and only time will tell which technology will lead the future telecom market.


From Arirang News 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

One-Touch Phone Banking for All Banks to Start

The world's first cell phone that can be used for Internet banking and ATM service at all banks nationwide is about to go into service. So far, cell phone chips had to be changed for different banks. Telecom provider KTF on Wednesday said it will start its UbiTouch Service with 16 domestic banks except Shinhan Bank, registering account information in a USIM chip built into a cell phone that enables most banking transactions including account check, money transfer, deposit and withdrawal. Subscribers can withdraw money just by touching their cell phone to an ATM with a UbiTouch mark, of which there are 39,000 nationwide. SK Telecom and LG Telecom plan to adopt the same service soon. KTF said money transfer and cash withdrawal require a password that guards against security problems. Kookmin, Woori, Pusan Bank and Korea Post will adopt the service by the end of this month, and it will become available at every domestic bank within the first half of next year.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 12/18/2008

TOP↑

 

More Than 1 Million Web Users Use .kr Domain

The number of registered users of Korea's Internet domain .kr now exceeds 1 million, the National Internet Development Agency said Monday. According to the agency, the number was 1,002,429 as of last Saturday. The number was 61,000 in 1993, when the domain was introduced. It had increased to 207,000 in 1999 and to 517,000 in 2000. Meanwhile, the number of registered users of China's national Internet domain .cn is the largest in the world.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 12/23/2008

TOP↑

 

Gov't to Invest in Broadcast, Telecom Industries

Some W2.8 trillion will be spent over the next five years to develop the broadcast and telecommunications sectors (US$1=W1,352). The Korea Communications Commission announced the plan after technological convergence was selected as one of 17 target areas for economic growth at a National Science and Technology Council chaired by President Lee Myung-bak. Convergence refers to the combining of the separate spheres of Internet and communications technology with traditional broadcasting. With the money, the commission plans to nurture technologies such as IPTV and mobile Internet or WiBro. The money will also be used to fund six major research and development projects, including development of fundamental IPTV technologies, digital broadcasting and next-generation networking services. The KCC hopes the plan will boost exports of related products to US$220 billion by 2018 and create an extra 150,000 jobs by the same year.


From Arirang News 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

New Telecom Protocol to Help S. Korea Take Lead in Wireless Network Market

SEOUL (Yonhap) - International acceptance of a locally developed telecommunication protocol is expected to help South Korea become a leader in the fast growing wireless network market, the government said Tuesday. The decision by the Geneva-based International Organization for Standardization to formally recognize the Binary code division multiple access (CDMA) as a global standard opens new opportunities for locally made products and technologies, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

Korea's Mobile Phone Subscription Rate Tops 93 Percent

SEOUL (Yonhap) - More than nine out of 10 people in South Korea, known as one of the world's most wired nations, owned a mobile phone as of last year, the country's telecommunications governing body said Tuesday. According to the Korea Communications Commission, there were 45.6 million cell phone users in Korea at the end of last year, up by 2.1 million from 2007. Considering the nation's population of 48.62 million, 93 percent of Koreans use cell phones, while every Korean household has an average of 2.73 mobile phones, it noted.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

Korea, Japan Join Forces to Create a Digital Economy

Digital economy experts from Korea and Japan identified numerous opportunities for bilateral cooperation at a recent forum in Busan. The 11th meeting of the Korea-Japan Digital Economy Policy Dialogue, which took place January 22, provided a venue for government officials and professionals in the academic and legal communities of both countries to discuss the progress of various joint e-commerce projects and the transition to a digital economy. Korea shared its strategies to boost productivity through greater utilization of information technology, while Japan elaborated its new policy to usher in a knowledge economy. Prior to the forum, a legal roundtable discussion and an RFID information session took place on January 21. The Dialogue, established in 2001 as part of an IT initiative by the two countries' respective national leaders, meets alternately in Korea and Japan. The next meeting is set for November.


From http://www.korea.net/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

Increase in Registrations for Cell-phone Location Tracking

The communications industry is enjoying an increasing number of new subscriptions for its location tracking service. The service allows subscribers to track their children or lover's whereabouts, and make emergency calls. The number of average monthly subscriptions for SK Telecom's service was once around 500-600. The figure skyrocketed to 1,000 within two days this month. Subscribers can specify up to two people to track. When users connect to the internet through their cellular phones, they can pinpoint the location of nominated cell phones. In emergencies, calls are automatically made to the two specified individuals if a particular button is pressed for a long time. KTF, another major carrier, saw new monthly subscriptions increase to 3,600 within just two days, from the average of 600 to 700. LT Telecom said it had 3,000 new subscribers for its location tracking service in two weeks from Jan. 25, when the serial killer Kang Ho-sun was arrested. Its average monthly subscriptions previously stood at a mere 100 before the sudden surge.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 02/05/2009

TOP↑

 

Korea's It Exports Amount to Us$6.9 Billion in January

The Ministry of Knowledge Economy has released its IT trade figures for the month of January. While the national trade balance in the information technology sector posted a $2.87 billion surplus, the export growth rate was down 38.3 percent on reduced domestic consumption and a slowdown in the global economy. Exports totaled $6.96 billion, while imports slipped 36.9 percent year-on-year to $4.09 billion. Exports of mobile phones, semiconductors and display panels fell 21.6 percent to $2.2 billion, 46.8 percent to $1.5 billion, and 40.7 percent to $1.24 billion, respectively, with a decline in trade with primary trading partners China, the United States, the European Union and Japan (down 39.6 percent, 6.7 percent, 49.8 percent and 49.4 percent, respectively). Shipments of mobile phones to the United States were the notable exception to this trend, rising 25.1 percent to $720 million.


From http://www.korea.net/ 02/05/2009

TOP↑

 

Profits in Korea's IPTV Market 'to Expand 10-Fold'

Profits in Korea's market for IPTV or Internet protocol television are expected to expand nearly 10 times by 2012. All analog broadcasting services are to be suspended in Korea starting that year. Ovum, a leading British-based authority on telecoms, software, and IT services, said in a recent report that IPTV profits in Korea will increase to over US$310 million in 2012 with almost 3.5 million subscribers. Ovum includes Korea as one of 16 countries with the highest potential in developing IPTV technologies. Along with Canada and Singapore, Korea was given a grade "A" for bright prospects in the field. IPTV is considered a major step forward in converging broadcasting and telecommunications. By allowing viewers to see TV programs movies and other content via computer networks, people can watch whatever they feel like it. The Internet connection also lets viewers shop and play games online using their TV sets. And with Korea's three major broadcasters agreeing in December to provide real-time programming Korea has finally become capable of launching a full-fledged IPTV service. Ovum says that although Korea was late in establishing related laws and providing real-time services for IPTV subscribers, the country will be able to overcome the gap with its widespread high-speed Internet access and well-founded infrastructure.


From Arirang News 02/06/2009

TOP↑

 

Korean Digital TVs at No.1 in U.S. Market

Korean-brand televisions are excelling in the U.S. According to the latest report from U.S. market research firm National Purchase Diary, sales of Korean digital televisions took first place last year. The report shows that one in three Americans who bought a new digital television in 2008 purchased one made by a Korean firm. Digital TVs by Korean brands advanced their market share to 32.7 percent, while Japanese products took 29.2 percent of the American market. This is a turnaround from 2007's market share divide when Japanese brands advanced 2.6 percent over Korean ones. Samsung Electronics consolidated the top spot for digital TV sales volume, accounting for more than 26 percent, while LG Electronics ranked fifth with 6.6 percent. Samsung registered as the top brand in four categories including overall sales of LCDs, displays of 40 inches or larger, full-high-definition TVs and 120-hertz LCD TV. Analysts say these strong sales were anticipated based on strong performance in 2006 continuing through last year and driven by new designs and advanced technology.


From Arirang News 02/10/2009

TOP↑

 

KT Corp. Aims to Boost Internet Telephony Users 6-fold by Year-end

SEOUL (Yonhap) - KT Corp., South Korea's largest fixed-line telephone and broadband Internet operator, said Wednesday it plans to increase the subscriber base for its Internet telephony service by six-fold by the end of this year. KT's Internet-based telephone service allows people to talk over the phone more cheaply and transmit data over high-speed Internet connections. It hopes to boost the number of suscribers to the service to two million from the current 330,000, company officials said.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

INDONESIA: Latest Phase of NSW Online Service Introduced to Help Traders

The government launched Tuesday the third phase of the National Single Window (NSW), an online service for importers and exporters that could help businesses cope with the global economic downturn. This latest phase of the NSW, aimed at streamlining the flow of exports and imports and preventing smuggling, includes Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, Belawan Port in Medan and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang. They will join Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta and Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang. All importers and customs brokers at Tanjung Priok and Tanjung Emas must comply with the NSW, under the latest implementation. Prior to this, only 146 importers benefited from the NSW, selected based on their record in adhering to port regulations. This figure "rises to 4,852 'active' importers", out of 18,737 registered importers at the five ports, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said. There are about 600 customs brokers. "The 'inactive' importers may be illegal or hit-and-run importers," she added. Mulyani said with the NSW, business costs could go down because companies would deal exclusively with an NSW team, rather than pay illegal fees to port officials.

"The NSW can reduce the cost of doing business, which will ease business spending. With a cut in business costs, businesses will have the capacity to keep their hired employees," she said. Gunawan Setiadi, treasurer of the Priority Lanes Companies Association (APJP), said he expected the NSW to benefit exporters too, with many businesses using imported goods for export. Exporters can make use of the NSW too, but only temporarily, at Tanjung Priok, said Susiwijono, the technical head of the NSW preparation team. "We will hold a technical test for exports through the NSW next month," he said, adding 70 percent of chosen exporters had been recommended by the Trade Ministry, and the rest by the Forestry Ministry. This year, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise checked 735,444 documents at the five ports, 64 percent of which were sent through the NSW. About 70 percent of all imports to Indonesia go through Tanjung Priok Port.

Regarding the implementation of the NSW at Soekarno-Hatta airport, Susiwijono said the preparation team would check flight schedules, cargo handling information and weather forecasts to ensure the speedy flow of goods. Anwar Suprijadi, director general of customs and excise, said the flow of goods through airports was much quicker than through seaports, making the business process more difficult. In 2009, the government is set to integrate the NSW with the ASEAN Single Window (ASW), comprising Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Other ASEAN countries - Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam - must join the ASW by 2012 at the latest. The ASW is part of the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community.


From http://www.thejakartapost.com/ 12/24/2008

TOP↑

 

MALAYSIA: World-class ICT Firms Growing

KUALA LUMPUR - While Malaysia's Silicon Valley, the MSC Malaysia, has spawned some 2,000 'MSC-status' companies, it has yet to develop any world-renowned ICT company, says an official from an industry group. "Unfortunately, after more than a decade [of the MSC's existence], we still don't seem to have home-grown and globally-renowned ICT firms or leaders that stand the test of global competitiveness," said Bobby Varanasi, head of marketing and branding at Outsourcing Malaysia, an industry body representing Malaysia's outsourcing industry. "Local firms in a variety of ICT sectors still don't stand up as serious competitors in the regional or global competitive marketplace," Varanasi told ZDNet Asia. "The perception seems to be that the private sector tends to look first to the government for all decisions and support structures, instead of leveraging government as the last port of call," he said, in an e-mail reply regarding queries on the impact of rebranding initiatives undertaken by MSC Malaysia. According to MSC Malaysia's Web site, a total of 1,994 companies had been granted MSC-status as at Dec. 31, 2007, of which only 1,594 were still active businesses. One of Asia's first nationwide ICT initiatives when it launched in the mid-1990s, the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) was renamed MSC Malaysia in April 2006. The Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), which oversees MSC's development, said the re-branding exercise was necessary to ensure MSC Malaysia and the local ICT industry remained competitive against other global ICT hubs.

Too big a role? Varanasi noted that the government, through agencies such as the MDeC, was perhaps taking on too much in its role to develop Malaysia's ICT sector. "Today, it's clear that the government is in the driver's seat? [However], too much handholding isn't always good as it tends to motivate lethargy and mediocrity," he said. "This is, unfortunately, what I've come across in my various interactions worldwide. I think the right balance is for the government to become a facilitator sooner, rather than later, while the private sector has to start [focusing on] value," said Varanasi, who is also chairman and CEO of Matryzel Consulting, a business consulting firm. He added that the inability of the local ICT sector to step up and be competitive, regionally and globally, has contributed to this state of affairs. "While I think this is not the responsibility of the MSC [to lead the IT sector], the domestic private sector hasn't always played as active a role as one would expect, thereby, putting the pressure back on the MSC to continue to handhold," he explained, urging the need for the private sector to be an active contributor to industry development. "The private sector seems to be inextricably pigeon-holed with bottom-line oriented approaches, while the global marketplace is actively seeking and flexing their business models so long as they can see topline value as key organizational drivers," he said. Varanasi said corporate chiefs of IT companies should take it upon themselves to seriously question if organizations are creating "value or just margins". "Unless value creation becomes the language of an organization, there is nothing much on the table to offer," he said. "Today's frenetic pace of commoditization puts further pressure on such chiefs to transform their organizations.

"I don't think the question is about whether CEOs have the ability or not. Rather, the question is, do CEOs see and understand enough of the implications of their bottomline-oriented strategies as short-term gains, with longer-term survival issues at stake," he noted. Once they realize this, the private sector will rally itself around value, resulting in partnerships, transformation and innovation, he added. Varansi, however, gave his thumbs-up to the MSC's rebranding exercise, noting that "it has been immensely successful". "Primarily, the rebranding was not just about positioning, but also messaging," he said. "The earlier message reflected a restricted view that a variety of opportunities and incentives were available within the Corridor." "Today, the world views the MSC Malaysia brand to encompass a set of longer-term development goals that include people, knowledge, facilities, policies, infrastructure, innovation, partnerships and growth." Varansi said the MSC has been successful in bringing in a significant number of global ICT companies to operate in Malaysia, through the foreign direct investment (FDI) route. The shared services and outsourcing (SSO) sector, for example, has seen significant successes especially in the past five years, he said.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 11/28/2009

TOP↑

 

Govt, Telcos, Financial Firms to Lift M'sia IT Sector

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's infocomm technology (ICT) sector is expected to grow moderately in 2009, getting its boost from the likely biggest spenders on technology in the country, namely, the financial services industry (FSI), government and telecommunications companies, said analysts and industry players. The country's national ICT association Pikom sees ICT growth next year at 5 percent, compared to its forecast of 7 percent in 2008. Pikom chairman David Wong Nan Fay said: "We foresee organizations cutting down on ICT spending and budget. However, we are confident that the government's stimulus package will help boost the economic engine throughout the year." The association expects the public and telecommunications sectors to continue to lead in ICT investment and consumption activities through the rollout of High-Speed Broadband (HSBB) and WiMax services nationwide, as Malaysia aims to achieve 50 percent broadband penetration of households by 2010, said Wong, adding the government's spending in education and e-government projects will boost spending in the public sector. According to IT research firm IDC, the FSI, government and telecommunication sectors in Malaysia will still remain among the "largest spenders" in 2009 although total IT spending will be affected by the anticipated slowdown due to the current economic situation. "Increasing unemployment levels and lower disposable income will likely lower consumer spend on IT. IDC expects [Malaysia's] 2009 IT market value to be adjusted down by US$186 million to reach US$6 billion and the market growth, reduced from 7.6 percent to 4.4 percent," IDC said in a recent statement.

The IT research firm said the Malaysian government is expected to cushion the negative impact with a series of different ICT-related initiatives supporting domestic demand. "The promotion of Malaysia as a potential shared services hub may continue to support business investments. However, the outlook for export of goods and services is weakening," IDC added. However, IDC expressed confidence that the Malaysian government's stimulus plan announced last month would help support the local IT industry. "The government has committed to pump in 400 million ringgit to kick start the HSBB project which was part of the 7 billion ringgit stimulus plan. Jaygan Fu Ponnudurai, IDC Malaysia's associate analyst of personal systems research, said: "This is also mirrored by the recent announcement of the e-book program whereby students throughout the state of Terengganu will eventually discard their textbooks for virtual textbooks stored mini-notebooks." Growth initiatives Ponnudurai also highlighted several initiatives by the Malaysian government which could alleviate the negative impact of the global financial crisis on the local ICT sector. He said the government's 2009 Malaysian Budget specifically states that accelerated capital allowance on ICT for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) will eventually lead to increased IT hardware, software and services adoption.

In addition, he said, the government also enhanced a culture of corporate social responsibility (CSR) by granting tax deductions to private organizations that involve themselves in projects that preserve the environment. This will drive organizations to adopt Green IT usage in everyday business operations through exemplary IT systems management and procurement of IT systems, he added. "Lastly, the Budget 2009 is leading towards human capital development which will indirectly encourage the adoption of ICT in Malaysia," said Ponnudurai. IDC, in a Dec. 1 statement, said Islamic banking is another segment that may continue to do relatively well in the Asia-Pacific excluding Japan region next year with liquidity flowing in from the Middle-East. This will benefit the FSI in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore (to a lesser extent). Elaborating on this, Ponnudurai said: "In the past months, there has been a growing trend of banks deciding to make their Islamic banking arms operationally autonomous, making these subsidiaries better able to pursue opportunities in the Middle East and to respond to the government's initiatives to make Malaysia an Islamic banking hub." "As for opportunities, IT players should look into programs that would encourage the enhancing of banks' existing IT infrastructures to allow smooth transition from conventional banking towards Islamic banking," he added. Pikom's Wong said the association hopes the government would allocate more money to knowledge-based-economy activities, especially those that promote e-commerce and local content development for specific target communities, as well as provide incentive schemes for PC ownership, the promotion of ICT products and services globally, and enhancing the development of knowledge workers.

Pikom said other incentives which could provide a boost to the local IT sector include: Reducing the high cost of broadband services, thus making broadband affordable and easily accessible to the masses. Achieving the targeted broadband household penetration rate of 50 percent from the current 16.6 percent will result in tangible contribution of 1 percent to Malaysia's GDP and will create 135,000 new jobs by 2010. Exempting duty for purchases of equipment and software used in the delivery of IT services, thus lowering the cost of doing business. Tax deductions for Malaysian companies that adopt qualified IT/BPO (business process outsourcing) processes and services from MSC Malaysia status companies. Forming an investment vehicle to champion the industry through provision of funds, grants and soft loans to help local ICT companies stimulate demand and encourage productivity. Wong said Pikom is also embarking on various initiatives to assist its 1,000-plus members during the economic slowdown. This includes promoting and developing Malaysia as a preferred high-value-added outsourcing hub in the region, export promotion programs to help local ICT companies to go global and enhance competitiveness, and creating demand for the industry via lead generation services.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 12/15/2009

TOP↑

 

Malaysia Opens Online Varsity

The Asia e University (AeU), an international university based in Malaysia, accepted its first batch of students last month. Working entirely online, AeU was set up with the support of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD), a forum with 31 member countries, benefitting it with resources from all members through collaborations with institutes of higher learning and training centres. Professor Dr Hairuddin Harun AeU Vice-President says the university promotes flexible learning. In the delivery of its courses, AeU employs two modes of learning: The face- to-face/conventional approach combines conventional teaching and learning and online interactions (e-learning mode), while the blended/online approach combines face-to-face interactions, online interactions (e-learning mode) and independent study. Its programmes and products are focused on affordability, accessibility and marketability. The university offers a wide array of courses ranging from certificates courses to bachelor's, master's and doctorates, all designed to market demands and needs. AeU is a dual-mode university, offering programmes in the open- and distance-learning (ODL) mode as well as the full-time-on-site mode. Students will have the option to migrate from the ODL mode to the full-time mode and vice-versa.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/29/2008

TOP↑

 

M'sia Telecom Spending to Stay Resilient in 2009

KUALA LUMPUR - Telecommunications spending in Malaysia is expected to remain resilient this year and is projected to achieve a moderate growth to RM24 billion (US$6.7 billion) despite the slowing economy, IT research firm IDC said. Esther Gan, market analyst for IDC Market Research, said: "Malaysia's telecommunications spending encompassing mobile services, Internet access, corporate data services and fixed telephony, are expected to grow at 4 percent in 2009." However, the dismal economy will reduce the subscription of non-essential telecom services such as redundant fixed line services, said Gan at a media briefing on "Malaysia Telco Predictions" here Thursday. She added that the global economic meltdown will affect the telecom sector in the Asean markets, but to a lesser degree than the IT markets. "The way telecom operators will rethink their strategies in response to the economic crisis, however, differ from one country to another. Malaysian telecom operators will look into managed services as new revenue streams that could help increase ARPU (average revenue per user) from basic voice and data services," said Gan. This will likely result in service providers forging stronger alliances with vendors to deliver comprehensive managed offerings, she added. IDC said the incumbents in Asean will have renewed interest in the small and midsize business (SMB) segment this year. "The economic meltdown will hinder prospects of growth for large corporations. Any initial signs of recovery will be first witnessed in the SMB market. 2009 would be a good time for incumbents to invest in marketing [aimed at] SMBs," said Gan, adding that service providers can leverage on improved telecom infrastructure and technology advancements to develop a wide range of services specific to requirements of SMBs.

Affordable alternatives With the tightening on spending, IDC anticipates a higher preference among businesses for alternative products this year. Gan explained: "SMB/SOHO (small office home office) establishments and larger corporations will look into more affordable networking products. Interest for new brands in the market may be seen in 2009." In the mobile phone devices category, she anticipates users selecting mid-end units over high-end familiar brands while purchases for devices with steep price tags will be pushed towards the end of 2009. Broadband and mobile subscribers will seek affordable ways of staying accessible either when online or while mobile, she added. Gan said strong demand and continuous marketing efforts by service providers will sustain strong growth in wireless broadband both within the key cities and surrounding locations in Asean. "On-going competition among technologies such as 3G, WiMax and iBurst will drive online access growth in Malaysia. Wired broadband service providers will not be slow in providing counter-offers. Such offerings may include wired broadband service bundles that include public hotspot access time in order to bring some 'mobility' element to their offerings," she said. Although wireless broadband will gain a wide customer base, wired broadband will still be the dominant technology, added Gan. IDC said despite the gloomy economic outlook, mobile and wireless broadband providers will continue to invest in 3G and WiMax infrastructure to expand their network and attract new subscribers. Chua Fong Yang, associate market analyst, IDC Market Research, said: "Although 3G has been commercially available in Malaysia since 2005, the service coverage remains limited and concentrated in key urban areas. Competition in the 3G market space will intensify with DiGi.Com expressing their interest in rolling out 3G commercially in 2009."

WiMax services operator P1 will continue its aggressive expansion in 2009 while Malaysia's three other WiMax players will likely take the "wait-and-see approach", Chua said. "Subscriber acquisition will become the most important objective of wireless service providers in year 2009," he added. IDC also predicted that 2009 would be a year where the Internet data center model gets a second chance to shine. "Enterprises in Malaysia will fundamentally rethink their data center strategies in 2009 and will reconsider the managed route in order to drive cost down," said Chua. "Various data center issues have driven up the capital expenditure and operating expenditure (Capex and Opex) over the years. Given the unfavorable economic outlook for 2009, many companies will consider outsourcing and migrating their data centers," he added. The research firm also confirmed that the mini-notebook phenomenon had taken hold in Malaysia and would be a bright spot for the PC market this year. "Mini-notebooks were the fastest growing products in Malaysia in 2008 and the growth is not expected to slow down in 2009," said Chua. IDC forecasts mini-notebooks will contribute more than 5 percent of the portable PC shipments in Malaysia in 2009. The emergence of mini-notebooks will also enable mobile operators to penetrate a new market by addressing the needs of consumers who require wireless broadband "on the go" minus the weight of the notebook and the high price, said Chua. "Due to the devices' limited processing power and storage, mini-notebook users will be heavily dependent on being connected to the Internet. Hence, usage of these devices will spur demand for Internet access," he added.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

THAI: ICT Ministry Says WiMax and 3G Licences Imminent

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) ministry says WiMax and third-generation (3G) mobile network operating licences should be allocated to operators by mid-2009. The ministry intends to propose a merger of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) and National Broadcasting Commission (NBC), which will be jointly mandated to award licences. Mun Patanotai ICT Minister said he was confident the ministry would be able to submit the plan to Parliament in January. "If everything follows the plan, 3G and wireless broadband WiMax licences should be awarded by June next year," says Patanotai. Under the Frequency Allocation Act, both NTC and NBC are to jointly award new frequency licences and prescribe their use. A framework for awarding WiMax spectrum and licensing rules as well as certain technical issues is expected to be completed by mid-December. The spectrum for WiMax in Thailand would tentatively be on the 2.5 GHz and 2.6 GHz band with a total of 40 MHz due to the greater availability of equipment and devices. WiMax was expected to drive mobile broadband in Thailand, competing directly with fixed-base broadband ADSL technology. The local wireless broadband market is projected to be worth US$406 million in 2009, fuelled by stiff competition between fixed and mobile operators. Worldwide, 260 operators in 110 countries offer WiMax technology and the number of subscribers are expected to reach 113 million by 2012.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 11/29/2008

TOP↑

 

BANGLADESH: Korea Lends Bangladesh US$200m for e-Govt

The South Korean government will provide Bangladesh with a loan of US$200 million in the current 2008-09 fiscal (July 2008-June 2009). The fund will be used development of a national ICT infrastructure net for the Bangladeshi e-Government (Bangla GovNet). Under the Bangla GovNet project, all ministries, departments, divisions and offices of district and sub-districts will be brought under the same data network - meaning that data collection and handling costs will be driven out while services are sped up. Under the Korea-Bangladesh agreement, projects will also be implemented to enhance the capacity of railway transportation, and power generation and distribution.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/05/2009

TOP↑

 

ICT Will Be Second Largest Thrust Sector in Bangladesh

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will be the second largest thrust sector of Bangladesh by 2021, hoped Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith. Addressing as Chief Guest the inaugural ceremony of BASIS SoftExpo09 Muhith also pleaded the stakeholders to work together for the development of the ICT sector. Commerce Minister Lt Col (Retd) M Faruk Khan and State Minister for the Ministry of Science and ICT Architect Yafesh Osman also addressed the ceremony, held at the Bangladesh China Friendship Conference Centre (BSFCC) yesterday. Muhith said that he dreamt of a country by 2021 when ICT would be the second largest moneymaking industry. "ICT will also be the second largest job providing industry where a huge number of people will make their fortune" he said. To make the dream come true he called upon all the stakeholders and young generation to cooperate to draw a effective roadmap for the government. If all the activities of the government can be computerized, transparency will be ensured and corruption will be reduced largely, he said. Addressing the officials of Bangladesh Software and Information Service (BASIS), organiser of the exposition, he called upon to develop software. "No improvement is possible unless we engage in more software developing activities."

Finance Minister also called upon the stakeholders to engage in hardware manufacturing business. "In this era of globalization, nothing is manufactured by one country. Different parts of a product are manufactured in the different countries. We can participate in the hardware production market" said Muhith. Referring to the three ministers including himself on the dais Faruk Khan said that his government was committed to fulfill the pledge "Digital Bangladesh by 2021" of manifesto. Earlier the BASIS President emphasised on four pillars- marketing, infrastructure facilities, skill manpower development and banking support for the development of the ICT sector. Mentioning that Commerce Minister said all the four pillars were included in the election manifesto of Awami League. Yafesh Osman said ICT had become essential for the modernization of the country. BASIS honoured Prof Jamilur Reza Choudhury, Vice Chancellor of Brac University and Sohel Ahmed Choudhury, Founding Chairman of ICT Business Promotion Council as ICT champion on the occasion. Ninetythree local and international companies including software firms from USA, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Russia are displaying their products in the fair at 156 stalls in 9 pavilions this year. The expo will also include seminars, workshops, roundtable conference where eminent experts, political leaders, policy makers will participate in this five day long fair.

The fair is opened from 10 am to 8 pm for the visitors. The ticket price is fixed at Tk 20. Student will get free access. The fair is divided into some zones- business software, outsourcing, multimedia, animation and games, mobile and wireless technology, Bengali software and service, e-commerce, e-governance, hardware technology, telecommunication and networking, ITS and BPO, IT education and ICT development. BASIS President Habibullah N Karim, said as a platform of interaction between different groups including software providers, buyers, IT users, professionals, media, policy makers, development partners and students BASIS SoftExpo09 would showcase the huge potentials in resources and skills available in Bangladesh. Among others, Oddvar Hesjedal, CEO of Grameenphone Limited, MA Mubin Khan, Director and A Towhid Chairman of Standing Committee on National Events of BASIS were also addressed the ceremony.


From http://nation.ittefaq.com/ 01/28/2009

TOP↑

 

INDIA: First 3G Services Launched

The Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh will launch the country's first 3G services on the occasion of inaugurating the India Telecom 2008 today in New Delhi. The service will enable transfer of high speed data, video streaming etc. on mobile phones. The public sector MTNL is rolling out the 3G service in the capital making use of the necessary Spectrum allocated to it by Department of Telecommunication (DOT). In Mumbai, the services will be available early next year. India Telecom 2008, in New Delhi a two-day event marks India's leading international conference and exhibition for the entire telecom system and is jointly organized by Department of Telecommunications and FICCI. The Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Thiru A. Raja and the Minister of State for Communications and IT, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia will also be present at the inauguration.

The theme of India Telecom 2008 is "Connecting Rural India". The conference will cover topics like the Role of ICTs in Development, Connectivity for Rural India, e-Commerce for Rural India, Developing Market Initiatives, Innovative Technologies for Growth in Rural Area, Tele medicine/Tele education, Broadband: The Road Ahead, Mobile Entertainment etc. India telecom 2008 will have participation from policy makers, regulators, service providers, manufacturers, investors and content providers in the sector. Event highlights will include - CEO's Forum, Open House on regulatory and policy Issues and International seminar on telecom Centers of Excellence. There will be 250 plus exhibitors from around the globe seeking business opportunities. The latest in the field of telecom will be on display. Exhibitors are coming from over 28 countries. The main countries are Russia, China, Taiwan, U.S.A., Korea, Dubai, Singapore, Japan and Bangladesh. The major players include BSNL, MTNL, WiMAX Forum, GSM Association, Acme Telepower, Huawei, Nokia, Siemens, Qualcomm India, ZTE India, Aircel Limited, Airtel, HBL Power Systems, Idea Cellular, Luminous Teleinfra Limited, Ericsson, Delta Energy Systems, E-Marine. The event will provide the opportunity to interact with the leading Telecom companies and the potential buyers.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

e-Procurement for Railways

The e-procurement system of the railways was inaugurated recently. The e-procurement platform to East Coast Railway (ECoR) has been provided by Centre for Railway Information System (CRIS). The east coast railway stores department purchases around INR 750 crore materials every year. The new system will bring in benefits in terms of cost savings due to improved competition, improved internal efficiency, the procurement cycle will be further compressed by around 30 days, improved transparency in tendering process, and reduction in physical interface between government staff and contractor. The contractors can now bid and witness the tender opening and see the bids of other tenders in their office or at home. To take advantage of this system, prospective suppliers should register themselves with IREPS (Indian Railways E-Procurement System) or visit www.ireps.gov.in.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

INR 5000 Cr. Towards Free Cell Phones to 50 Million Poor Families

INR 5,000 crore from the Universal Services Obligation fund has been seeked-out by Mobile handset makers towards providing free of cost cellular phone and a connection to families below poverty line. At present, support from the USO fund is being given only to telecom operators. Indian Cellular Association (ICA) the industry association representing handset makers including Nokia and Sony Ericsson, suggested that support should be given directly to consumers to make it more effective in achieving the objective of reaching communication services to the rural areas. In addition to the USO subsidy, handset manufacturers have sought abolition of value added tax of 4 per cent which would enable them to bring down the cost of handset to under INR 1,500. ICA further suggested that along with a free calling package bundled with handset, skills mapping of these families should be done at the time of providing the connection.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

e-Tenders Adopted Reluctantly by Govt Departments

Delhi government's decision to put all tenders online is facing a major deadlock, as departments are not willing to put the tenders online. The Public Works Department (PWD), and the Irrigation and the Flood Department have been been floating all their tenders on the e-procurement website, as has been pointed out by the Information Technology (IT) Department. The PWD and the irrigation departments float the maximum number of tenders. Last week the IT department has issued orders making it compulsory from this month for each department to post tenders online. Even the department of Information and Publicity has been instructed to ensure that all tender advertisement is put online before it is cleared for publication.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/06/2009

TOP↑

 

AFGHANISTAN: Neda Telecommunications to Deploy IP Trunking Solution from O3b Networks

O3b Networks, the developer of a new satellite-based, global internet backbone for telecoms operators and ISPs has announced today that Afghani telco Neda Telecommunications will deploy its Quick Start service as part of a multi-year, multi-million dollar agreement. The agreement will provide low-latency, fibre quality, internet connectivity between Afghanistan and the global internet infrastructure. O3b Networks, funded by Google, Liberty Global and HSBC Principal Investments, recently announced it will deploy the world's first ultra-low-latency, medium earth orbit (MEO), Ka-band, fibre-speed satellite network. The network is designed to improve internet access for millions of consumers and businesses in emerging and developed markets, as well as selected vertical markets. Service activation and ground equipment is scheduled for late 2010. 'Providing backhaul to Neda Telecommunications is a great example of what O3b Networks can do,' said John Finney of O3b. 'Customers like Neda get connected directly to the global fibre internet infrastructure, without a huge capital expenditure. Our Quick Start offer provides an affordable, reliable, backhaul solution for connecting directly to the global internet whilst QuickVAR provides a way for Neda to provide cellular backhaul to thousands of towers across Afghanistan. In emerging countries like Afghanistan, having an affordable, low-latency connection to the global internet provides the opportunity to stimulate economic development on a par with the connected world.'


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 12/12/2008

TOP↑

 

Afghan Telecom Launches Full Mobility and Prepaid Systems for CDMA Network

Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has created broad-based plans for the people of Afghanistan to provide them with better communications services. And in the series of these plannings, Afghan Telecom the state-run company launches Full mobility and Prepaid systems in the country. For this reason, the ceremony was held in the main switch of Afghan Telecom on Sunday December 22, 2008, where H. E. Eng. A. Sangin Minister of Communications and IT, both Deputy Ministers and CEO of Bank-e-Millie Afghan as well as the Directors and employees of both Ministry and Afghan Telcom were present. First, H. E. Minister of Communications and IT delivered his speech and said that the customers of CDMA phones at the beginning were only able to use their phones only in their own provinces.

For the eliminating of this problem, MCIT started few projects at a total cost of 34 million USD to expand the CDMA network and connect the 34 provinces with each other and change the previous system into full mobility and prepaid one. Now, nearly in all provinces the customers can contact through their own CDMA phones to other provinces and abroad. H. E. Minister of Communications and IT also added that by having this system, Afghan Telecom can compete with other existing GSM Operators in the market and can serve the customers with high quality and lower prices. Meanwhile, Eng. Gul Ahmad Khan the CEO of Afghan Telecom addressed the gathering and said that the full mobility system of Afghan Telecom costs more than six million USD and by activating this system, Afghan Telecom can provide their customers with better facilities such as lowering the cost of calls which is two Afghani/min from Afghan Telecom to Afghan Telecom and four Afghanis/min to other networks.

Furthermore, Calling to neighbor countries such as Pakistan and Iran is 9 Afghanis/min and 12 Afghanis/min to the remaining countries. He also underlined that the customers of Afghan Telecom in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Logar,Wardak, Ningarhar, Kunar and Laghman provinces as well as Hirat can have access to internet through their CDMA phones and the remaining provinces will also be connected soon. The total capacity of the two big switches based in Kabul and Hirat for the expansion of CDMA are 250, 000 lines. 13 provinces are connected to Hirat Switch and 21 are connected to Kabul Main Switch and through these two switches and enough capacity the customers can send SMS and Fax inside and outside of the country. Finally, the full mobility system of the Afghan Telecom were officially inaugurated by cutting the ribbon by H. E. Minister of Communications and IT and the CEO of Bank-e-Millie Afghan.


From http://www.mcit.gov.af/ 12/23/2008

TOP↑

 

Afghan Wireless Launches EDGE in Jalalabad

Afghani wireless and broadband communication services provider Afghan Wireless has enhanced its GSM network with EDGE capability in Jalalabad city, following the successful launch in Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar and Heart.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/19/2009

TOP↑

 

IRAN: Electronics Trade Impressive

Sales of mobile and smart phones in the Middle East are expected to hit $10 billion in 2008, and growth has been impressive in all Middle Eastern countries - most notably, Iran, the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The Middle East consumer electronics and technology sector is expected to close the year at a $37 billion high, according to a study by the Dubai-based subsidiary of GfK-MEMRB Marketing Services, ITP.net wrote. The study also predicts that the market will continue riding the wave of growth to hit $39-$40 billion in 2009. Mobile and smart phones make up 41 percent of the entire digital consumer market with sales of $10 billion expected in 2008. It's followed by desktop and notebook computers at $5 billion and LCD televisions at $4 billion. The study also reveals the market structure by channel where, in Iran and the UAE, independent retailers still lead with 60-percent share in volume for product categories such as digital cameras, LCD televisions and mobile phones. However, large retailers like Plug-Ins, Emax and Sharaf DG are also making their presence felt by capturing the remaining 40 percent. The digital consumer technology sector is expected to see retail sales in excess of $24 billion by the end of 2008. "Whatever the effect of the global slowdown, we are anticipating continued regional growth in this sector for the full year of 2008 at 9.6 percent compared with last year," said Franck Thureau, General Manager of GfK-MEMRB.


From http://www.iran-daily.com/ 12/02/2008

TOP↑

 

E-Commerce to Reach Rls.10 Trillion

Meanwhile, Commerce Minister Masoud Mir-Kazemi, who is accompanying President Ahmadinejad, predicted that Iran's electronic commerce will reach 10,000 billion rials by March. Speaking to reporters, he added this is while the figure for the past year was 1,000 billion rials. Necessary grounds for transition from traditional trade have been prepared and it is anticipated that all commercial activities will take place electronically. By developing e-commerce, merchants will be able to supply their products anywhere and anytime to all customers, he noted. Necessary measures have been taken to establish security in the field. Describing e-commerce as one of the ways for amending the distribution system in the country, Mir-Kazemi also said that businessmen should undergo essential training.


From http://www.iran-daily.com/ 12/06/2008

TOP↑

 

New TSE System Launched

A new bourse transaction system was launched at the Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) on Monday with Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance Shamseddin Hosseini in attendance. According to IRIB, the new system will lead to a tenfold increase in bourse transactions. The TSE is Iran's largest stock exchange, which first opened in April 1968. It is based in Tehran. As of June 2008, 400 companies, with a market capitalization of $70 Billion were listed on the TSE. In 2007, there were 324 companies listed on the TSE with a total market capitalization of over $42 billion from a myriad of sectors in the economy. Close to 60 percent of the market capitalization relate to listed companies from the basic metals, motor vehicles and trailers, chemicals and byproducts, and non-metallic minerals products sectors. A total of 161 companies from the said sectors are listed on the TSE, which translates to 49.7 percent of total companies listed on the TSE. Largest stocks pertain to Mobarakeh Steel Company.

This indicates that the capital market in Tehran is heavily concentrated on economic sectors with companies that make up nearly half of the total listed companies on the exchange. While 163 companies listed are spread out amongst 26 sectors, with the food and beverages sector alone accounting to 32 companies with a market capitalization of over $89 million. However, the manager of Tehran Stock Exchange Software Unit said the new system will make it possible to purchase and sell stocks on the same day. Maryam Hosseinkhani added that the system has also made it possible for 2,000 brokerage stations to work simultaneously, while the number was just about 480 in the past. She referred to the rise in electronic dealing, non-stop input and updated data on orders, transactions and indices among other features of the new system. "The new system has made it possible to link the stock market to the international bourses. The bourse can now handle 700 transactions per second and 150,000 transactions per day," she said.


From http://www.iran-daily.com/ 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

TCI Sale Delayed

The Iranian government has delayed the planned sale of a stake in the country's monopoly fixed line operator Telecommunications Company of Iran (TCI). The state said back in November that the part-privatisation would take place before the end of the current Iranian calendar year on 20 March 2009, but a report from MEED, which quotes TCI managing director Saber Feyzi, says that the documents for the tender will not be available to interested parties until mid-March at the earliest. The state is expected to offload up to 49% of TCI's shares, with a foreign telco able to hold up to 35% and local partners the remainder. A 5% stake in TCI was sold off via an initial public offer last August, while another 5% is held by employees and 20% has been reserved for poor Iranian families. Besides dominating the fixed line sector TCI also controls the country's largest cellular operator by subscribers, MCI.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

KAZAKHSTAN: AsiaBell Launches WiMAX

The Kazakh ISP AsiaBell has launched its mobile WiMAX network in the Karaganda region of central Kazakhstan using equipment supplied by Cisco. The service, which is branded AERO, is being targeted at business and residential users in a region which is home to approximately one million people. AsiaBell chose Cisco's end-to-end Broadband Wireless Solution, including an Internet Protocol IP Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) network core, which was integrated with the public switched telephone network (PSTN). AsiaBell also offers subscribers Cisco modems for use with desktop and portable computers. Stepan Vadyunin, CEO of AsiaBell, commented: 'In 2009, we plan to expand AERO further across several regions of Kazakhstan and add video to our offering.'


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/10/2009

TOP↑

 

TURKEY: Telekom Confirms Wireline Investments

The CEO of Turk Telekom (TT) has confirmed that the company is sticking to its investment goals for fixed line services in 2009, with an expected spend of around TRY1.3 billion (USD799 million). Paul Doany told Bloomberg in an interview that the telco is hoping to see a 10% rise in overall revenues in 2009, with sales of high speed internet services up 20% and mobile revenues up 25%. The projected investments for 2009 do not include funds for TT's cellular subsidiary Avea, which must pay USD334 million this year for the 3G licence it was awarded in 2008. TT is Turkey's dominant fixed line and internet operator, while Avea holds third place in the mobile market.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

Turkcell Survives MNP

Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator in terms of subscribers, has reported that it attracted 650,000 net new customers in the final three months of 2008, taking its total user base to 37 million. Rival operator Avea said on Friday that it had gained 244,000 net new subscribers since the implementation of mobile number portability (MNP) in mid-November, meaning that the country's other cellco, Vodafone, has been the big loser since MNP was introduced; it saw customer numbers fall from 17.36 million at end-September to 16.72 million three months later.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/09/2009

TOP↑

 

Turk Telekom 2008 Results

Turk Telekom has reported net profit fell 31.2% in 2008 to TRY1.75 billion (USD1.04 billion), compared to TRY2.55 billion in 2007. Revenue grew 8% year-on-year to TRY10.2 billion for 2008, driven in the main by 24% growth in wireless revenues and 36% growth in broadband revenues, at TRY2.1 billion and TRY1.7 billion respectively. Operating expenses for 2008 were up 12% on the previous year at TRY5.9 billion. Turk Telekom, controlled by Dubai-based Oger Telecom, was listed on the Istanbul stock exchange in May 2008.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/20/2009

TOP↑

 

TURKMENISTAN: MTS Launches Wireless Internet Service

MTS company has offered Turkmenistan's subscribers "MTS Connect" service which comes with a PC modem and special "Internet" tariff plan. MTS Connect can be purchased at service centers in Ashgabat, Mary, Dashoguz and Turkmenabat cities, the Turkmenistan.ru correspondent reports from Ashgabat. "The innovative approach of MTS Connect, which is successfully working in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, will provide a unique opportunity to MTS subscribers in Turkmenistan to get an easy access to the World Wide Web from personal computers at any place and time," head of MTS Turkmenistan Dmitriy Shukov said. He noted that MTS will continue developing this service by increasing the speed of data transmission, quality and other characteristics. It should be recalled that MTS Turkmenistan launched GPRS services in Turkmenistan in March 2008. Today this service is available to subscribers in all regions of Turkmenistan. The number of GPRS service users has grown 49 times and GPRS traffic - 25 times since March 2008. MTS is planning to extend EDGE to all large cities of Turkmenistan until the end of this year.


From http://www.turkmenistan.ru/ 12/03/2008

TOP↑

 

UZBEKISTAN: Intel, Super iMax & TS-Technology to 'Cooperate'

Intel Corporation, Super iMax and TS-Technology have signed an agreement to cooperate on jointly promoting their products and services in Uzbekistan. Super iMax, using the brandname EVO, operates a WiMAX-based network over which it offers telephony, internet and VPN services. TS-Technology, meanwhile, is one of the largest producers of computer and server equipment in Uzbekistan and is licensed to use Intel products.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 12/16/2008

TOP↑

 

Cabmin's IT Complex Sums Up 2008 Results

Number of internet users in Uzbekistan grew by 22.5% in 2008 to 2.4 million users, a session of the Complex on information systems and telecommunications of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan said. The session said number of mobile communication in Uzbekistan reached 12.5 million users. Enterprises of the complex produced goods and rendered services for 1.493 trillion soums or up 56.8% year-on-year. The complex attracted US$243.87 million of foreign direct investments, which allowed to fulfill investment programme by 135%.


From http://business.uzreport.com/ 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

AUSTRALIA: Aussie ICT Layoffs: The Scorecard

Australia's ICT industry is being hit hard by the global economic crisis, with many companies laying off staff or entering hiring freezes in the past few months. We'll track the cuts on an ongoing basis in this complete list. Some companies, like Telstra, Commander and Optima, were losing staff regardless of the crisis, due to other business issues that have, in Commander and Optima's cases, forced the companies to close their doors. Others, particularly the local arms of global companies such as eBay and EDS, have taken part in global cuts by retrenching some local staff. But mainly Australian firms like UXC and Optus have also cut staff, while some, such as SMS Management and Technology, have simply reduced their hiring plans. Internationally, the last few months have seen dramatic cutbacks at the likes of Nortel, Symantec, Xerox, Nokia, Yahoo and Dell, to name a few. It's unclear yet how many have done the same locally without disclosing the cuts. Fortunately, the hiring climate in Australia's technology industry remains buoyant, with recruiters still trying to build up their banks of skilled workers looking for employment.

This table was last updated on 30 January, 2009.

Company

How many

Date

Further reading

eBay

18

07/10/2008

eBay Australia fires 18 staff

HP/EDS

450

Three-year plan

HP/EDS Australia expect to cut 450

Optus

115

20/10/2008

Optus confirms 115 jobs to go

Cellnet

Undisclosed

31/10/2008

Cellnet cut jobs in restructure

UXC

12

04/11/2008

Layoffs hit UXC

KAZ (Telstra)

100

24/09/2008

Kaz to fire 100 staff

Telstra

800

18/09/2008

800 sacked as Telstra integrates BigPond

Elders

40

06/08/2008

Elders staff fired as telco arm closed

Engin

Undisclosed

05/08/2008

Bleeding Engin bandages wounds

Freshtel

Undisclosed

29/08/2008

Freshtel's VoIP dreams turn into a nightmare?

Commander

Undisclosed

Ongoing

Union targets Commander leftovers

Optima

Undisclosed

23/10/2008

Optima shut down, assets auctioned off

Yahoo!7

About 10

18/08/2008

Job cuts hit Yahoo!7

National Australia Bank

443

Ongoing

NAB confirms further IT job cuts

PacNet

22

14/11/08

PacNet offshores 22 Aussie jobs

Alphawest

33

01/12/08

Alphawest lays off 33

Ericsson

300

02/12/08

Ericsson chops 300 A/NZ workers

IBM

Unclear

02/12/08

IBM laying off 2,600 Asia-Pac workers?

3 Mobile

Unclear

02/12/08

Contractors go from 3 Mobile

Integ (UXC division)

6

04/12/08

UXC's Integ cuts staff by six

Goldman Sachs JBWere

About a dozen

03/12/08

Goldman Sachs cuts IT jobs

ANZ Bank

Unknown

08/12/08

ANZ silent on Xmas IT staff cuts

Dialog

Unknown

09/12/08

Aussie IT firm Dialog sheds staff

Oakton

Single digit %

11/12/08

Oakton joins layoff list

Websense

25

03/12/08

Websense shuts Sydney R&D team down

Logica

Unknown

15/12/08

Logica Australia in job cuts

Lenovo

Unknown

08/01/09

Australia will feel Lenovo cuts

Vodafone NZ

About 20

15/01/09

Redundancies hit Vodafone NZ

Nokia Siemens Networks

Less than 15

16/01/09

Australian Nokia-Siemens jobs head offshore

AMD

Unknown

19/01/09

AMD job cuts to hit Australia

Microsoft

1

23/01/09

Microsoft cuts skip Australia

Citrix

Unknown

29/01/09

Citrix cuts to hit Australia

Any we've missed or should know about? Drop us a line and let us know. We'll keep everything confidential.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

Govt Kicks Telstra Out of NBN Tender

"Telstra has been informed that the Commonwealth has excluded it from the National Broadband Network requests for proposals process," the telco said in a statement this morning. Telstra had submitted what many considered to be a very brief non-conforming bid on 26 November when responses were due, although Communications Minister Stephen Conroy at the time said that the telco's response would be considered. Telstra chairman Donald McGauchie said the government's reasoning was that Telstra's bid did not include a plan for how to involve small to medium enterprises in the building of the NBN, a claim McGauchie said was fiction, as Telstra provided its SME plan in early December. "The Commonwealth could hardly have dreamed up a more trivial reason to exclude Telstra from the NBN," the chairman said. The telco was notified last night of its exclusion, according to chief executive Sol Trujillo, speaking at a briefing called at short notice this morning.

"Clearly we are a bit surprised at taking this action on a triviality," he said. "We were very clear in our minds that we were fully compliant." Telstra's group general counsel Will Irving said that pushing Telstra out of the process was clearly a choice for the government and not a move based on the conditions of the RFP. "The government has the power under the existing process, if it wanted to have Telstra in the process, to keep Telstra in the process," he said. "Even if you take their view of the way they say the RFP has been worded, they could still have chosen to have us there if they'd wanted to. For that reason we assume that they do not wish to have us there." Irving said that Telstra was out of the expert panel process, but after that was completed it would be up to the government if it wanted to talk to Telstra about the NBN. Trujillo seemed to believe there was still the chance Telstra would get a look-in. "The RFP process leads only to the minister getting a recommendation. It is open for the government to re-engage with Telstra if and when it wishes," he said. "The minister can talk to whoever he wants to talk to after the panel reports to the minister. He can decide to take to cabinet whatever proposal he chooses. The cabinet will then make a decision."

The company had not decided on whether to take legal action or not. "We reserve our rights on future action. It is too early to rule anything in or out and we remain hopeful that sense will prevail outside the RFP process at a later date," Trujillo said. Even if the move spelled curtains for Telstra's NBN bid, the telco had other options, Trujillo said, pointing to the possibility of extending the company's HFC cable network and increasing speeds of its Next G mobile network. Besides, Trujillo said, the company would have plenty of time. "Even after decisions and legislation, there is a lot of time left to run before anyone else starts building. In which case any real impact on Telstra, even assuming we don't respond, and of course we will respond competitively, is years away," he said. Telstra would beat the other bidders to the punch, Trujillo said. "We know that we can move faster, we can move bigger." His last words were: "Nothing stops Telstra".


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 12/15/2009

TOP↑

 

Industry Engaged on ICT Reforms

The Department of Finance and Deregulation is engaging directly with Australia's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry as part of the Rudd Government's commitment to close collaboration during the implementation of its ICT reforms. Today the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) conducted the second in a series of ICT industry briefs on the implementation of reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government ICT. Lindsay Tanner, Minister for Finance and Deregulation, said: "The Government's ICT Reform Program is implementing the most significant changes to the way government manages its ICT estate to date." In November 2008, the Government commenced the ICT Reform Program after it endorsed the recommendations resulting from Sir Peter Gershon's independent review of the use and management of ICT. Lindsay Tanner said: "In implementing these reforms we are committed to engaging with the ICT industry to ensure that we minimise the obstacles for entry into the public sector ICT market, and that government and businesses are better able to work together in delivering effective and efficient services and public administration."

Sir Peter Gershon identified obstacles such as overly prescriptive statements of requirement; onerous procurement processes; slow decision making; the position taken by agencies on intellectual property; and the inconsistent application of the Government's policy on liability. At today's event, Australian Government CIO Ann Steward provided an overview of the implementation of the reform program, including the restructure of AGIMO, the new ICT governance regime, progress on agencies' reducing their ICT business-as-usual expenditure, and the ways in which industry can participate in the reform process. Lindsay Tanner said: "It is vital that industry utilise this opportunity to collaborate directly with government on the range of reform initiatives." "One key component of the ICT Reform Program is the development of client and supplier codes of practice. These codes will enable earlier engagement with industry in the procurement process, and allow business to respond more effectively to agencies' requirements for non-commodity products." "Through direct engagement and cooperation with ICT industry, we can effect significant improvements to the ways in which the public and private sectors work together to deliver services to Australia's citizens." AGIMO will conduct further Industry briefings during 2009.


From http://www.financeminister.gov.au/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

Grim Outlook for New IT Projects

The grim economic outlook has caused CIOs to withhold budgets, ditch new projects and cut back on contractors, according to technology analyst firm Longhaus' Australian Technology Index for the first quarter of 2009. The peak for the local IT industry was 2007, driven largely by hardware refreshes that were part of what Longhaus has called "Y2K-related asset refreshes". With that period largely over, and the deteriorating global economy, work is expected to dry up. The index is based on a proprietary model used by Longhaus to measure the health of the Australian ICT industry. It measures demand forces, including ICT spending and importing, supply factors (including venture capital), strength of vendors as indicated by market value and employment capacity, and consumer factors such as internet subscription rates. It also uses heuristic views from Australian CIOs. Uncertainty had caused 26 per cent of the 69 CIOs, who represent organisations with at least 200 employees, to withhold on average 12.5 per cent of their budgets, Longhaus reported.

That uncertainty would also mean IT contractors will be cut back due to new projects being shelved - and exacerbated by moves within the Federal and Queensland Governments to cut back on the use of more contractors, who can be more expensive than permanent staff. "Longhaus believe that the lack of new investments in infrastructure technologies and a stalling of ICT projects is the likely cause behind the proposed reduction in contractors," it reported. However, the outlook for those seeking permanent work was better, with 67 per cent of CIOs saying they expected to boost the size of their permanent workforce. The index has echoed concerns of Australian IT outsourcing companies regarding new projects as funding and new business opportunities dried up. ASG chief executive, Geoff Lewis, said the company would most likely not bid for new "discretionary spending" projects, preferring to focus on multi-year infrastructure and core business systems management deals. "This is a very serious recession and will have serious ramifications in the financial arena," said Lewis. "Organisations will be very scrutinising of capital spending and will be looking for savings in their operational budgets," he recently told ZDNet.com.au. The downturn, however, could present a good opportunity for CIOs on the skills front, according to Longhaus.

"This is the time for savvy CIOs to go on a recruitment drive. However, CIOs should be forward-looking in their appraisal of the right permanent skills and opt for applications development and business analysis above core infrastructure headcount," Longhaus said in the index report. The hunt for permanent skills in the current climate has become easier, according to Peter Kazacos, chief executive of P K Business Advantage and founder of Telstra's IT services business Kaz, who said his company had not required recruitment services for months. "There are a number of recruitment firms that are about to hit the wall. We haven't used a recruiter in months, simply because we don't have to," he said. But the question that has eluded many analyst firms is exactly how deep and long the downturn is expected to last. Gartner earlier this year put forward widely varied estimates of how the technology sector would weather the storm. Head of research at Gartner Peter Sondergaard was certain that IT budgets would slow in 2009, but dared not answer how long for. "Your guess is as good as anybody else's," he said. But Longhaus has estimated the downturn affecting the Australian IT industry would, based on past downturns, be stemmed by 2010. "The next wave of hardware renewal in Australia is set to begin in 2010," it said.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

NEW ZEALAND: Technology Group Takes Shape at Internal Affairs

SSC's Government Technology Services to merge with Internal Affairs IT The Government Technology Service (GTS) will form part of a ninth business group within the Department of Internal Affairs and will be merged with the department's existing IT services unit. According to briefing papers prepared for incoming minister Richard Worth, the new business group would incorporate the department's existing IT group and programme office as well as the GTS, which includes ICT service delivery functions being transferred from the State Services Commission. In February 2008, Cabinet decided the service delivery and ICT leadership functions within State Services Commission would be separated and the GTS would be transferred to DIA. The ICT leadership function, headed by government CIO Lawrence Millar, will remain part of SSC. "There are three lines of business within GTS: Identity Management Services, Government Information Services and Government Network Services," the briefing says. "Responsibilities include the development and promotion of web and authentications standards, the operation of shared services (Government Logon Service, SEE Mail, Government Shared Network), the build of the Identity Verification Service, moderation of the govt.nz web domain, and a number of government web sites including newzealand.govt.nz and the government intranet psi.govt.nz." The transfer involves approximately 85 staff and new premises to house the unit are being found. "The timing of the transition is to be determined with the chief executive of the Department of Internal Affairs and will be contingent on funding decisions to be made in the Budget 2009 round. The earliest the move can take place is 1 July 2009," the papers say.


From http://computerworld.co.nz/ 12/16/2008

TOP↑

 

Wireless Technology to Support High-speed Broadband

Communications and Information Technology Minister Steven Joyce today announced the outcome of consultation which will enhance take-up of wireless technology to support high-speed broadband networks. Feedback from industry participants has now been received on the discussion paper, High Capacity Short Haul Point to Point Linking in the 70 to 90 GHz Band. Wireless technology using this band may provide a cost-effective option to extend the fibre optical network in support of high-speed broadband networks, particularly in metropolitan areas. Several manufacturers already supply appropriate equipment, making the technology an increasingly attractive and practical option for network providers. Offering access to this band will support the government's priority of rolling out high- speed broadband infrastructure. "The outcomes of this consultation will ensure that spectrum management in the 70-90 GHz band contributes to our goal of widespread delivery of ultra-fast broadband, and maximises the value of this spectrum to industry participants and consumers," says Mr Joyce. Submissions received on the consultation paper show that demand exists for access to the 70-90 GHz band. The consultation process also resolved a number of issues around the appropriate choice of technical standards and operating parameters. Submitters expressed a preference for long-term interference protection over ease of access to the band. Interference protection using the standard administrative radio licensing regime rather than the more light-handed general user licence approach was the preferred option. "The government proposes that changes are made to current policies to permit licensing of fixed point to point links in the 70-90 GHz band under the administrative licensing regime," says Mr Joyce. The new policies will be put in place by the middle of the year.


From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

Digital Development Council Gathers Broadband Data

The Digital Development Council is collecting information on regional broadband initiatives, planning to see what "gaps" exist and how they can be remedied by information transfer among the regions, says executive director Paul Alexander. The DDC will release a report on the regional state of broadband development in February. This will be a "subjective" evaluation of work in the regions, Alexander says, and is designed to complement the more objective report on possible national broadband strategies released by InternetNZ late last year. DDC representatives met ICT Minister Steven Joyce last December and have been told any decisions on broadband funding and implementation will not be made until the end of January at the earliest. The organisation will try to position itself to meet some of the minister's evident priorities. "He's clearly interested in seeing definite results," says Alexander. Despite an emphasis by the previous government on "cutting the apron strings" between itself and the sector with the formation of DDC and the Digital Development Forum, "we want and need to work closely with government", Alexander says.

Other priorities for January will include "working with the newly formed NZ ICT [industry] group, the Computer Society and others on a plan of attack to address ICT skills shortages, and meeting with business groups and providers of programmes to make smarter use of ICT," says DDC chair Fran Wilde in a statement on the DDC website (www.ddc.org.nz). The DDC's discussion with Joyce did not touch significantly on skills, says Alexander. The Computer Society has done significant work on this already, he says, and clearly much of that is related to the industry and will come under the purview of the NZ ICT group. When it comes to a more general question of digital literacy, DDC members such as the 2020 Communications Trust will be able to make more of a contribution. There will no doubt be a "pathway or pipeline" by which the two initiatives will connect, Alexander says.


From http://computerworld.co.nz/ 01/21/2009

TOP↑

 

Telecom NZ Commits to VDSL2 Roll-out

Telecom New Zealand has announced that its wholesale division will be rolling out super-fast VDSL2 (Very High Speed Digital Subscriber Line 2) technology, allowing it to offer "one of the fastest broadband services in the world". The carrier will be bringing the technology to its roadside cabinets, the equivalent of Australia's nodes, and local telephone exchanges. Telecom New Zealand is in the midst of rolling out 2,500 kilometres of fibre in a project which will allow over 80 per cent of New Zealanders to access high speed broadband by 2011. The VDSL2 upgrade will enable "high-speed" broadband to be "higher-speed" broadband. New Zealanders within one kilometre of the cabinets and exchanges will be able to achieve up to 50Mbps downlink and up to 20Mbps up.

"We have been testing VDSL2 for several months now and we're excited to be getting the VDSL2 roll-out underway in key metropolitan centres across New Zealand," Telecom Wholesale chief executive Matt Crockett said in a statement. "With the fibre-to-the-node program hotting up and shortening copper loop lengths across the country, it's the perfect time to deploy VDSL2." The carrier did not disclose how much would be spent on the roll-out. From March, VDSL2 line cards will be installed into all cabinets and local telephone exchanges in towns and cities with more than 500 lines. The service providers buying from Telecom NZ wholesale will be able to offer the product from then, with key Auckland exchange areas serviced and available in the second quarter of the year and major cities and towns in the third quarter of the year. For customers which live more than one kilometre from an exchange, the line cards operate in ADSL2+ mode. In Australia, Eftel has also been rolling out a VDSL network.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

World-Leading Project Preserves New Zealand's Digital Memory

The National Digital Heritage Archive - which will ensure New Zealand's digital memory is preserved in perpetuity - is being launched today by the Minister Responsible for the National Library Richard Worth. Dr Worth said a public/private partnership between the National Library and international companies had resulted in the first commercially viable digital preservation system in the world. "The NDHA will serve as the nation's storehouse for digital materials, websites, cds, dvds, images and digitised copies of print and audiovisual assets that make up our digital heritage collection," said Dr Worth. "It will ensure that our digital heritage will be accessible years after the original technologies have become obsolete and that our country's digital memory is preserved." Dr Worth said quality New Zealand content played an important role in promoting and enhancing our unique heritage, as well as helping businesses and communities build their knowledge and expertise. "Increasingly that content is digital and it is very important that we do not lose access to it."

He said the project was a great example of a successful collaboration between public and private partners with support from recognised thought leaders and innovators across the international library and academic communities. The Library partnered with international companies Sun Microsystems and Ex Libris Group. Penny Carnaby, National Librarian and Chief Executive of the National Library, highlighted the benefits of this alliance. "A very important legacy of the National Digital Heritage Archive is the digital preservation and project management expertise that has been developed and retained within New Zealand through working with international partners." The NDHA was established in 2004 with a budget of $24 million over five years. "I am very pleased that the project has successfully met its objectives and been delivered on time and to budget," said Ms Carnaby. "It is generating a lot of overseas interest and we are very proud to be leading the way in the future of digital preservation."


From http://www.beehive.govt.nz/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

ASIA: Asean Camp Equips Children with It Skills

The Asean Cyberkids Camp (ACC) launched recently at the Sheraton Subang Hotel & Towers in Malaysia brought together 120 school children accompanied by their teachers from nine countries across the Asean region, to train them in IT while also teaching them about teamwork and leadership skills. Jointly organised by the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry (KTAK), the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (SKMM), with Maxis Communications Bhd, the ACC is aimed at bridging the digital divide. Maxis CEO Sandip Das said the ACC was an extension of the Maxis Cyberkids Camp that is a flagship project of the company's corporate social responsibility programme, launched five years ago. "The camp is a 100 per cent Malaysian programme that has spread across Asean countries. It's an ideal activity to promote regional integration and cooperation," said Das. To date, the Maxis Cyberkids Camp has trained more than 7000 students between nine and 14 on basic IT skills, and also teachers from over 1300 schools across Malaysia.

The participating countries were Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. "It's our hope that we can help move some of the remote community forward and ultimately bridging the digital gap," said Das. The camp was inaugurated by Energy, Water, and Communications Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Halim Man. Also present was SKMM chairman Datuk Dr Halim Shafie. Man said since the implementation of the Multimedia Super Corridor project in the mid 90s, one of the flagship applications was the smart school project that focused on IT in learning. He expressed hope for the ACC to be an ideal platform to exchange ideas and bringing the best out of the children. "We see a lot of rural children joining this programme and it's interesting to have children from various countries coming under one roof to learn some IT skills," said Man. Man said it was the organiser's hope to open the children's eyes to new possibilities. Each participating country was represented by a team of four students and a teacher. A total of 10 teams represented Malaysia at the regional camp.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/05/2008

TOP↑

 

More Arabic Web Sites in the Middle East

A new project to digitise approximately 18,000 books in Arabic has been implemented in Qatar and the Gulf. Many Arabic-speaking people in Qatar and the Gulf are still deprived of access to web sites in their language. However, the Information and Communication Technology Qatar (ictQatar) is now working to close the digital divide gap. "There are about 300 million of us and 65 per cent of Arabs who explore the internet do not read or write English. Additionally, few of the sites in that one or two per cent have good quality," said Dr Hessa Al Jaber, ictQatar General Secretary. She, however, admitted the effort to develop more Arabic web sites still poses a great challenge that requires a serious effort from all Arab countries. "When most people view the digital divide they always consider access capability and affordability. For the Arab region the availability of the Arabic content is a very important factor," commented Jaber.

She said ictQatar had already blazed a trail when it developed the Hukoomi web site early this year, which is a huge upgrade from the previous e-government site and offers e-services and useful information about Qatar and all government agencies and councils. Jaber has solicited support from people who can read and write both English and Arabic to join the effort to close the "digital divide." "When we developed Hukoomi, there were identical Arabic and English sections, but it was much easier for us to work on the English one because the application was simpler in terms of design and technical matters. The team spent a lot more time on the Arabic part," Jaber said. Developing more Arabic web sites is part of ictQatar's goal to connect people to modern technology that enriches their lives and drives economic development. "When we started ictQatar in 2005, we identified how technology could advance Qatar's vision in becoming a knowledge-base economy. The government is working in all sectors to create a prosperous future where citizens enjoy unlimited social, economic and political opportunities. ICT is a crucial part of achieving that goal," she said.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/23/2008

TOP↑

 

Asia's Shoppers Go Online as Internet Barriers Fall

From dresses, to handbags, diamonds and music downloads, consumers in Asia are taking to Internet shopping like never before as the region becomes one of the world's fastest growing e-commerce markets. "I like to shop for clothes online because no sales girls will pester me," said Cecelia Wang, a 23-year-old university student in Taipei, who spends about T$1,500 ($44) each month on Internet purchases. "For online shopping, all I need to do is sit in my room and shop, which is great." Internet retailing is increasingly making its presence felt in Asia because telecommunications infrastructure has improved, and payment modes, a major obstacle to online shopping, are now more secure, analysts say. Internet penetration rates, the percent of the population that has Internet access, is about 17 percent in Asia versus 73 percent in North America and almost 50 percent in Europe, according to www.internetworldstats.com. As more people in Asian countries such as China and India get hooked up to the Internet, online sales are expected to rise by an average of 20 percent a year. In some markets, such as Japan, they are expected to increase by as much as 40 percent annually.

"There is a huge opportunity for retailers in Asia-Pacific to benefit from the cost-savings of operating online," said Sandra Hanchard, a senior analyst at online intelligence service Hitwise, a subsidiary of Experian Group. "Surfing the Internet is now a mainstream lifestyle activity. More and more traditional retailers are realizing that this is an opportunity to connect directly with consumers. Although the global economic downturn has affected both traditional and online retailers, analysts say the gloomy economic outlook is actually encouraging consumers to hunt for second-hand goods online or make greater use of auction and rental websites such as http://www.thatbagiwant.com. Asia's tech-savvy online shoppers buy everything from furniture and flowers to airline tickets and iPods. Online games such as mahjong are gaining popularity in Taiwan. In Hong Kong and Australia, shoppers are drawn to overseas retail websites. Amazon.com and eBay are among the most popular sites in Asia. In China, e-commerce firm Alibaba.com operates an online site connecting importers and exporters of Chinese goods.

ONLINE GEMS
On eBay India, which has more than 2 million registered users, top purchases in 2008 included gemstones, mobile handsets, MP3 players, women's apparel and Indian stamps and coins, said Deepa Thomas, eBay India's senior manager of pop culture. The company's sales show that despite relatively low Internet penetration, Indians have readily embraced online shopping. "Earlier, people only bought easily affordable items, but now they're also buying more high-value items and unusual items as they have more confidence shopping online," said Thomas. Market research firm Euromonitor International forecasts Internet retail sales in the Asia-Pacific region will reach in excess of $71 billion by 2012, almost doubling that of 2007. Asia still lags behind the United States, where Forrester Research projects online spending in 2009 to reach about $156 billion, up from $141 billion last year. In the recession-hit U.S., online sales at retailers such as Best Buy Co Inc and Macy's Inc continue to grow despite weaker store sales. Hanchard, the analyst at Hitwise, says that online retail in the Asia-Pacific region has been slow to develop compared to Europe and the United States, partly because retailers haven't put as much money into their online channels. In Australia, broadband speed and worries about payment security have also acted as deterrents. Improvements in Internet technology and signs that more consumers are shopping online in Asia is encouraging retailers to take advantage of online distribution channels. RR Australia Ltd, owner of Australia's largest household appliances rental company Radio Rentals, launched online electrical store Big Brown Box in November 2008, partly because Australians can't order electronics from websites abroad due to voltage and electrical socket differences. "We know that the appetite for consumers purchasing online is growing by the day. There are many people who are very time poor, relative to their ability to actually get out there and shop," RR Australia Managing Director John Hughes said.

EXPANDING SALES
What's interesting, say analysts at KPMG, is that the online retail sales market is expanding in more mature markets such as Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan. These are countries that possess some of the world's most effective communication services and penetration rates for broadband Internet access. In Taiwan, online shopping transactions rose 32.3 percent to T$243 billion ($7.1 billion) last year, with most people buying clothes, accessories, beauty and health products on the Internet, the Institute for Information Industry said. A Visa e-Commerce Tracking survey of 3,000 Internet users in Australia, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong found they spent an average of $3,000 shopping online over a 12 month period ending in March-April 2008. The biggest benefit of Internet shopping for many Asian consumers is that it gives them access to goods they simply cannot buy at home, or can find cheaper abroad. However, there are drawbacks to Internet shopping, users say. "Despite the convenience in all the clickings, online shopping has its own set of problems," said Annabelle Aw, a 30-year-old events organizer in Singapore. "The last thing I bought was a watch. It took me almost three months to sort out the delivery." (Additional reporting by Simone Giuliani in Melbourne and Rina Chandran in Mumbai; Graphic by Catherine Trevethan; Editing by Megan Goldin)


From http://ca.news.yahoo.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

EUROPE: Health-e-Child Wins the ICT 2008 Exhibit Grand Prize

On 27 November 2008, Health-e-Child, a European project for clinical decision support and knowledge discovery in paediatrics diseases, won the Exhibit Grand Prize of the ICT 2008 Exhibition. The project aims at building a Grid-enabled European network of leading clinical centres that will share and annotate biomedical data, validate systems clinically, and diffuse clinical excellence across Europe by setting up new technologies, clinical workflows, and standards. To this end, the project uses grid 'supercomputing' technology with the aim: To gain a comprehensive view of the child's health by vertically integrating biomedical data, information and knowledge that spans the entire spectrum from genetic to clinical to epidemiological; To develop a biomedical information platform, supported by sophisticated and robust search, optimization and matching techniques for heterogeneous information, empowered by the Grid; To build enabling tools and services on top of the Health-e-Child platform, that will lead to innovative and better healthcare solutions in Europe; To integrate disease models exploiting all available information levels; To create database-guided biomedical support systems enabling novel clinical practices and personalized healthcare for children; To achieve large-scale, cross-modality and longitudinal information fusion and data mining for biomedical knowledge discovery.

The Health-e-Child system envisages to become the universal biomedical knowledge repository and communication conduit for the future, a common vehicle by which all clinicians will access, analyze, evaluate, enhance, and exchange biomedical information of all forms, to be accessible at any time and from anywhere, and to offer a friendly, multi-modal, efficient, and effective interaction and exploration environment. The biennial ICT event is the most important forum for discussing research and public policy in information and communication technologies at European level. It brings together researchers and innovators, policy and business decision-makers working in the field of digital technologies. The ICT Event is organized by the European Commission's Directorate General for the Information Society and Media and is usually hosted by the current Presidency of the European Union. The "ICT 2008 Exhibit Grand Prize" is doted with 10 000 Euros.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

Online Consumer Education Programmes Launched in Bulgaria and Romania

European Commissioner for Consumer Affairs Meglena Kuneva launched on 8 December 2008 in Sofia, Bulgaria, new Internet programmes designed to help Bulgarian and Romanian adults and children know more about their basic consumers' rights. The EU's online consumer education programme ("DOLCETA" www.dolceta.eu ) sets out clearly - in three levels, for basic to more advanced users - what consumer rights citizens have, on issues ranging from sales contracts, guarantees, to settling disputes and taking out a credit loan. DOLCETA is designed to be used by trainers and teachers in adult education, as well as in schools for 15-18 year old students, in primary schools, and for training or reference work by consumer organizations, government agencies, NGOs or community education programmes. The DOLCETA online tools provide basic, easy-to-use information on a range of consumer rights including, with practical everyday examples, questions and answers and quiz questions to test one's knowledge. There are four on line modules covering: basic consumer rights (contracts, labeling, distance selling, advertising, redress); financial services (family budget, credit, mortgages, saving and investment); safety of products and services; a special module aimed at teachers with pedagogical materials (intro consumer education, responsible, healthy and safe consumers). Following their extension to Bulgaria and Romania, the online consumer education tools now exist in almost all EU languages, taking into account national legislation and culture. Commissioner Kuneva said: "Consumers in the European Union enjoy some of the strongest consumer rights in the world, but too often people don't know their rights, or understand clearly how to use them. Every consumer needs to know what their rights are when they go to return a good, what to do if they don't get what was advertised, where to complain if the bill seems to overcharge, where to get help to settle a dispute if you need it. This is the kind of practical information and training that helps people stand up for their rights and get the quality and service they deserve, online or in the high street."


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/18/2008

TOP↑

 

Finland Local School Enrolment Online

In Finland's capital city, children's enrolment in local schools can now be performed by electronic means via the Wilma system. Children living in Helsinki who have reached the age of compulsory education (7 years old) during 2009 must be officially enrolled in their local school, in which a place has been reserved for each one of them. The relevant local school is indicated in a compulsory education notification which is mailed to the child's parents/guardians at the beginning of 2009. Electronic enrolment is possible only when the child is enrolled in the local school indicated in the compulsory education notification. The new eService is accessible in English, Finnish and Swedish on the Wilma system of the Education Department of the city of Helsinki. The required user ID and password are indicated in the child's compulsory education notification. Wilma is directly integrated with the student management systems of comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools and general upper secondary schools for adults. The system is intended to facilitate communication between schools and parents/guardians, as well as between teachers and their pupils/students.

Wilma is not only used by schools to handle matters related to the educational arrangements and the education of pupils and students; it also serves to convey relevant information to parents/guardians, pupils and students while facilitating the interaction of all those concerned. The online system provides a wide range of services to: Teachers, who can include the evaluations given to their pupils/students, follow their performance, assist them in completing the syllabuses or choosing courses for upper secondary school, log absences and keep track of explanations. The student welfare personnel can also take part in this monitoring process. Parents/guardians, who can keep in touch with teachers, follow their child's performance, read bulletins, notify illnesses and explain absences, take part in surveys and learn more about the school's strategy. Similarly, teachers, school social workers and psychologists can contact parents/guardians through the system. Pupils/students, who can view their own grades and their absences as recorded by the teacher. Like parents/guardians, they can also read messages sent by the teacher, send him/her messages and answer online surveys. Upper secondary school students can furthermore select courses and check their classes' schedule.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

Lithuania Launched Electronic ID Cards

The Migration Office of Republic of Lithuania has started accepting applications for the new personal identity cards (ID cards) on 5 January 2009. ID cards will be used to identify the person in cyberspace, and will allow the secure signing of electronic documents. The new ID card has both contact and contact-less chips integrated. The contact chip will hold a person's identification data and a qualified certificate for eSignature, issued by the Residents' Registry Service under the Ministry of Interior. The contact-less chip will carry the biometric data; one's facial image and fingerprints, which will also hinder the counterfeiting of ID cards and reduce the possibility of its use by other persons. "The identity card will allow a safe identification of a person, it will give individuals the opportunity to use secure electronic signatures for electronic documents (contracts, declarations, etc.), access to national and European public electronic services. Such service providers will be able to safely and reliably identify and authenticate people in cyberspace" - said the Interior Minister Raimundas Palaitis while presenting the new ID cards.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/12/2009

TOP↑

 

Lithuania: Successful Implementation of the 'Ehealth Services' Project

The implementation of the project consisted of the design, installation and operation of hospital information systems in three regional healthcare institutions of Lithuania: the Kaunas University of Medicine Hospital, the Klaipėda University Hospital and the Vilnius University Hospital Santariškių Klinikos. The hospital information systems will allow residents to offer high quality medical services, while providing better healthcare management conditions. To this end, each of the three participating hospitals has been massively equipped with new hardware. The eHealth Services project, which is carried out by the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania, is part of the development of a national eHealth system. The aim of the project is to implement an uniform international standards-based electronic health records and healthcare system (NESS) covering the entire country. Such system is intended to make it possible for healthcare institutions to securely and rapidly exchange data pertaining to the patients' treatment services, procedures and lab tests results.

The executive manager of the project, Evaldas Dobravolskas, noted that although the project was very complicated and complex, and its execution time rather optimistic, the project activities have been successfully implemented, and its objectives achieved. "The successful implementation of the project is a very important step for the development of an eHealth system in Lithuania. This is the cornerstone of the starting point for further implementation of similar systems in other hospitals in the country," he said. In addition, draft legislation and recommendations on electronic health data are being developed under the framework of this project. The 'eHealth Services' project is supported by the Lithuanian Government (6.617 million Litas - approximately €2 million) and partly financed by the European Union (8.578 m Litas - approximately €2.4 million).


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/22/2009

TOP↑

 

SOUTH AMERICA: World's Largest Virtualised Desktop Deployment in Brazil's Schools

Brazil is to install 356,800 virtualised desktops to schools in all of the country's 5560 municipalities, allowing millions of schoolchildren to access information technology across the country. The project, undertaken by the country's Ministry of Education, is expected to be the world's largest ever virtual desktop deployment. Uerful and ThinNetworks are selected to provide the virtualisation software and hardware respectively. The virtualised units offer the features of a full PC including high performance video. Using standard low cost video cards and USB/2-way-audio hubs, they are procured at less than US$50 per additional seat, not including monitors and keyboards. The project turns each computer into up to 10 independent workstations through desktop virtualisation. Unused computing power is shared between the virtualised workstations, each having its monitor, mouse and keyboard. This enabled the Brazilian government to supply unprecedented number of workstations to its schools, while achieving 60 per cent savings in up-front costs and 80 per cent in annual power savings. Additional savings are expected in the administration and support costs of the entire implementation. The project also comes with minimised environmental impact. By virtualising the desktops, CO2 emissions are expected to be reduced by 170,000 tons annually, and the hardware waste is reduced by 80 per cent - a dramatic cutback in environmental footprint. The hardware is designed to work in harsh conditions with little supporting infrastructure, allowing deployment in schools located in remote indigenous villages where infrastructure is minimal and electricity is unreliable. A competitive bidding process was conducted for all three phases of the project, with the first being the installation of 18,750 workstations in rural areas, which has been successfully accomplished.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

Worldwide Internet-user Total Passes 1B

Global Internet usage reached over 1 billion unique visitors in December, with 41.3 percent coming from the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report released on Friday by ComScore. The Web research firm's study looked at Internet users over the age of 15 who accessed the Web from their home or work computers in the month of December. Europe grabbed the next-largest slice, with 28 percent of the global Internet audience, followed by the United States, with an 18.4 percent slice. But Latin America is the one to watch, even though it holds a much smaller piece - 7.4 percent - of the global Internet audience, according to Jamie Gavin, a ComScore senior analyst. "The United States is slowing down in its growth and momentum, but Latin America, with social networking and the mobile Internet, is expected to gain momentum over the next few years," Gavin said. He noted that while population plays a role in pushing certain regions to register a larger Internet audience, an equally important factor is the ability of the Internet to easily cross borders and take root. The study compared countries as well as global regions. China accounted for the most Internet users worldwide, with a 17.8 percent share of unique visitors, according to the report. The United States ranked second with 16.2 percent, and Japan came a distant third with 6 percent. Across specific Internet properties, Google reached a sizable share of the global internet market, accounting for 77 percent of the worldwide audience, or nearly 776 million users. Microsoft Web sites were accessed by 64.2 percent of users, and Yahoo sites 55.8 percent, according to ComScore. AOL, meanwhile, reached 27.1 percent of the worldwide Internet audience.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

Generations Online in 2009

Contrary to the image of Generation Y as the "Net Generation," Internet users in their 20s do not dominate every aspect of online life. Generation X is the most likely group to bank, shop and look for health information online. Boomers are just as likely as Generation Y to make travel reservations online. And even those born before 1945 are competitive when it comes to e-mail. The Web continues to be populated largely by younger generations, as over half of the adult Internet population is between 18 and 44 years old. But larger percentages of older generations are online now than in the past, and they are doing more activities online, according to the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project surveys taken from 2006-2008.

Teens and Generation Y (Internet users age 18-32) are the most likely groups to use the Internet for entertainment and for communicating with friends and family. These younger generations are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to seek entertainment through online videos, online games and virtual worlds, and they are also more likely to download music to listen to later. Internet users ages 12-32 are more likely than older users to read other people's blogs and to write their own; they are also considerably more likely than older generations to use social networking sites and to create profiles on those sites. Compared with teens and Generation Y, older generations use the Internet less for socializing and entertainment and more as a tool for information searches, e-mailing, and buying products. In particular, older Internet users are significantly more likely than younger generations to look online for health information. Health questions drive Internet users age 73 and older to the Internet just as frequently as they drive Generation Y users, outpacing teens by a significant margin. Researching health information is the third most popular online activity with the most senior age group, after e-mail and online search.


From http://www.govtech.com/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

CHINA: On-line Job Fairs to Help College Graduates Arranged

To help college graduates find employment, China's Ministry of Education has planned 13 on-line job fairs in cooperation with 10 other ministries from now through June, 2009, according to the ministry. It will also recruit 30,000 college students as rural teachers next year, a figure that's nearly equal to the total summation of 2006 and 2007. The move is part of the ministry's larger drive to channel grads into vacant jobs in the country's remote, less-developed western regions. It is predicted that Chinese college graduates face greater difficulty finding jobs these days due to the impact of the world financial crisis. Graduates are also being encouraged to join the military where they would have the chance to study in army-affiliated institutes and get quick promotions. Other plans to help new grads include raising the number of full-time postgraduate and second-degree programs.


From http://www.chinaview.cn/ 12/17/2008

TOP↑

 

Domain Name Reform to Open Up Internet Wider

The Internet is virtually everywhere on the planet. For people who want to connect with the modern world, there is no choice but to use it. But recently one such Beijing resident Wu Xian met with some Internet troubles. The 65-year-old bought a computer two months ago, but it was difficult for her to navigate the Internet because Wu, who knows no English, can't read foreign letters on the keyboard and many of the screen commands and domain names are equally alien to her. "Although my grandson leaves me some Internet addresses, I also can't understand much of the web that's full of English words," Wu tells China Business Weekly. English domain names in particular are a problem for her. However, a recent international Internet campaign can soon open up the Internet wider for Wu. In the following years, multiple language scripts, including Chinese characters, of domain names will be installed on the universal domain name system. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) recently set up a working group to build an internationalized domain name system. The Chinese language was selected to be the first language in the campaign. By the first half of next year, Chinese will follow English as the language of the universal domain labeling system. According to Chen Gang, professor of Journalism and Broadcasting Academy of Peking University, internationalization of domain names is necessary for most developing countries. Statistics from the CNNIC (China Internet Network In Information Center) show that as of the end of last year, the number of Chinese Internet users was over 253 million.

However, more than 1 billion Chinese people have no access to the Internet at all. "The fast-growth of a domestic economy should depend more on information exchange," says Chen. "And for people from developing countries, getting close on Internet with their native language (most of which are not English) will provide a more efficient communication and upgrade the countries' modernization," Chen adds. Zhang Nianlu, secretary of China International Electronic Commerce Center, says that the multiple languages of domain names will not only help upgrade China's Internet technologies, but also promote more efficient electronic commerce in domestic market. For domestic companies, especially for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) Chinese domain names will provide more opportunities for brand building and enlarging their domestic social networks. During the global economic turmoil, Chen tells China Business Weekly, some Chinese SMEs, whose businesses depended more on exports are now focusing on the domestic market. "The upcoming era of using Chinese domain names will help domestic companies easily expand their businesses through the Internet," says Chen. However, what will be the specific changes created by the upcoming Chinese domain names? For the universal international domain name system (". com", ". net" and ". org"), it will add new Chinese domain names before the top-level domain label - such as "Chinese name . com".

ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) will be in charge of the registration and administration for these domain names. For China's domain name system (".cn"), there will be three kind of new Chinese domain names: First, it will change the top-level domain names with Chinese characters - such as ".Zhongguo (means China)". Second, it will change the second-level domain names with Chinese characters - such as "Chinese name. cn". Finally, it will change both the top-level and second-level domain names with Chinese characters - such as "Chinese name.Zhongguo". CNNIC will be responsible for its registration and administration. So far, China's government specifies four Chinese character domain names as the first candidates which are ".Zhongguo (means China)", ".Gongsi (means company)", ".Wangluo (means Internet) and ".CN", which is the original domain name in China's domain name system. By the first half of 2009, when the Chinese domain names are involved in the international top-level domain name system, Chinese literate people around the world will also be able to surf the Internet with all these new Chinese domain names. And once they successfully register a Chinese domain name, customers will own an email account with the same Chinese name.

Xu Lizhen, an internet expert from Southeast University says that the upcoming Internet change will also pose great challenges for intellectual property rights protection. The Chinese language is the second largest one used on the Internet. By virtue of this huge Chinese web-force, the increasingly expanded influence of Chinese domain names should also draw public attention to copyright protection, Xu says. So far, the number of the applications for Chinese domain names has been rapidly increasing, including on Internet Explorer from Microsoft, Firefox and the Google.com and Yahoo.com websites. Hence the need to build a sound internal structure for the registration and management of Chinese domain names, says Xu. (Chinese name).cn, as the new generation of Internet address, will have unique properties. Once registered, others can't use the same Chinese domain name again. So CNNIC has already formed a expert group on setting down the rules to link Chinese domain names with the Chinese brands and for protecting the copyright of Chinese brands. And recently, CNNIC started a "Chinese domain name promoting activity" all across the country, "in order to help domestic companies raise the awareness of brand protection and approach to the new generation of Chinese domain name labels," an official from CNNIC says. But in the long term, Xu says the operation and management of Chinese domain names should receive stronger support from the Chinese government in the future.


From China Daily 12/29/2008

TOP↑

 

China Blogger Population Exceeds 50 Mln

China now has more than 50 million bloggers as increasing numbers of people seek an outlet for their views, state press reported. The number, reached by the end of November, compared to a blogging population of about 47 million a year earlier, according to Xinhua news agency, quoting figures from the Internet Society of China. The group said there were 100 million blogs, or personal online journals, in China, meaning many people are keeping more than one. "More and more Chinese want to express their own views about local and international events through the Internet," Gao Lulin, the group's deputy head, was quoted as saying. The Internet Society of China represents firms in the industry such as service providers and network access carriers, as well as research institutes. China has the world's largest population of Internet users at 290 million, according to government figures announced last month. The growth in blogs has become an apparent source of concern for the ruling Communist Party, which strictly controls the media and Internet. News on social unrest, dissidents, official corruption and abuses, and anything else that might embarrass or harm the government, is typically censored or suppressed. But blogs and other Internet forums have often filled in the information gap, publicising events considered off-limits by the official media. In response the government has in recent years imposed new requirements on bloggers, such as requiring users to register with their real names.


From http://tech.yahoo.com/ 01/07/2009

TOP↑

 

China's Population of Web Users Hits 298 Million

China's fast-growing population of Internet users has risen to 298 million after passing the United States last year to become the world's largest, a government-sanctioned research group said. The latest figure is a 41.9% increase over the same period last year, the China Internet Network Information Center said in a report Tuesday. China's Internet penetration rate is still low, with just 22.6% of its population online, leaving more room for rapid growth, according to CNNIC. The Pew Internet and American Life Project places U.S. online penetration at 71%. China's Internet use is growing at explosive rates despite government efforts to block access to material deemed subversive or pornographic. Regulators are in the middle of a crackdown on sites accused of carrying sexually explicit material. The financial size of China's online market, however, still trails that of the United States, South Korea and other countries. The United States had an estimated 223.1 million Internet users in June, according to Nielsen Online, a research firm. China is preparing to launch third-generation mobile phone service - which supports wireless Web surfing - that is expected to set off a new surge in Internet use.


From http://www.usatoday.com/ 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

Many Chinese Spending 8 Hours a Day on the Web

The 2008 Survey on Netizens Behavior, from the Internet Society of China (ISC), China Internet Network Information Center (CINIC) and I Research, suggests the Internet is rapidly taking over people's lives. Many Chinese Internet users spend over 8 hours on the Web every day, and those most hooked have been surfing since an early age. Netizens from 50 domestic mainstream websites actively participated in the survey, completing over 83,000 questionnaires. The survey asked users about their main interests, and how old they were when they first got access to the Internet. Most Chinese net users are below 35 years old, and 32.1 percent of those under 18 first got access to the Internet when they were about ten years old. By 2008, many were beginning to use the net because of the demands of business. Of those who spend more than 8 hours on the Internet per day, 40.3 percent say they mainly surf in the office, often using QQ and MSN online communication tools. The survey found interesting differences in the preferences of the sexes. Women and girls go for online communities and shopping, while men and boys are mainly interested in news, financial sites and online games. The top ten events of 2008 according to netizens were the Wenchuan Earthquake, the Beijing Olympics, the Sanlu tainted milk scandal, the Spring Festival snow disaster, the Shenzhou VII mission, the U.S. sub-prime crisis, the stock market slump, government intervention in the property market, the reform of China's Golden Week vacations, and fluctuations in international oil prices.


From China.org.cn 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

Online Social Networks Popular in China

Online social networks are growing in popularity. Since launching in May 2008, the Chinese social networking website kaixin001.com has seen incredible growth. It is now the 13th most viewed site in the nation. But in an already crowded sector - and in a country where online copying is rampant - it's anyone's guess whether it will continue to remain popular. Who knows when and if another site will come along and surpass it. Daniella and Maggie, two twenty-somethings living in Beijing and working for Lenovo, are hooked on China's hot new craze. The western world has Facebook and MySpace; China has Kaixin, which means happy. Kaixin001.com is similar to many other social networking sites, but also has online games. For example they have a game called Parking War where each user parks his or her cars in a friend's parking spot to earn virtual money. This money can then be spent on buying more cars. In the game Friend Sales, each user can be bought for a number of hours, and forced to do things like clean a toilet, make a cup of tea or sing a song. Daniella Zhang, one Kaixin user said "Before work starts, I'll get on it and check it out, then during the day when I'm a bit bored, and then again at the end of work. I park my cars, buy some friends, vote in some polls."

Kaixin has quickly established itself as China's top social networking site. An estimated 30 million users log on everyday. iResearch Consulting Group places the total market value of Chinese networking services in 2007 as upwards of 500 million yuan. Of this amount, social networking services accounted for more than half. The total market value is predicted to hit 1.6 billion yuan by 2011. But, China's online market is different than many others because copying is rampant. If one site has even a hint of traction, others doing the exact same thing will spring up seemingly overnight. After the recent success of kaixin001.com a copycat emerged. The registered, but previously inactive domain name kaixin.com was purchased in October 2008 and launched a site of similar design and operation to kaixin001.com. The new Kaixin has become popular in its own right, thanks in part to people who think they're logging onto the original Kaixin. Tan Xiaosheng, CTO of Myspace China highlights the instability of the market. He notes that even the top ranked sites still only reach a small percentage of China's vast population. And while he expects the growth of social networking sites to continue at breakneck speed, he cautions that the turnover of sites could be greater than ever.

Tan Xiaosheng, CTO of Myspace China said "If one enterprise or a website doesn't build up their own core competence, and they can't produce a unique product they won't be competive. Also, if they don't have their own marketing, PR, or creativity, they won't survive." Somewhat troubling for Kaixin is the fact that two of their most fervent supporters aren't convinced it has staying power. Daniella says she is already beginning to lose interest in the site, while Maggie says the site could be a distant memory in a year's time. What is clear is that social networking in China is already hugely popular and continues to grow. But for the dominant sites in the sector, the trick is not just getting to the top, but staying there.


From CCTV 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

Wireless Phone Service to Shut Down by 2011

Chinese telecom regulators have ordered China Telecom and China Unicom to close their wireless telephone service, Xiaolingtong, in the next three years to clear the way for the development of the country's home-grown 3G standard TD-SCDMA. China Telecom and China Unicom confirmed that they were told to shut down the low-cost wireless telephone service, technically known as the personal access system, by the end of 2011. The government is reportedly worried that Xiaolingtong will interfere with the country's upcoming TD-SCDMA service signals, which has recently been granted an expanded frequency band close to that currently used by Xiaolingtong. According to government figures, China had 68.9 million Xiaolingtong users last year, a decrease of 15.6 million from 2007. In comparison, mobile phone users in the country grew 94 million to 641 million last year.


From China Daily 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

Free Wi-Fi Service Will Be Available in Beijing

According to Liu Chuncheng, executive deputy director general of the Central Business District Management Committee of Beijing, the CBD area's application for overall wireless network coverage in public areas has gained support from Beijing's Development and Reform Commission. Upon completion of this regional network, the CBD area of Beijing will become the first public region that can provide free WiFi service in the city. Liu says the work is progressing well and the construction will be completed in the first half of 2009 if everything goes smoothly.


From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

JAPAN: New Web Site Maps Out Smells

TOKYO - Japanese are taking their noses global with a Web site that describes different odors around the world and pinpoints where they can be found on a map. Launched in December, the "Nioi-bu," or Smell Club, has registered more than 160 scents around the world, ranging from "steam coming out of a rice cooker" to "used socks in the summer," and pinpointed their locations on a Google map. Nearly 200 members, called "smellists," have joined the Japanese-language only site, said Kayo Matsubara, spokeswoman of its operator, KAYAC Inc. Users can either click on a balloon on the world map on the Web site, or use an index to find each scent if they're not yet on the map. Some of what they report: "A toasty odor of cow dung" in Fujisawa City, just southwest of Tokyo. In Kamakura, eastern Japan, "cats with halitosis" were suspected to be roaming about. "All that is missing on the web is a smelling function," Matsubara said. "That's our next challenge." Not all reports are of stenches, with others including mouth-watering dishes, fresh laundry, greenery and scented soap. From Paris, there is a "scent of verbena soap near a monastery," and from Thailand's ancient capital Ayuthaya, a mix of "incense, grass, dirt and wild dogs."


From http://ca.news.yahoo.com/ 01/13/2009

TOP↑

 

Japan Launches Satellite to Track Greenhouse Gases

"Japan successfully launched the world's first satellite dedicated to monitoring global greenhouse gas emissions Friday as part of efforts to tackle climate change… according to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)… The satellite will collect data from 56,000 locations around the world, a dramatic increase from the 282 observation points available as of last October….It will produce accurate data of greenhouse gas emissions, including those in developing countries that have so far been hard to monitor, JAXA said…." [Agence France Presse/Factiva] Reuters notes that "…Japanese officials hope the data will add credence to existing research on greenhouse gases, including reports by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a group of hundreds of scientists. 'It would contribute to raising certainties in IPCC research that greenhouse gases are increasing,' said Yasushi Tadami, Deputy Director of research and information at the Environment Ministry's global environment bureau. 'It will also advance research on the mechanism of carbon cycles.' …" [Reuters/Factiva] Jiji Press adds that "… Japan and the US are slated to exchange observation data collected by Ibuki and those gathered by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite, which will be launched next month. …" [Jiji Press (Japan)/Factiva]


From http://web.worldbank.org/ 01/23/2009

TOP↑

 

Government Plans Powerful Info-Gathering Satellite

Aiming to drastically beef up the performance of the nation's intelligence satellites, the government will embark on a research and development program in fiscal 2009 to develop an optical information-gathering satellite that will have one of the world's highest resolutions. The envisioned satellite will be able to identify objects on the ground with far greater precision than the most advanced commercial satellites, officials said Saturday. The best among currently available commercial surveillance satellites is said to be able to identify objects with a diameter of as little as 40 centimeters. The government program is aimed at surpassing the 40-centimeter resolution capability. Although detailed capabilities of military satellites of foreign countries are secret, only U.S. satellites are believed to have a sub-40-centimeter resolution. Under the R&D program for the ultra-high-resolution satellite, a demonstration satellite is scheduled to be launched in fiscal 2012 to ascertain its performance in space, they said.

A full-fledged optical information-collecting satellite with the envisaged cutting-edge optical capability will be put into orbit in fiscal 2014, officials said on condition of anonymity. The program is designed to greatly boost the capability of Japan's intelligence satellites on the strength of the enactment in May of the Basic Law on Space, which empowered the government to utilize space for defense purposes. Before the enactment of the law, information-gathering satellites were limited to nonmilitary uses because of a Diet resolution in 1969 that restricted the utilization of space to peaceful purposes. Because of this restriction, development of a satellite utilizing a higher level of technology than that used for making ordinary commercial ones was forbidden. The satellite, called Optical No. 5, is planned to be launched in fiscal 2014. The Cabinet Satellite Intelligence Center (CSICE), in charge of operating information-gathering satellites and analyzing their imagery, has incorporated 6.8 billion yen into its budgetary demand for fiscal 2009 for funding research into the development of Optical No. 5. The research will focus on ways of enhancing the satellite's resolution and improving the brightness of images. In addition, 3.3 billion yen will separately be allocated for the development of the demonstration satellite, according to the officials.

Japan currently has four information-gathering satellites: two optical satellites, which take photos of ground objects by means of visible light using high-tech digital cameras, and two radar satellites, which use radio waves to collect data on objects, enabling them to "see" through cloud or in darkness. The optical satellites currently in operation have a resolution of about one meter. After the constraints on space development were lifted with the enactment of the Basic Law on Space, the Defense Ministry announced a "basic outline for a space development strategy" on Jan. 16. "By bolstering the performance of the nation's intelligence satellites," the outline said, "this country should further enhance the quality and quantity of image information that can be acquired by the satellites." The higher the resolution of satellite imagery, the easier it is to grasp the status of other countries' military facilities as well as the aftermath of natural disasters and accidents, the ministry said. Prior to the launch of Optical No. 5, CSICE is scheduled to launch in fiscal 2010 a new type of information-gathering satellite, Optical No. 3, capable of identifying objects with a diameter of about 60 centimeters, the officials said.


From The Yomiuri Shimbun 02/01/2009

TOP↑

 

Japan Unveils New Space Rocket, Hoping to Boost Prestige

NAGOYA, Japan (AFP) - Nestled in a cavernous but air-tight hangar, scientists are putting the finishing touches to Japan's H-2B rocket, hoping it will boost the country's prestige when it blasts off later this year. Japan's space agency and industrial giant Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) last week unveiled the rocket's body to a group of reporters, but only after submitting them to a rigorous procedure of finger-printing, an air shower to remove all dust and a requirement to wear chemical suits. "We expect to make a trial launch toward the middle of this year if all the manufacturing and intermediary steps proceed well," said Tomihisa Nakamura, a researcher who heads the project at Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). The H-2B - designed to take supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) and launch satellites - is more imposing than its predecessor, the H-2A. When it is ready, the H-2B is expected to be 56 metres (185 feet) tall, three metres more than its sister rocket.

The rocket is 5.2 metres wide - compared to four metres for the H-2A - weighs 530 tonnes, and is equipped with two engines and four auxiliary propulsers or "boosters." The H-2B is initially intended to bring supplies of up to six tonnes per year via an unmanned HTV spacecraft, or "H-2 Transfer Vehicle," to the International Space Station, JAXA said. The enormous pieces making up the new rocket are currently laid out horizontally in the hermetic hangars of MHI's vast space development site in the central Japanese city of Nagoya. The H-2B is expected to be able to release an HTV weighing up to 16.5 tonnes into orbit as well as satellites with a combined weight of eight tonnes. "These abilities are necessary to compete well internationally," noted JAXA's Nakamura. In addition to developing Japan's space programme, the H-2B was designed to boost MHI's competitiveness against well-known launch services such as Europe's Ariane, and Sea Launch operated by US-based Boeing. Including the costs of developing and producing the first model, Japan's space agency and the MHI are expected to invest 40 billion yen (444 million dollars).

"The design costs are small compared to those of the H-2A, of an Ariane or another launcher, because we are reusing a lot of elements and knowledge gained from the H-2A. That also minimises the risks," said JAXA's Nakamura. "Meanwhile we used manufacturing procedures that are new and more efficient," underlined Tomohiko Goto, who heads the project under MHI. Officials hope that a series of successful launches will boost the rocket's reputation - and that of MHI - in Japan and abroad. "We have not yet decided how many successful launches the rocket will need for the MHI to begin using it for commercial purposes, such as putting private satellites into orbit," said Nakamura. "But in the future, without doubt it will be used for missions of that nature," he added. For the moment MHI is focusing on strengthening confidence in the H-2A, which has not gained the level of global recognition that Europe's Ariane enjoys. But the company last month signed a deal with South Korea to launch the multi-purpose Arirang 3 satellite in 2011 using the H-2A, which would be the first commercial order for a Japanese-made rocket. Up until now, the H-2A listed nine successful launches in a row since 2005, recovering from a blow in late 2003 when it failed its sixth mission - an accident that delayed its goal of being an international player.


From http://www.google.com/ 02/27/2009

TOP↑

 

SOUTH KOREA: Internet Speed to Ramp Up by 2012

In 2012, Korea's wired and wireless Internet will run at 1Gb and 10Mb, respectively, which is 10 times faster than current service in the country, the government said Wednesday (Dec. 3). In ways to strengthen national digitalization, the Prime Minister's Office and the Ministry of Public Administration and Security declared a vision for an information society and mapped out 5 goals and 72 major tasks at the Central Government Complex in Seoul on the same day. The event was attended by around 200 guests from the ministries, the National Assembly, businesses, private organizations and academia. President Lee Myung-bak at the venue said, "The most urgent task now is solving the problems of the economic crisis, but we also have to prepare for the future and seek new growth engines (for further development)."

More developed IT service and technology is part of the new growth engines sought after by the government. According to the government's plan, ubiquitous Internet technology owned by the few will penetrate into the lives of many, high-speed Internet service will help people live disaster-free lives through high-end information services and Information technology will be grafted onto many manufacturing and service industries by 2012. Under the vision dubbed "Advanced Information Society based on Creativity and Trust," the government will try to collect important information scattered around ministries and bring it to within reach of most people, said the president. "Korea's information infrastructure rating stands at 6th in the world, but in terms of people's access to information, there is much room for improvement." The national information society plan also included constructing 10 "soft power clusters" nationwide, in which industry, academia and research institutes work together for the development of information and communication technology.


From Ministry of Public Administration and Security 12/04/2008

TOP↑

 

IT to Tide over Economic Crisis

In wake of the economic crisis, President Lee Myung-bak said the more difficulties they will face the more investment the government should make in technology. "Investment in future technologies is the basic solution to the current economic difficulties," he said at a recent meeting with the country's leading scientists and engineers at the Korea Hall of Science and Technology. "Now is a golden chance for us to make a leap forward to become an advanced nation. Therefore, we should try to overcome the current crisis and make thorough preparations for the future that will come once the crisis is over," added Lee. He also asked the scientists and engineers to actively take part in nationwide efforts to overcome the economic crisis as soon as possible, and businesses to focus more on investing in research and development, which will enhance their global competitiveness. About 800 people, including leading scientists and engineers, business leaders, and academics, attended the meeting hosted by the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies. At the meeting, the scientists and engineers pledged to lead the nationwide efforts to overcome the economic difficulties.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/09/2009

TOP↑

 

Korea's Broadband Penetration Now 6th in the World

Data released by the International Telecommunication Union on Monday indicate that Korea remains one of the world's leading countries in terms of high broadband penetration rates. Korea ranks sixth with roughly 31 percent of the population subscribing to high broadband Internet. This is according to the group's 2007 analyses of broadband subscription rates in 30 industrialized countries. Denmark topped the list at 36 percent, followed by Iceland, the Netherlands, Finland, and Switzerland.


From Arirang News 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

S. Korean IT Competitiveness Reaches 90 pct of U.S.

SEOUL (Yonhap) - South Korea's competitiveness in the information technology (IT) sector reached 90 percent of that held by the United States in 2008, a government poll showed Tuesday. The poll of 3,000 domestic experts in the IT industry and academia showed the country's competitiveness ranking jumping 4 percentage points from 2006 when the last estimate was taken, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy said.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

Gov't to Invest 34 Trln Won to Build Super Internet Highway

SEOUL (Yonhap) - The government said Sunday it will invest 34 trillion won (US$24.6 billion) over the next few years to build a nationwide super broadband infrastructure to allow for faster and higher-capacity data transmission through the Internet. The Korea Communications Commission said it has recently finalized the investment plan, which will be carried out in cooperation with the private sector.


From http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/ 02/01/2009

TOP↑

 

Newspaper Websites Attract Growing Audience

The average monthly audience for newspaper websites grew 12.1 percent in 2008 from a year ago. According to the Newspaper Association of America, the figure grew by 7.32 million to 67.32 million in 2008. The NAA said, "Newspaper websites have witnessed visitor increases of 60 percent in the past three years. That is because they provide extensive and unparalleled information and news." NAA President and CEO John Sturm said, "As the presidential election and the global financial crisis emerged as key issues in 2008, consumers searched for reliable online news sources, benefiting newspaper websites."


From http://english.chosun.com/ 02/03/2009

TOP↑

 

80% of Korean Teens Use Mobile Phones

Four out of five teenagers in Korea use a mobile phone. According to a study of 6,000 adolescents aged 12 to 18 in Korea, Japan, China, India, and Mexico, Korea boasted an 80 percent distribution rate of cell phones among teens, followed by Japan (77.3 percent), Mexico (64 percent), China (48.9 percent), and India (30.6 percent), the GSM Association of 3G wireless network operators and KTF said Tuesday. The distribution rate among first graders at middle school was 87.7 percent in Korea but only 50 percent in Japan. "The reason mobile phones are so popular in Korea is that they are considered a basic necessity and protective measures for teenagers including blocking adult services and requiring adult licenses are already widespread," the association said in a press release. The standard for choosing a phone also varied by country. Koreans attached great importance to both function and design, whereas the Chinese valued the sound quality above anything. Indians thought the durability of batteries was the most important factor.


From http://english.chosun.com/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

PHILIPPINES: DepEd's "Laptop for Teachers" Project Goes Full Swing

Pasig City - In line with the Department of Education's (DepEd) commitment to harness Information Communication Technology (ICT) in improving teaching and learning outcomes, DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus today signed agreements with Microsoft, HP, LENOVO, NEO, and ACER to provide affordable laptop computers for public school teachers. Under DepEd's Adopt-a-School Program, these hardware manufacturers have agreed to halve the usual selling price of their laptops. Teachers can buy laptops for half the price which they can pay on monthly installments with zero interest. DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus said that "giving our teachers the equipment will modernize the way our teachers work. This is indeed a worthy investment in the department's human capital, and I am grateful for the overwhelming private sector support that DepEd has been receiving." Once public school teachers pass the online examination administered by IC3, an independent certification body, they can avail themselves of laptops that have a built-in Learning Management Plan. This contains a lesson plan and student record book. Interactive teaching guides are also stored in the units that the teachers can use to make classroom instruction fun and interesting.

Microsoft will also make available English language versions of the Windows Vista Home Basic Software that will only cost US$7 per unit. Microsoft's Partners In Learning (PIL) - Version 2 is a continuation of Microsoft's Partners in Learning Version 1 which was launched in 2003. Microsoft opened the Partners in Learning Grant, a five-year program to help deliver technology skills training to students and teachers. Participating elementary and secondary public schools were also provided with free upgrades to Microsoft Windows XP Professional. Together with DepEd, Microsoft's PIL Version 2 aims to assist schools, teachers, and students innovative by providing resources, training, expertise and technology that will endow students and teachers alike with the relevant skills that will make their academic performance at par with our more progressive Asian neighbors.


From http://www.gov.ph/ 12/03/2008

TOP↑

 

Philippine School Retails Online Learning

PHILIPPINES - A local IT school has introduced a novel way of providing online education, offering its courses via a prepaid, retail scheme. CAL Philippines, an affiliate of Informatics Singapore, said online technologies have been "revolutionizing education and training for the past years". "Industry analysts estimate that Web-based training is the fastest growing segment within the U.S. training industry, displacing other traditional training methods such as instructor-led and text-based learning," said Grisel Garcia, marketing and PR officer of CAL, in an e-mail interview with ZDNet Asia. In the Philippines, she noted, e-learning is emerging as an "alternative mode of training". "In situations and locations where traditional classroom becomes prohibitive or limited, e-learning can be adopted as a strategy for training," Garcia said. Pointing to CAL's e-learning scheme, she added: "[It's] more economical than regular instructor-led programs. Expenses related to classroom-based learning for the company, such as travel and housing cost, are greatly reduced."

Retail learning scheme The Philippine school now offers prepaid cards that correspond to a specific number of days students can access the course of their choice. A student can immediately enroll after purchasing a prepaid card available in denominations of 300 pesos (US$6.4), 500 pesos (US$10.6) and 2,500 pesos (US$53), to access the courses online for 15 days, 30 days and six months, respectively, Garcia said. CAL currently offers some 1,000 online courses licensed from U.S.-based online learning provider MindLeaders, which programs are used by companies and universities in the United States for their own online learning initiatives. These include California Tech, Virginia Tech, Princeton, and the University of Texas. In the Philippines, CAL offers customized e-learning programs that are targeted at corporations, government offices, schools and individuals, Garcia said. "We are also looking at a potentially huge OFWs (overseas Filipino workers) market," she said. Upon finishing the course and passing at least 70 percent of the assessments exams, students can download and print an official certificate of completion, she added.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/09/2009

TOP↑

 

SINGAPORE: Singhealth Activates Integrated EHR

Clinicians of SingHealth, the largest healthcare group in Singapore, are now equipped with clinically relevant, evidence-based guidelines for ordering treatment protocols, while gaining secure access to an integrated EHR to obtain the latest patient information for more timely, more informed care decisions. The group's new clinical solutions, supplied by Eclipsys, have been successfully activated. The on-time, on-budget technology initiative sets the stage to drive enhanced medication safety processes and improved quality of care across SingHealth's three hospitals with a total capacity of more than 3000 beds. SingHealth serves an estimated three million patients on an annual basis. The solutions are also available for the group's nine polyclinics and three specialist outpatient clinics. In the first few hours of going live, more than 1500 concurrent users used the system to help provide improved care for more than 500 inpatients, 14,300 outpatients and 1100 emergency care patients across all the hospitals and clinics. SingHealth has also successfully migrated 10 years of clinical data from its original EHR system as part of the technology activation process. Physicians at SingHealth are now placing medical orders in Eclipsys computerised physician order entry (CPOE) solution, the most widely physician-adopted CPOE system in the U.S. healthcare delivery system. SingHealth also is using an advanced object-based technology as part of the suite to help deploy custom applications to help preserve legacy workflows while driving adoption of new systems features and functions.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 11/28/2008

TOP↑

 

YOG Committee Starts IT Preparations

SINGAPORE: Preparations are underway for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in 2010, starting with the information technology (IT) services. In August 2010, Singapore will play host to 3,500 athletes competing in 26 sports. The YOG will be spread over 18 venues, excluding the Games Village at Nanyang Technological University. But to coordinate and ensure everything runs smoothly, a sound IT system is required. Helping Singapore organisers to do just that is Atos Origin, which has worked on major Olympic Games. The technology will cover the organisation of the Games and relaying the results of the competition. The numbers involved in running the IT platform will be staggering. For example, at the recent Beijing Olympics, up to 10,000 computers and 4,000 personnel were involved in running the IT services. The Singapore system will be a scaled down version of the Beijing Games. But the Asian Youth Games next year, which acts as a test bed for the YOG, will not benefit from the new IT system. "The time frame would not allow that (to) take place and… the Asian Youth Games would have different requirements," said the chairman of the Singapore Youth Olympic Games organising committee, Ng Ser Miang. Exact requirements for the YOG will be worked out, including the transfer of technology to local partners.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 01/12/2008

TOP↑

 

Online Network Set Up to Share Flu Pandemic Info with Doctors

SINGAPORE: The SingHealth cluster of public healthcare institutions in Singapore has established an online network to act as a one-stop information resource on flu pandemics. Members of the PCC Network will be able to exchange information with health authorities. Network members include general practitioner (GP) clinics and dental clinics located near the nine SingHealth polyclinics in the eastern part of Singapore. A key objective of the PCC network is to implement the Ministry of Health's flu pandemic plan, should there be a pandemic outbreak. In addition, the website also provides useful medical resources for doctors, such as bird flu clinic notices, a drug identification guide for elderly and illiterate patients, a doctor's clinical guidebook and a listing of GP clinics.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 02/05/2009

TOP↑

 

IE S'pore to Help Firms Tap Infocomm Projects in Rural Communities

SINGAPORE: International Enterprise (IE) Singapore is launching a scheme to help local information technology firms expand into rural areas overseas. The new iRural Initiative will help firms form consortiums to work on projects in rural communities in China, India, Latin America and Vietnam. IE Singapore will support ICT consortiums to provide solutions - from internet infrastructure to healthcare, education and micro-finance applications. The first consortium under the iRural Initiative was formed on Wednesday under a Memorandum of Understanding. The consortium is led by wireless broadband company smartBridges Solutions. It has already clinched two projects in India and Peru worth S$10 million. According to IE Singapore, there are currently over 10 projects in the pipeline. The iRural Community Consortium is targetting overseas revenue of S$300 million over five years.


From http://www.channelnewsasia.com/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

New Tool for Thai Model School

Wang Klaikangwon School is to benefit 77 rural schools in Thailand with the deployment of servers containing electronic Distance Learning Television (eDLTV). Under patronage of the King, the school has been broadcasting lessons to 23000 schools in rural areas for 12 years.
However, timetable differences meant that some students in remote schools cannot follow the lessons at Wang Kaikangwon School. Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn has taken this on as one of her 12 Royal IT Projects and gave servers to the 77 schools to allow offline e-learning. The programme has recently been moved to offline e-learning to better cater to the timetable of students in the remote schools. This project is run under Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn's Royal IT Projects. The project is jointly supported by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre, National Science and Technology Development Agency, and the Distance Learning Foundation. "I hope the elearning programme can be expanded to other upcountry schools and be able to serve all rural schools with assistance from the government and other interested private companies," says Princess Sirindhorn.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/03/2008

TOP↑

 

Tech Helps Improve Thai Healthcare Monitoring

Over the next 10 years, Thais are expected to have good health with the ability to predict any health problems disease and prevent themselves from any potential diseases. Thanks to the "Smart Health" project, initiated by the National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (Nectec), that targets the goal of "smart health information system for smart living and better care services" that will eventually lead the nation to become "Healthy Thailand". Smart Health in one of Nectec's three flagship projects - digitized Thailand, Smart Farm and Smart Health. Smart Health would apply IT usage to medical and health sectors with the ultimate goal of giving people a better quality of life of people, with smart living by the better care services, either corrective care services, proactive care services, or preventive care services, according to Nectec deputy director Dr Asanee Kawtrakul. During an exclusive interview, she noted that Thai society has been moving toward a "senior citizen society", with smaller families, while the working-age people spend most of their time out of the home. Medical human resource have become limited and Thailand has developed a healthcare service divide. It's thus important for people educate themselves on health matters and help prevent illnesses and disease. Nectec has addressed the research and development model in two phases, an urgent period which focuses on the development of a national health information system (NHIM), and a planning phase for the near future which will take three to five years for setting a vision and a roadmap. These would be working together with relevant parties in terms of policy, service providers and users. To achieve these goals needs a good database, Dr Asanee said. She noted that at present, medical and health information had been stored on different platforms, and the NHIM would allow the sharing of information to serve for every level of medical and healthcare strategy, policy, decision making and administration. It would also help with preventive care services, and budget management.

The NHIM is not just the first significant step for Smart Health, but also the infrastructure for co-existing with future developments of intelligent information technology, such as an emergency call center, an expert system for risk management, a "smart home" for independent living and portable devices for self-administered tests. "These will prepare for a future society that focuses on proactive care services to reduce health risks, for smart living and also to lessen the expense of healthcare services," she said. At present, the Office of Policy and Strategy, Ministry of Public Health, is the main organisation responsible for national healthcare policy and strategy, and other agencies, including the National Health Security Office, the Social Security Office and the Budget Bureau, are involved with health insurance. They have to use national health and medical information for planning and administration. However, these organization's requirements change from year-to-year and have led to a variety of data recording methods. Dr Asanee pointed out that these have led officials to spend more time on the job of data entry than providing healthcare services. There were also problems of incorrect data being entered into the system, different demands for information, as well as data integration, because the service providers held information in a variety of ways. During the first phase, from October 2008 to September 2009, Nectec will focus on the development of data standardization and data mining, so that the agencies involved would be able to access it. Those would cover the minimum standard metadata set, metadata broker, meta data mapping tools and metadata conversion tool, data quality control process, health information security system, as well as information infrastructure design and improvement. "The Data Schema Standard will help to integrate the scattering data which are in different platforms from many sources to be in the stage of health data interoperability. Meanwhile Nectec has developed the process and mechanism to serve for any changes of requirements in the future," she noted. It would take another few years to expand the result and integrate the information to be the national IT system that served for every target user.

The Smart Health's roadmap for the second phase, which will be from 2009 to 2013, will include the development of smart health devices, the expert system for risk management, and the collective intelligence based knowledge management and services. The project leader stated that all of the technology for the Smart Health roadmap would be based on the Nectec R&D projects. "We don't start with a new development project. The R&D projects have been borne from real requirements and we have brought them from 15 Nectec research labs which have related technology and integrated them," she noted. Dr Asanee pointed out that smart health devices would be concerned with the integration of different technologies such as signal processing, bio sensors and special disease knowledge. Those devices include wearable health devices such as personalized ECG monitors, portable health devices such as cholesterol and triglyceride level measurement devices would possible with the use of nano-sensor technology. The software for planning and decision-making includes DentiPlan, Orthodontic treatment CephSmile and AlighBracket3D for dental work. The expert system for risk management include temperature screening and diabetes screening systems based on the knowledge engineering and language engineering to extract the knowledge from documents (such as Clinical Practice Guidelines). She raised an example of an application service that would lessen the health care divide, such as a heart signal analysis tool that can detect the heart activity of a patient and make a diagnosis by using the knowledge-base of the doctor. The collective intelligence-based knowledge management and services are to support patient self-management education services and provide preventive care services. It aims to share knowledge and have the service's users access the new information.

These include the knowledge-based development of drug and healthcare services via the web site "Ya & You", the SizeThailand e-Health project's online consulting service, and the knowledge management system for diabetes by Ontology Engineering. Applications such as the cholesterol or triglyceride sensors, microalbuminuria sensor, risk screening, data cleaning tools, emergency call center and early cancer detection were requirements that the project team has worked on in the field and coordinated with the organizations involved. Dr Asanee remarked that all of those technologies and the new development technology could be integrated together to form a tele-healthcare service, an intelligent system for an emergency call center, and a smart home for smart living that would lessen the health care services divide. The challenge was to allow a majority of people across the nation to be able to access these technologies. The 10-year timeframe for the project would lead to nationwide improvements in health, faster care services for a better quality of life in the future with the concept "Smart Health, Smart Living". "When health improves, everything gets better," Dr Asanee said.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 01/07/2009

TOP↑

 

VIETNAM: Top Ten Information and Communication Events of 2008

Hanoi (VNA) - The successful launch of Vietnam 's first satellite, the VINASAT-1, tops the annual list of prominent information and communication events for 2008, that was made public on Dec. 30. VINASAT-1 was launched into orbit at 5:17 a.m. of April 19 ( Vietnam time) Kourou, French Guyana. Together with more than 200,000 km of optical cable in land and under sea, the modern digital microwave system, VINASAT-1 has contributed to modernising the national information facilities, improving the capacity and safety of the information network and accelerating the supply of telecom, IT, Internet and television services for people in remote, mountainous areas and islands. Coming second is the separation of postal services from telecom, which demonstrated the renewal in management, conforming with Vietnam 's WTO commitments. The Vietnam Post Corporation officially began its operation on Jan. 1, 2008. The tightening of discipline in press and publishing activities occupies the third place of the list. In 2008, the press has contributed markedly to keeping the public well informed of the government's measures to curb inflation and maintain macro economic stability, economic growth and social security.

Fourthly, the Prime Minister issued a Decree on the Internet - a step forward in the management of the use of the global network. The fifth place is the announcement of the ranking of ministries and localities' websites based on the number of accesses and public service supply. The investment of 1,200 billion VND in construction and maintenance of the telecom service supply system for public interest in remote and isolated areas and islands is listed the sixth most important events this year. It was followed by a record increase in the number of BTS stations, which reached more than 13,700 stations by November. He country reported 79.1 million telephones put into use, of which mobile phone subscribers representing 83.5 percent. Vietnam now has about 92.6 telephones on every 100 people. The National Assembly's adoption of the Law on amendment and supplement to a number of articles of the Law on Publication comes eighth, and the establishment of the Department for Radio, Television and E-information Management and Department of Information for Foreign Service takes the nine place. The unification of inter-regional phone call charges nationwide is the 10th major event in the list.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 12/30/2008

TOP↑

 

Youth Urged to Help Develop It Sector

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has called on young professionals working in the field of information technology to strive more in studies and research to contribute to the development of the sector. Nhan, who doubles as Minister of Education and Training, made the call at a ceremony in Hanoi on Dec. 30 to award the Golden Globe prizes to 10 recipients and recognize 40 outstanding female IT students around the country. He praised their achievements in IT and hailed the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union for its initiative in organising the Golden Globe award. In behalf of the recipients, Nguyen Minh Bao, an IT expert from Dong Thap province, pledged that they would continue striving to study and do research to help boost the country's IT development. The annual Golden Globe award and the IT award for outstanding female students have been held since 2003.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 12/31/2008

TOP↑

 

INDIA: Health Card Launched for Expatriates

In India, a prepaid healthcare card has been launched to provide access to health services for Non-resident Indians' (NRIs) families, through a network of healthcare providers. Currently, about 30 million Indians live abroad. According to a recent World Bank report, India is the top recipient of migrant remittances in 2007, receiving US$535 million. However, only five per cent of the NRI remittances go towards healthcare-related costs. "India Health Card (IHC) is a result of our vision for the healthcare industry in India. Our research has demonstrated a need for innovative healthcare payment solutions," said Ravi Halekote, founder CEO at the IHC. "With a management team of veteran healthcare professionals and an established network of providers, we are delighted to launch the IHC and help make healthcare more affordable and convenient to the families of NRIs in India," added Halekote. The IHC functions like a debit card. The NRIs are required to topup the card through the internet and then use it to receive healthcare services from healthcare providers in India. If a patient's healthcare provider is not a part of the IHC network, IHC will contact the concerned provider and explain the zero-fee registration process. The patients will also receive services at a discounted rate by using the card. The IHC can be purchased online and mailed to the families' of NRIs residing in India.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/02/2008

TOP↑

 

India Fourth in the World Among Internet Users

India has been ranked fourth among the top ten nations in the world with 81 million Internet users. United states tops the chart with 220 million Internet users, followed by China with 210 million and Japan with 88.1 million. With a total of 13.5 million Internet subscribers in India which represents 1.15 per 100 people, broadband subscribers accounted for five million among them. Also, with the number of mobile phone users touching a staggering 300 million and growing by about eight million per month, the government of India sees mobile-Internet as a further exponential growth platform. Next to India comes Brazil with 53.1 million users, UK 40.2 million, Germany 39.1 million, Republic of Korea 35.5 million, Italy 32 million and France 31.5 million. From about 70 million people 1.7 per cent of the world population who had access to the Internet at the end of 2007 the figure crossed 134.8 crore by 2007. Asia has the highest number of Internet users with an estimated 568.7 million people followed by the Americas with 377.9 million. Europe ranks third in this list with 335.9 million users and Africa and Oceania close the rank with 51.8 million and 14 million users respectively, according to the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). However India is yet to be enlisted amongst the top ten nations in terms of broadband connections where too US stands first with 73.2 million connections. China has 66.4 million, Japan 28.28 million, Germany 19.6 million, UK 15.6 million, France 15.5 million, Republic of Korea 14. 7 million, Italy 10.8 million, Canada 9 million and Spain 8 million broadband connections.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/03/2008

TOP↑

 

Health Smart Cards for India's Poor

The Indian government will bear the treatment costs of the poor under a new health insurance scheme. Using a smart card embedded with 11 types of software, patients can now afford the services of private or government hospitals through cashless and paperless transactions. Nearly 65% of India's poor get into debt and one percent fall below the poverty line each year because of illness, according to National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) 2004. The answer, of course, is health insurance, but only six percent of India's workers have it. Free public hospitals are not an option as two out of five doctors are absent, and there is a 50% chance of receiving the wrong treatment, according Jishnu Das and Jeffrey Hammer's study. This tragic state of affairs is, however, set to change dramatically with Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY), a visionary national health insurance scheme, which provides INR 30,000 'in patient' health benefits at a premium of INR 600, which the government pays if you are poor. A brainchild of an IAS officer, Anil Swarup, this scheme will succeed when others have failed because of choice, competition and a magical 'smart card'. A patient can choose from almost 1,000 private or government hospitals. States can choose from 18 public or private insurance companies. Insurers have the incentive to recruit the poor as they earn premiums by doing so. The poor have a choice to exit a bad hospital, something that only the rich can do today. Competition between hospitals will improve the quality of healthcare and new hospitals will come up because there is now money in catering to the poor.

Hospitals will not turn away the poor because they don't want to lose the INR 30,000 in potential revenue. The insured carry a smart card with a photo, fingerprints of the family, and an official's 'key' who is accountable. It makes transactions cashless and paperless for the 725 pre-agreed medical procedures. This card contains INR 30,000 and it tracks expenses day to day in the hospital and the money is deducted automatically after each procedure. No need for pre-approval or reimbursement. Smart cards are designed to prevent fraud because of 11 unique types of embedded software. So far 500,000 cards have been issued in six months covering 2.5 million people. Most states have agreed to the scheme because the centre foots 75% of the premium. Haryana and Gujarat are the most enthusiastic states. Uttarakhand and Orissa are dragging their feet. Kerala is offering it to everyone as long as the non-poor pay their own premium; thus, it has become a universal product of the insurance company. Only Madhya Pradesh and the North-East states have not joined. If all goes according to plan, 30 crore people or one-third of India will be covered in five years at an annual cost of INR 4500 crores - a tiny sum compared to the money wasted in dozens of other schemes. Previous state health insurance schemes failed because they insisted that people use public hospitals and public insurers - with predictable results. This one will succeed because insurance companies, hospitals, and patients all have 'skin in the game'. Smart cards can dramatically cut corruption in all our social programmes. India spends 14% of GDP in subsidies for the poor, which is more than enough to wipe out poverty. But poverty persists because subsidies leak out through corruption. Smart cards can also carry data on payments for rations (PDS) or earnings from employment schemes (National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) and it can expose corruption very quickly.


From http://www.ehealthonline.org/ 12/22/2008

TOP↑

 

Plans for e-University in India

The creation of an e-university in Karnataka will see lecture notes being emailed to students, one of the many convenience to both students and teachers, according to B L Sridhar, principal secretary, department of personnel and administrative reforms (e-governance). The creation of an e-university in Karnataka will see lecture notes being emailed to students, one of the many convenience to both students and teachers, according to B L Sridhar, principal secretary, department of personnel and administrative reforms (e-governance). "The idea is to see classroom lectures (notes) being mailed to students, so that they can concentrate in class rather than waste time taking down notes," said Sridhar. He said interactive web sites, projection systems and laptops are necessary tools for teachers. Speaking at the lecture on `E-Governance Initiatives In Karnataka' organised by the Indian Institute of Public Administration Karnataka Regional Branch on Tuesday, Sridhar said he had mooted out this suggestion recently at one of the seminars attended by the higher education department.

For e-university adoption mode of e-governance, there should be an e-library, e-examination or e-evaluation, all payments through e-system, student smart card, online counselling and notes being delivered online. On BangaloreOne centres, Sridhar said the place for setting up such centres have been identified in Mysore, Mangalore, Gulbarga and Belgaum. At present, there are 43 centres that provides 29 services of 24 departments and utilities. Over 6.5 lakh persons benefit per month. According to him, the idea for e-governance is to deliver services at the doorstep, make it hassle free, transparent, and facilitate decision makers to get all the datas, analyse and decide. In regards to Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), he said that HRMS is generating salary bills of more than five lakh employees spread across 29 districts and 176 taluks and maintaining their service history. Karnataka is the only state to have implemented HRMS.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/01/2009

TOP↑

 

Uttar Pradesh Becomes the First State to Launch e-District

Uttar Pradesh has become the first state in India to launch the e-District Project in 6 pilot districts of Sitapur, Rae Barelli, Ghaziabad, Gautam Budh Nagar, Sultanpur & Gorakhpur. The Uttar Pradesh 'e-District' application software has been developed by National Informatics Centre (NIC). e-District project is a State Mission Mode Project under the National e-Governance Plan (NeGP) of Ministry of Communications & Information Technology. It involves the back-end computerization of the government departments and the district administration, to provide services at the doorstep of citizens. The project seeks to automate the work-flow and internal processes of district administration with the possibility of seamless integration of various departments. In Uttar Pradesh this web based solution offered under e-Districts (http://edistrict.up.nic.in) ensures 100% electronic workflow of the service, right from receipt of applications to the final delivery of service. The status of application can also be tracked by the citizen and the government officials through the portal and the escalation matrix ensures the adherence to the service levels defined for each service. Technologies such as digital signatures have been used for the approval of the application and issuance of certificates.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/02/2009

TOP↑

 

India State Hospitals to Be Inter-Connected

Government-run hospitals in the state will soon be electronically inter-connected and every patient visiting the hospital will be given a unique health identity number and will have access to his medical history at any hospital across the state. All the 14 government-run medical colleges and 19 affiliates will be linked though integrated software and the move is expected to bring with it transparency in accounts as well as an increase in administrative accountability. Termed as "Hospital Management and Information System (HMIS)", the project was flagged off by the state government's Medical Education and Drugs Department (MEDD) in 2007. "Mumbai's Grant medical college and J J hospital were the first government medical establishments to benefit under this project in its pilot phase. Pune's B J medical college and Sassoon general hospital, the government medical college and hospital at Nagpur and Aurangabad are next on the list," says Sanjay Bijwe, State Project Co-ordinator of the HMIS Project. "The HMIS project will cost approximately US$56 million and seven years to complete," said Bijwe. The work of laying underground cable and installing computers has started at the Sassoon hospital and the hospital will formally come under the HMIS project in the next two months. The remaining hospitals and medical colleges in the state will get electronically inter-connected with an electronic medical records (EMR) facility in the next two years.

Though efforts to computerise all our hospitals have been on since 1998, things started rolling only in 2003. This time round, a steering committee, comprising secretaries of finance, planning, IT, medical education and drugs departments, has been formed to oversee and review the work time and again. "In the HMIS, a unique health identity number will be given to each patient. The medical history, prescribed drug records, diagnostic tests related information, x-ray, CT Scan, MRI, allergies and all medical information of a patient will be furnished in EMR. This information will be accessible at any state government-run hospital attached to medical colleges across the state," said Bhushan Gagrani, Secretary of MEDD. Even the inventory management of hospitals will become more effective and transparent with HMIS. "The storage and purchase of drugs, surgical equipment and the status of other clinical paraphernalia of hospital will come on an integrated software which can be viewed from anywhere in the state. But access to such portals will be privileged and limited," said Bijwe. At present, all these account-related records are hand-written. Similarly, government medical colleges roped in this process will be able to do all the administrative work very effectively. "Even admission, attendance and the examination schedule of a college can be tracked and monitored in the HMIS. We are also planning to upload lectures on the system so that those who have missed a particular lecture will be benefited by it. Such advance features will be added, once the basic administrative work gets streamlined in HMIS," said Bijwe.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

Internet Users in Rural India Exceed 3.3 Million

Rural India has 3.3 million active internet users. In the first time ever mapping of rural India these results were reached in a new report prepared by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI). The research a part of the ongoing 'I-Cube 2008' being jointly undertaken by Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB) International and IAMAI - also notes that there are 5.5 million people who claim to have used internet at some point in the rural areas. The research noted that due to various government and private sector initiatives to connect rural India, especially the government-led National e-Governance Programme, it was important to bring rural India under the survey.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/16/2009

TOP↑

 

Computing Solutions in 12 Indian Languages

Microsoft company showcased for the first time its beta version of Windows 7 in Hindi, a step aimed towards enabling Indian users to compute using various Indian languages. The company launched its Language Interface Packs (LIPs) in twelve Indian languages for use in the Windows environment and Microsoft Office. The company has also made available for free download, forty-five virtual keyboards for use in these twelve languages. Windows 7 is being promoted as the precursor to the new operating system that Microsoft is developing as a replacement for Windows Vista. Microsoft's suite of web-based applications, Windows Live, will also be available in seven Indian languages. The company offers software developers its Captions Language Interface Pack (CLIP), which will enable them to generate 'tooltips' in eight native languages.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/04/2009

TOP↑

 

Indian State Rolls Out Telemedicine Centres

The Orissa Trust of Technical Education and Training (OTTET) has announced plans to roll out telemedicine centres in villages across the state - the ninth largest in India. The project aims to establish telemedicine centres in 51,000 villages covering the whole of Orissa within the next three years. The initiative will take modern healthcare delivery to the doorsteps of the rural populace and generate employment for educated youth in the state. The project will be executed through a public-private partnership involving the Orissa state government and Sanjay Gandhi Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGI), Lucknow. The project aims to instil training and skills in IT-based health delivery. Orissa hopes the facilities will generate jobs for 100,000 health workers, and the same model could later be expanded to urban areas where there is high unemployment. Telemedicine activities first began in Orissa in 2001, and this marks the latest stage in their roll out.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/06/2009

TOP↑

 

PNB Achieves 100% Core Banking

Punjab National Bank (PNB) announced that it has completed 100% core banking implementation at all its 4604 branches and extension counters. Completed in November 2008, 4 months ahead of schedule, the bank implemented Finacle core banking solution from Infosys across its operations running a flexible, and scalable database platform from Oracle and Sun SPARC enterprise servers from Sun Microsystems. With its pan India presence, PNB offers a wide variety of banking services through its 4604 branches including 249 extension counters. With an increasingly dynamic business and regulatory environment, PNB sought to not only achieve automation, but also centralize operations, standardize branch processes, achieve high scalability for future business growth, provide flexibility of creating innovative banking products to its lines of business, and at the same time, reduce overall costs.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/06/2009

TOP↑

 

NEPAL: e-Library for Children

Bhaktapur, Nepal: Kamal Prasad Sharma, aged 12, a student at Saraswati Secondary School in a small village not far from Kathmandu, was afraid when he saw a computer for the first time. He didn't dare enter the room, thinking the computer would harm him. "I was really scared when I saw the computer," he says. "I didn't go near it. I was worried it might explode and kill me. It was only when the teacher called me saying it was harmless that I went into the room, but I still hesitated." Things have changed now, he adds.

Games and fun
"I'm feeling much better. The E-library has helped with my studies. "We can see the periodic table of science, and also maps and other geography things in a pictorial way that is easy to understand. It's not only that - we can also play games and have fun." Kamal says his parents were very excited when he told them about the computer and came to watch the very next day. It was not only Kamal. His computer teacher, Shankar Prajapati, says all the pupils were afraid. "They all worried they would catch some virus and fall ill or even die. But now they are familiar with computers," he says. "Even we teachers are gaining knowledge from the E-library. It's really helpful for us, too. The students can see science experiments carried out on screen and search for whatever they want in the encyclopedia." E-libraries use audio, video and text technology. Their digital "books" cover various topics of the school syllabus, ranging from social science to literature and from mathematics to science.

Computer awareness
The E-library concept was initiated by Help Nepal Network (HeNN), a non-governmental organisation. Its goals are to provide literacy and awareness about the use of computer and information technology, and to set up one E-library in each of Nepal's 75 districts, which range from the high Himalayas to the hot plains. Much of the country is remote and accessible only on foot, and many of its people have never glimpsed a computer, let alone touched one. Working with other organisations, including Save the Children-Norway, HeNN is setting up the libraries with the use of what is called the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP). This is a free and open-source (accessible to everyone) package which connects one powerful central server in the school, using the Linux operating system, to a number of diskless low-end computers. When linked to the server, each computer receives a full Linux desktop. LTSP is seen as a cost-effective, power-saving and durable technology, not only in schools but also in other sectors. What's more, it is also virtually free of tampering and computer viruses - and the Linux software developed by Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya, a charitable educational library based in Kathmandu, is being provided free of cost. And its appeal is growing. In front of the little shops on the rough village streets, men gather to play cards and drink tea. But even they have developed a fascination for the computer. So the school has arranged some computer classes for them, too. "It's really useful for us to get to know about this technology which we didn't see when we were younger," says Sahakul Puri, a 35-year-old farmer. "Getting to learn and know about it is a great opportunity for our children. I can't afford to send my child to computer classes an hour's drive from here. So we're grateful for this project." Of the books scanned in the E-library, one of the most popular among the villagers is called "where there is no doctor". It is like a first-aid manual, giving the information necessary for the treatment of wounds or illnesses - including traditional remedies such as chewing burnt ginger or brewing ginger soup with honey for a cough. The school has even attracted lots of villagers to its campaign known as "Leave Your Playing Cards - Learn Computers".

Reaching remote areas
I also visited a much more remote school where the E-library project has just been set up. Villagers and students carried the computers up and down the steep hills and valleys to the Shree Koldung Devi secondary school, nearly two hours' walk from the main road. Before this, anyone wanting access to computers or sizeable shops would have to walk two hours and drive two more, so the system has proved highly significant for local pupils. Most of the places where E-libraries have been set up so far are in the hills. Sudarshan Shrestha, information and marketing director for Save the Children-Norway, says the system has been very helpful but notes that there are challenges. He says students tend to get only about two hours' access per week "because there are not more than 10 computers for several hundred students". For the library, Save The Children-Norway has developed awareness materials on subjects such as children's rights and child abuses. Roshendra Dhoj Khadka of Help Nepal Network is very optimistic about the E-library project. "I believe this information and communication technology project is essential. It may not be a basic requirement, but it's a tool to uplift the health and education sectors. And we're taking it forward. I hope we'll be able to cover all 75 districts some day".


From http://news.bbc.co.uk/ 01/15/2009

TOP↑

 

PAKISTAN: Telemedicine System

A feasibility report for the launch of 'telemedicine system' for all districts planning to employ satellite technology to ensure provision of better communication and healthcare facilities to the masses, has been prepared by the Sindh Health Department. This feasibility report is towards the project named 'Hope' which was launched in March 2005 in Nawabshah, Hyderabad, Larkana, Badin and Sukkur districts while Karachi was the hub of this project. It is hoped that this telemedicine system would provide top notch facilities to people living in the rural and far flung areas of the province and that approaching experts would be made easier for these people. With the help of this system, specialist doctors can examine patients that are located far away from their offices and recommend doctors located in those districts how to treat the concerned patient. The government plans to provide facilities of telecardiology, telepathology, teledermotology and robotic telesurgery with the help of this system.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/02/2008

TOP↑

 

AZERBAIJAN: Delta Telecom Plans to Introduce 300Mbps Wireless Internet

Azerbaijan's Delta Telecom has announced plans to introduce wireless internet based on WiMAX technology with connection speeds of up to 300Mbps, according to Azerbaijan Business Center. The company claims to own the largest internet backbone network in the region, providing IP services to all of Azerbaijan's ISPs. The company is reportedly set to introduce the country's first mobile WiMAX network by end-January. Alcatel-Lucent has been contracted to supply the equipment for the new network, in a deal signed in September 2008. Delta Telecom will be able to offer customers high speed internet access and voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) services.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 01/21/2009

TOP↑

 

TURKEY: Phone Sales Hit by Economic Crisis

Mobile handset sales in Turkey are being hit by the global economic downturn, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reports. Recep Uzelli, chairman of the executive board of Teleses, a solution partner of GSM operator Turkcell, is quoted as saying: 'In 2007, 11,488,000 mobile phones were sold in Turkey. An average of 957,000 mobile phones were sold every month. But in January this year, only 700,000 mobile phones were sold.' He added: 'In the past two months, imports of mobile phones dropped by 40% in Turkey.'


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/10/2009

TOP↑

 

Turkcell to Launch 3G in June

Turkcell, Turkey's largest mobile operator by subscribers, says it is aiming to launch its first commercial 3G networks in June this year. The firm's Chief business development officer Cenk Serdar told Total Telecom that there are no plans for any 3G network sharing deals. Turkcell was one of three firms to win a 3G licence in December, alongside existing cellular market rivals Vodafone and Avea. Serdar says there is still a huge opportunity in Turkey's under-penetrated broadband market, with broadband penetration standing at just 33%. Turkcell plans to target unconnected households with both 3G and with its fibre network, which is being rolled out by its subsidiary Tellcom.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

UZBEKISTAN: Mobile Use Doubles in 2008; Internet Grows 22.5%

The total number of mobile lines in operation in Uzbekistan more than doubled to 12.5 million in 2008, according to local business portal Uzreport.com, citing data published at a review of the telecoms and IT sector by the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, on 15 January. By 31 December cellular penetration stood at roughly 46% of Uzbekistan's 27.3 million inhabitants. In addition, internet use increased by 22.5% last year, the government announced.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

UCell Selects Nokia Siemens Networks to Simplify Billing Process

Uzbekistan's fastest growing GSM operator FE Coscom LLC, operating under the UCell brand, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks convergent mediation solution, charge@once mediate, to collect and process data for accurate billing of their more than 2.8 million prepaid and postpaid customers. "Transparent and accurate billing is essential for our customers, so collecting the charging data records and processing them in one place for our billing systems is important for managing the customer experience," said Helge Raitanen, CTO of UCell. "Naturally we also want to keep our network architecture as simple and as cost-efficient as possible. All things considered, the Nokia Siemens Networks convergent mediation solution is the right one for us." "Having just one mediation platform for offline and online mediation allows service providers to simplify their networks. In addition, fast growing service providers, such as UCell, benefit from the flexible integration with any system as the network evolves," said Mikko Yla-Kauttu, Head of UCell Customer Team, Nokia Siemens Networks. "Besides billing, collected information can be used for any purpose including statistics, fraud detection and data analysis or to mediate, for example, subscriber profile data between the network and service delivery platforms."

Nokia Siemens Networks has provided and integrated the convergent mediation solution for the UСell 2G/3G network. The Nokia Siemens Networks convergent mediation solution was launched earlier this year and has been sold to 20 service providers already. FE COSCOM LLC is a part of TeliaSonera group and operates under UCell trademark in Uzbekistan. The company's main activity is the development of modern mobile communication system in GSM 900/1800 standard. The company was the first in Uzbekistan to launch 3G in testing mode. By the end of December 2008 the company's subscriber base exceeded 2.8 million and currently it's close to 3 million. Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading global enabler of telecommunications services. With its focus on innovation and sustainability, the company provides a complete portfolio of mobile, fixed and converged network technology, as well as professional services including consultancy and systems integration, deployment, maintenance and managed services. It is one of the largest telecommunications hardware, software and professional services companies in the world. Operating in 150 countries, its headquarters are in Espoo, Finland.


From http://business.uzreport.com/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

AUSTRALIA: Extra $807m for Computers in Schools

The Rudd Government will invest more than $2 billion in the Digital Education Revolution after agreeing to provide a further $807 million to States and Territories for legitimate on-costs. In March, the Council of Australian Governments commissioned a review of legitimate and additional financial implications for the States and Territories arising from the implementation of the $1.2 billion National Secondary School Computer Fund. The Grimes Review was informed by submissions from State and Territory, Independent and Catholic school authorities and found that a reasonable overall estimate of the cost of deploying each additional computer stands at $2500. The additional funding of $807 million will be paid before the end of the 2008-09 financial year. This funding will cover the legitimate on-costs incurred for computers purchased through Round One as well as future on-costs associated with subsequent rounds. Computers provided under the Fund which are replacing those aged four years or older will continue to attract funding of $1000 per unit as infrastructure is already in place.

Schools which have not applied in the first or second round for any reason, including uncertainty over the issue of on-costs, will be given an opportunity to apply under a supplementary Round 2 process. The Grimes Review noted that the establishment of the National Secondary School Computer Fund by the Rudd Government has provided a new funding source to support the acquisition of additional computers that schools or education authorities would otherwise have had to fund from their own resources. In addition, the Review emphasised that the costs identified should reflect the additional amount necessary for school systems and schools to accelerate their overall provision of computers and should not displace investments that State and Territory Governments, Independent and Catholic schools and school systems would otherwise make. The Rudd Labor Government established the National Secondary School Computer Fund to bring our classrooms into the 21st Century. The Digital Education Revolution will ensure Australian students are equipped with the tools they need for the workforce of today and tomorrow.


From http://www.alp.org.au/ 12/01/2008

TOP↑

 

Australian Govt Approves Sharing of Patients' E-Records

At a recent meeting in Brisbane, health ministers in Australia have finally agreed on a national plan to share patients' electronic records, on the same day a new study slammed scattergun spending of almost AUD$1.3 billion (US$856 million) on state-based e-health schemes.

The ministers gave the tick to the strategy commissioned in April amid controversy over delays, cost blowouts and resignations in e-health projects and bodies across the country. Electronic records for patients are currently held separately, if at all, across GP surgeries, hospitals, government agencies and other health centres, allowing only patchy sharing of information. The gaps have resulted in duplicate consultations, tests and treatments and prescribing mistakes, with past studies calculating the net benefits of better electronic record-keeping at up to AUD$8.7 billion (US$5.7 billion) over the first 10 years. The lack of common IT systems and fast broadband has also stalled moves towards more sophisticated innovations, such as remote robotic surgery and electronic monitoring of patients. Yesterday, a Booz and Co consultancy report commissioned by the government's health reform adviser, the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission, warned that Australia was wasting money and falling behind in the digital health revolution. The Brisbane meeting also finalised the carve-up of an AUD$750 million (US$494 million) in emergency department funding announced last month.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

Computers in Schools Invitation

The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, today invited schools to apply for funding in the supplementary Round Two process of the Rudd Government's computers in schools program. As announced following the most recent Council of Australian Governments meeting, schools that did not apply in Round One or Round Two of the National Secondary School Computer Fund are encouraged to take this opportunity to apply under this supplementary Round Two process. Schools will have until 11 February 2009 to lodge an application. The aim of this round, together with Rounds One and Two, is to bring all secondary schools with Year 9-12 students in Australia, government and non-government, to a national target ratio of 1:2. The National Secondary School Computer Fund will ensure all Australian schools with students in years 9-12 achieve a 1:1 computer to student ratio over the life of the program. The Rudd Government will invest more than $2 billion in the Digital Education Revolution after agreeing to provide a further $807 million to States and Territories for legitimate on-costs.

This funding will cover the legitimate on-costs incurred for computers purchased through Round One as well as future on-costs associated with subsequent rounds. The additional funding of $807 million will be paid before the end of the 2008-09 financial year. Schools which did not apply in the first or second round for any reason, including uncertainty over the issue of on-costs, have the opportunity to apply under the supplementary Round Two process. The Rudd Labor Government established the National Secondary School Computer Fund to bring our classrooms into the 21st Century. The Digital Education Revolution will ensure Australian students are equipped with the tools they need for the workforce of today and tomorrow. Further information about the National Secondary School Computer Fund is at: http://www.digitaleducationrevolution.gov.au


From http://www.alp.org.au/ 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

Telco 2008: A Year in Review

2008 was a cracker year for Australia's telco industry but three dates stand out: 26 November (no points for guessing what happened then), 11 July (clue is it starts with an "i"), and 28 April. There was likely a lot of head scratching going on with the mention of the last date. For those who have forgotten, this was the day the CDMA network finally got switched off after Telstra finally managed to convince the government that Next G was good enough for the bush. The switch-off had been delayed for three months after Communications Minister Stephen Conroy realised he couldn't rule equivalence between the networks. Conroy's final tick of approval didn't stop farmers claiming CDMA beat Next G hands down on coverage, but it's a bit late now. Mobile reliability copped a bit of flak in general this year, as Optus battled with outages on its network. The carrier had announced with fanfare in May that it would be increasing its coverage out to 98 per cent of the population which would allow it to go "head to head" with Telstra.

Yet the upgrade path may have been a tad too ambitious, as the carrier experienced a major outage due to a software glitch which affected 3G data in Melbourne, NSW, the ACT and Queensland as well as voice services in parts of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This was followed by a spate of incidents which Optus oddly acknowledged as "unacceptable" but also "normal", considering its aggressive coverage expansion strategy. Part of the reason that Optus' problems, which stemmed not only from network expansion glitches but also from congestion issues, were made into such a big issue was that they affected people who were trying out their new iPhone.

iPhone: It was 11 July before Australians had finally got their hands on some Apple mobile goodness. Optus and Vodafone announced they were authorised to sell the phones and for a while it seemed that Telstra may have missed out, but at the last minute the telco announced it too would be playing the game. Virgin announced its mobile plans after the 11 July launch. While 3 had to be satisfied with telling its customers to buy phones outright and bring them to its network. The hyped launch saw long lines outside Optus stores, while Telstra experienced only moderate interest in its more expensive offering. Optus' success came with its problems, however. Not only did the congestion of new iPhone users add to its problems but the sheer number of sign-ups threatened to buckle the company's network. High subsidy costs also meant that the new iPhone customers cost the company $44 million in the first quarter of sales. The company believed it would get its money back on users paying for data.

Android: Although less hyped, there was another mobile release which sent tech circles into a spin: the G1 or HTC Dream - the first phone to run on Google's new Android mobile operating system. There's no consensus on whether it will be a resounding success. One gets the feeling that Microsoft (Windows Mobile) and Nokia (Symbian) might be quivering in their boots. But who can know in the fickle world of mobile comms?

NBN: However, the pet obsession for most telco minded Australians in 2008 was most likely the national broadband network. This network was one of the government's election promises, involving $4.7 billion of taxpayers' money, which ushered it so convincingly through the door in November 2007. The brief was to build a fibre-to-the-node network to 98 per cent of Australians, providing minimum speeds of 12Mbps. Communications Minister Conroy had believed that the first services on the new network could be coming on line at the end of this year. Unfortunately for Australians and for him, this didn't eventuate, because the tender process took over, delaying and complicating matters. He received fire from the opposition for the delays but held his ground. The request for proposals were published in April but the 25 July deadline was pushed back because it took far longer than originally expected to produce the network information necessary for proponents to make a full bid. All the necessary information was finally delivered to the department of broadband, communications and the digital economy on 26 November. Everyone knew Telstra would want to have a part in building the network, and that Optus, whether tethered by Terria or on its own, would have a go, but there was a lot of rumour flying around about which other corporations might make a bid. In the end, there were four national proposals and two state bids. One was from Optus, backed by the Terria consortium, which included iiNet, Internode, Macquarie Telecom and iPrimus.

Another bid came from a Canadian company called Axia Netmedia which had built a similar network in one of Canada's provinces. A new group called Acacia, which was made up of former Telstra executives and finance bigwigs, was also formed in order to make a bid. State bids came from the Tasmanian government and ACT-based network provider TransACT. The shock news of the day was that Telstra, the darling of the bid process, had only deigned to put in a 13-page document as its proposal, which next to Optus' 1,000-plus-page tome seemed paltry. The reason for Telstra's meagre contribution - it had a full proposal waiting in the wings - was officially that it had not yet received any confirmation from the government that it would not be required to separate itself into network, wholesale and retail arms like its counterpart over the Tasman Telecom New Zealand had undergone earlier in the year. The Telstra executives believed separation would be costly and undermine any profits to be had from the national broadband network.

Telstra rejected: There was a lot of speculation over whether Telstra's mini-bid, proposing to only reach 90 per cent of the population, would carry water and whether the other companies would be able to use it as legal ammunition against the government. After a weekend of deliberations by the expert panel - commissioned to sift through the bids' details and make a recommendation to Conroy - its members decided that Telstra's bid could not be considered because it lacked a small and medium business enterprise plan. It seemed Telstra had lost that game of brinkmanship, but its CEO Sol Trujillo would likely say it isn't over until the fat lady sings and a network builder is chosen. Even then, it will take years for the network to be built and Telstra has announced plans to ramp up the development of its Next G network and extend the reach and speeds of its HFC cable. It has also drawn attention to its ADSL2+ network which was switched on earlier this year, providing speeds of up to 20Mbps to customers across the country.

Of course, there's no use having a fast network inside Australia if there's no capacity going in and out of the country. Pipe Networks announced plans for a 1.92Tbps cable from Sydney to Guam, which would be another link for Australians to the international internet. Yet the whole plan almost crashed to the ground after Pipe was unable to find sufficient funding, which forced it to put itself into a trading halt until additional finance could be secured. In the end a supplier and one key customer put up the dosh so the cable could go ahead, with Pipe Networks' ISP customers cheering on the sidelines. Likewise Tasmanians would have been happy with this year, which saw negotiations to light up the fibre-optic cable spanning the Bass Straight between Melbourne and Hobart finally came to a conclusion. The saga had started in the early 2000s but delays, changes of ownership and negotiation problems had seen nothing happen until November this year, when the state government finished its negotiations with carrier Aurora and cable owner City Spring. Services are due to flow over the cable early next year. It is tipped to give Tasmanians more of a choice, with ISPs able to source their backhaul from a Telstra-alternative, which will hopefully mean competitive prices.

Industrial action and economic woes: Telstra customers may not even need a pricing incentive to jump, however, with many of the telco's workers deciding this month to go on strike after negotiations between the telco and its unions broke down. According to the national president of the company's main union Ed Husic, Telstra's backlog of faults has been rising the longer the strike goes on. Optus also faced a strike, but amongst its contractors, not its own staff. That meant a halt on all installations until the subcontractors came back to work after five days. The strikes have spiced an already strange employment environment. With the financial crisis making the world feel like it's downed six margaritas in as many minutes, the lay-offs have been flying in. Telstra, Optus, Alphawest and Ericsson all shed workers this year. Commander Communications also laid off workers early in the year, but as part of its turnaround plan not the crisis. The turnaround plan wasn't successful, with Commander going into administration. Bits and pieces of it were sold to the highest bidder, resulting in the iBurst network being shut down last Friday. From what most people have said, it was on its last legs anyway. Despite such a negative finish to the round up, the end of the year feels hopeful. After all, if the iPhone 3G can challenge the likes of RIM's crackberry after such a short time in the market, anything is possible. Right?


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 12/24/2008

TOP↑

 

Queensland Schools Trial IP Telephony

A number of Queensland schools within the state's Department of Education and Training (DETA) have started trialling IP telephony solutions, networking vendor 3Com revealed yesterday. "They are in an initial period of trying IP telephony for Queensland schools, especially the new schools," said Peter Chai, vice president and general manager of 3Com's Asia-Pacific division. "In principal there are intentions to have more of a converged type network [to create] cost saving and more efficient uses of the bandwidth." The news came as 3Com revealed it had won a large contract with DETA for the supply of WLAN, LAN and IP telephony equipment. Chai said that the contract was a continuation from an early arrangement where 3Com equipment was sold to DETA through the reseller CDM. The new direct contract between DETA and 3Com is five years in length, with the possibility of year-by-year extensions for another three years. Chai declined to reveal the value of the contract, saying only that it was in the multiple millions.

The contract covers supplies of enterprise-grade service routers, modular core switches, stackable switches and 802.11n-based wireless access points. It will also include IP telephony platforms for some schools and networking equipment for administrative offices. "What they do in terms of the roll-out, is they would normally do a quarter to a third of their schools every year," Chai said. "They have a total of about 1,400 schools." Chai said the new contract was a result of an increased demand for bandwidth in schools, along with an increasing number of schools rolling out wireless networks. "There is a constant refreshing of the network, and a [need] for faster and faster speeds," Chai said. "Also in the last year they have also deployed a lot of wireless access." Chai said that the current state of IT in Queensland schools meant that regional students could expect a wireless speed of roughly 2Mbps, while Brisbane-based students could expect a "multi-megabit" connection.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/15/2009

TOP↑

 

Auckland Gets Metro Wi-Fi Service

Denizens of and visitors to New Zealand's largest city, Auckland, can look forward to affordable wireless broadband in many areas from this week, as a metropolitan Wi-Fi network goes live in town. The metro Wi-Fi was part of Auckland City Council's economic development plans, said Councillor Aaron Bhatnagar, and has been set up in time for the Louis Vuitton Pacific Series regatta for America's Cup yachts, starting at the end of January, and continuing throughout February. Bhatnagar said the network was the first of its kind in the city, covering waterfront areas popular with tourists and regatta sailors. Bhatnagar said these high-net-worth individuals and super yacht owners hadn't been served with internet connectivity in the past, but now had access to fast, wireless broadband where they resided during visits. The primary driver for building the Wi-Fi network wasn't to make money, but to develop the city's economy, Bhatnagar said. The council doesn't expect to make money directly out of the network for that reason.

He added that the network would continue to operate after the Louis Vuitton sailings, with hopes to expand it beyond the current coverage areas. Bhatnagar believed the council's Wi-Fi network would succeed where other, smaller efforts - for example, from Telecom New Zealand - have failed, as the council intends to work closely with commercial partners to keep roll-out costs low. The Auckland City Wi-Fi is a public-private partnership between the Auckland City Council and state-owned enterprise Kordia, which provided the network backhaul and infrastructure in conjunction with Wi-Fi specialist RoamAD. Wi-Fi sharing specialist Tomizone has set up the service platform for the project, through which users are authenticated and payment is gathered. Emmanuel Hooson, Tomizone's general manager for affiliates, said users of the service would connect in a similar manner to hotel Wi-Fi service, by firing up a web browser and being redirected to a payment and authentication portal. Auckland Wi-Fi is charged by Tomizone in time increments only, with no data caps. The cost for using the service starts at NZ$3 per hour, with the daily charge being NZ$6.50 and the weekly one NZ$30, all payable by credit card.

The technology used is 802.11b/g and speeds are said to be 2Mbps or more. Network coverage is throughout Auckland's central business district around Aotea Square and Karangahape Road, with upmarket shopping and residential areas Ponsonby, Remuera and Parnell, as well as the council-owned Westhaven Marina where the sailing syndicates are based and the waterfront tourist and hotel district The Viaduct. However, the Wi-Fi network will be in zones and not contiguous coverage throughout the above areas, said Emma Morrison, communications and brand manager for Kordia, due to the infrastructure provider not getting access to buildings, to ensure wireless connectivity everywhere in Auckland. A map outlining the exact coverage areas will be available online soon, Morrison said. Kordia has been working on deploying Metro Wi-Fi networks nationally for the past two years, with Morrison saying Auckland City Council had been very helpful in providing low-cost access to street furniture and lampposts. This has made possible an affordable network roll-out, Morrison said. According to the manager, Kordia's metro Wi-Fi network sees around 250,000 wireless devices connect to it each month. This represents 10,000 unique devices with 5,000 log-ons, and Morrison expects these numbers to double during the Louis Vuitton regatta.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

Australian University Increases Performance and Cost Savings

CQUniversity, an Australian university with 10 campuses and more than 21,000 students and staff, has migrated its critical IT systems to Red Hat solutions and has since realised significant cost savings, increased performance, ease of management and reliable, ongoing support. The university offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on-campus and through distance education. It relies heavily on the reliability and stability of its IT environment on a daily basis. Its technology powers critical finance, human resources and student-administration systems. With campuses and students located across various time zones, CQUniversity requires an infrastructure that supports standard operation at all hours of the day. As the university continued to expand and demand more from its technology infrastructure, its IT department knew it was quickly outgrowing its existing IT system and needed a reliable alternative.

"We knew the time was coming for a change, particularly when we realised we would require more than eight CPUs for a single database server," said Bruce Young, PeopleSoft systems engineer at CQUniversity. "HP Tru64 UNIX, our previous deployment, was a discontinued product, and we didn't have unlimited funds to throw at the problem, so we were forced to look at more cost-effective alternatives for expanding our capacity." Today, CQUniversity runs 12 HP Blade Servers with Red Hat Enterprise Linux for its databases. Ten additional Blades run CQUniversity's middleware solutions to support its applications. "We're running more environments than before and we're running them a lot faster," said Young.

The university has also extended Red Hat Enterprise Linux to its research students and staff, to efficiently manage its IT deployment and keep it updated without additional, costly resources. RHN Satellite offers a centralised management tool that enables users to manage server systems more efficiently. With RHN Satellite, CQUniversity has been able to reallocate resources to focus on proactive, high-value roles, instead of reactively maintaining complex systems and lifecycles. Since putting its production systems into operation in April 2007, CQUniversity has completed the initial stage of its migration. To date, the university has realised immediate savings of approximately $100,000. In addition to carving out costs, CQUniversity has experienced a boost in server performance, which has increased by between 20 and 30 per cent, and enjoyed an easy-to-deploy solution. "We're definitely impressed with the initial cost savings and the boost to server performance, and we also expect further long-term savings on licensing costs," said Young. "The reality is that for our budget, Red Hat Enterprise Linux has enabled us to do what we set out to complete - We didn't have to resort to a poor band-aid job, as would have happened if we had chosen a proprietary solution."


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

Govt Pledges $2.6m for Tas School Computers

Secondary schools in southern Tasmania will soon be shopping for computers. Under the National Secondary School Computer Fund, 32 schools in the south will receive more than $2.6 million to buy the equipment. It is part of more than $5 million that has been allocated to Tasmania under the program. The Federal Government has also committed more money for fibre connections to schools.


From http://www.abc.net.au/ 01/28/2009

TOP↑

 

Victoria Schools Begin Netbook Trial

The Victorian Government has announced that it would begin a trial program providing students with netbook-style laptops, with schools set to receive 10,400 machines from Lenovo and Acer. Had the netbooks been provided at retail value, the roll-out would have been worth just over $9 million; however Lenovo has provided a bulk discount to the Victorian Government, offering the netbooks at a cost of $468 per device, valuing the roll-out at close to $4.7 million. Of this cost, the government will cover $312 per device, while parents are expected to pay an additional $52 a year over three years, totalling $156. The schools will retain ownership of the netbooks. While both Lenovo and Acer are taking part in the trial, the vast majority of the netbooks are coming from Lenovo, with the company supplying 10,000 of the 10,400 netbooks used in the trial.

The netbooks supplied by Lenovo will be an IdeaPad S9s (a 9-inch version of the S10). The current netbook offering from Acer is the Aspire One. The netbooks will be delivered to students in years five through to eight, and students will be allowed to take them home after school. Parents will be given the option to purchase the netbooks after the trial, which will last for three years. Included on the netbooks will be Microsoft Office and Encarta along with 28 other educational applications and will run on Windows XP. In addition, the netbooks will come with a protective cover, power cord, a six-cell battery, a warranty and insurance. Premier John Brumby said in a statement that the trial would cover schools throughout Victoria. "This netbook pilot will open the door for thousands of students at more than 344 schools in regional and traditionally lower socio-economic areas to keep pace with all the benefits of modern learning," he said.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

EUROPE: ENISA on Privacy in National eID Cards: 'Europe Needs a Strategy'

On 3 February 2009, the EU Agency ENISA (the European Network and Information Security Agency) launched its Position Paper on privacy features in European eID schemes. The ENISA Position Paper finds that today there are ten national eID card schemes already in use across the EU while thirteen more are in the pipeline. Presently, eID cards are used primarily by eGovernment services, e.g. for taxation, but there are also commercial applications of eID cards. Many more eservices are planned in the near future, using the data on the card for anything from secure chat to library access and piggybacking on the infrastructure investments which have been made. In all these applications, the eID card is a gateway to personal information, be it at national or European level. At the same time, it is key to address privacy concerns related to eID: unwanted disclosure of data and subsequent misuse. The Position Paper points out that privacy features have been developed, implemented and tested at a national level only. There is no coordinated strategy at European level addressing which (and how) features should be implemented and this is an important obstacle for cross border eID interoperability. This is a major hurdle for the acceptance of eID cards and their usage in day-to-day applications.

ENISA's Position Paper is intended to provide the first comprehensive overview of the state of play in Europe - an essential step towards improving the base-line of citizen privacy and protection in eID cards across Europe. The paper charts how available privacy-enhancing technologies are implemented in existing and planned European eID card specifications. It analyses in detail eleven risks to personal privacy resulting from the use of national electronic identity card schemes. It also lists eight practicable techniques available to address and mitigate these risks. Furthermore, through eight comparison charts, the Position Paper maps out the situation of available privacy features in existing cards. With numerous references to national specifications, it is deemed to be good starting point for identifying best practices and a source of reference for future choices to be made by European policy makers. Mr. Andrea Pirotti, Executive Director of ENISA comments: "Privacy is an area where the member states' approaches differ a lot and European eID will not take off unless we get this right. Europe needs to reflect on eID privacy and its role in the interoperability puzzle. The fundamental human right to privacy must be guaranteed for all European eID card holders. Therefore, ENISA will continue to work in this field in 2009."


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 02/03/2009

TOP↑

 

Liechtenstein to Join European Council's Convention on Cybercrime

Liechtenstein has decided to join the European Council's Convention on Cybercrime and is currently revising its legislation to align it with the provisions of this agreement. The progress in the field of Information Technology offers a wide range of new possibilities. On the other hand, exploitation of these technologies for purposes of abuse has also become a reality: a new form of crime has evolved worldwide, the Cybercrime. A broad spectrum of criminal actors are attracted by the new possibilities offered by the Internet; namely, terrorist groups, pornographic networks, drug and arms dealers, as well as credit card fraudsters and money laundering networks. In order to address this international problem, the Council of Europe created the Convention on Cybercrime, which came into force in 2004. This treaty aims to combat crimes relating to modern information technologies and seeks to harmonise national laws in this area. Furthermore, in conjunction with an additional protocol, this convention forms a legal instrument to combat terrorism, extending its scope to crimes with racist and xenophobic background. It is so far the only international treaty against Cybercrime. Accession to this Convention is also open to countries that do not belong to the Council of Europe.

Liechtenstein has decided to join the convention of the Council of Europe and is therefore currently revising its legislation to bring it inline with the provisions of this agreement. Thereby, Liechtenstein focuses on penal code legislation concerning Cybercrime-related offences, such as copyright violations, computer fraud, child pornography and security violations of electronic networks. Elements of offences contained in the convention will also be included in the Liechtenstein penal code. Contrary to this, there is no particular need for action related to the implementation of the additional protocol: provisions related to the fight against terrorism and racism are already met by the existing legislation. The Government considers accession to the Convention on Cybercrime as necessary in order to prevent actions against the confidentiality and availability of computer systems, data and networks.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 12/03/2008

TOP↑

 

United States: Fight Cyber-Crime Through Procurement

Government's best weapon against dangerous cyber-attacks may be the public purchasing system, according to security specialist Alan Paller, director of research for the SANS Institute. Paller urged state and local officials to write new requirements into procurement contracts that make vendors responsible for vulnerable software. "As of today, no procurement should come without security language in it," Paller said Thursday at Government Technology Conferences' GTC Southwest in Austin, Texas. Shoring up vulnerable software is crucial for public agencies as cyber-threats grow in sophistication. Organized crime, terrorist groups and hostile nations now account for most major attacks, and they're making huge amounts of money from identity theft and extortion, said Paller. The FBI estimates that organized crime now reaps more profit from cyber-crime than from the drug trade, he said. What's more, those profits are plowed back into research and development that produces ever more sophisticated methods of attack.

Public- and private-sector organizations are struggling to keep pace with the growing number and severity of cyber-crime attacks. Instead of patching software systems after they're purchased, governments should demand stronger products before they buy, Paller said. "We can't continue to blame users for security vulnerabilities. You need to make vendors responsible for the security of their products." Paller pointed to a new list of the 25 most dangerous programming errors that was jointly developed by more than 30 national and international security organizations. The list - released in January - identifies programming problems that produce security flaws and enable cyber-espionage and cyber-crime. These errors are not well understood by programmers; their avoidance is not widely taught by computer science programs; and software companies frequently don't test for them when developing products, according to the SANS Institute. Paller urged governments to force vendors to verify that software products are free of errors identified by the Top 25 list before purchase. Inserting that requirement into government purchasing contracts would dramatically improve protection against cyber-attack, he said. "You guys can do it," Paller said. "State governments can act together. You have massive power to change security. If you do that, you can change the world."


From http://www.govtech.com/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

NORTH AMERICA: US Tweaks Internet Privacy Guidelines

FEDERAL regulators tweaked recommendations for how web sites should collect, save and share information about users, extending them to internet service providers and mobile users. The US Federal Trade Commission issued new guidance for the self-regulated industry that urges web sites to tell consumers that data is being collected during their searches and to allow them to opt out. This guidance recommends that mobile companies and internet service providers also inform customers about data collection and allow users to decline. "You may have a contract with your ISP and everywhere you go, they can be collecting information on you," said Jessica Rich, the FTC's assistant director in the division of privacy and identity protection. There are few US laws about the collection and use of data from the internet, with exceptions of instances where firms fail to live up to advertised promises to protect privacy, or fail to deliver an expected level of data protection. One of the four commissioners who approved the report, Jon Leibowitz, warned that the industry's failure to safeguard the public's privacy could lead to a tougher federal position. "Industry needs to do a better job of meaningful, rigorous self-regulation or it will certainly invite legislation by Congress and a more regulatory approach by our commission," he wrote.


From http://www.australianit.news.com.au/ 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

CHINA: Blacklists 74 Websites for Selling Fake TCM

China's State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SATCM) on Tuesday blacklisted 74 websites for selling fake Chinese herbal medicine. Names of those sites have been made public on SATCM's website at www.satcm.gov.cn. Consumers are warned of buying any type of medicine from organizations such as the International Diabetes Institute of Genetic Engineering (www.010gbw.com), the China Research Center for Chinese Medicine (www.gxykf8.cn) and the China Cardiovascular Research Institute at (www.gxy007.cn). Drugs sold on those websites claimed to be able to cure high blood pressure, skin diseases, diabetes and tumors. SATCM has reported the 74 websites to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology for further investigation. Those sites could be shut down. As of now, they are still open. Only one man, from the Diabetes Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Traditional Medicine website called Xinhua back. However, he hung up when he was asked about medicines for sale. Yan Jiangying, spokeswoman with the State Food and Drug Administration (SFDA), said only those sites with the SFDA license of Internet medicine business can sell over-the-counter (OTC) drugs to individuals. "So far, only ten websites across China have been issued with the license," she said. The SFDA has published that list on its website (www.sfda.gov.cn) and urged the public to check it before buying drugs online.


From Xinhua News Agency 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

Taiwan Receives 110.1 Billion Spam Emails in 2008

According to a survey conducted by Taiwan Internet Association, each local resident in Taiwan received 29 spam emails daily on average, making the total number of spam emails received in Taiwan reach 110.1 billion in 2008. The TWIA says that by 2008, the number of netizens in Taiwan will reach 10.41 million and the network coverage will reach 44% of the population. With the development and popularity of the Internet, email has become an important channel for people's communications. The association says to block these spam emails, the Internet service providers have to pay copyright fees and maintenance fees for software. In addition, the time costs for people to delete these spam emails are inestimable. The association says although the number of spam emails decreased compared with that of 2006, software still cannot block all the spam. More investment should be put into the research development of relevant software to ensure the security of the Internet.


From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

Web Site Ordered to Pay Damages to China's First "Virtual Lynching" Victim

A Chinese Web site and a netizen were ordered by the People's Court in Beijing Thursday to compensate the plaintiff in China's first case on Renrou Search Engine that launched a "virtual lynching" by netizens who search for and reveal targets' private information. The defendants, Daqi.com, Tianya.com and a netizen named Zhang Leyi, who established orionchris.cn, were sued by Wang Fei for posting his deceased wife's blog. His wife, Jiang Yan, killed herself after discovering her husband was having an affair. The personal blog recorded the two-months preceding Jiang Yan's suicide. The blog revealed the real name and addresses of Wang Fei, which triggered many netizens to publicly harass Wang and his family Daqi.com and Zhang Leyi were ordered to compensate Wang 3,000 yuan (about 441 U.S. dollars) and 5,000 yuan (about 735 U.S. dollars) respectively for emotional duress. Tianya.com was not ordered to pay damages because it tried to control the situation by deleting information related to Wang, the judge of the court said. Wang said that he had lost his company job after netizens called his office to tell the story to his colleagues. He says they posted obscenities on the doors of his parents' apartment, and that the media reported his story in a "negative way." "It has seriously hampered my normal life," Wang said. Jiang Yan closed her blog two months before she died in December 2007. Prior to her death, she gave her password to an online friend. Her sister, Jiang Hong, got the password from the friend after she died and posted her sister's "Death Blog" on Tianya.com.

The blog spread from one Web site to another and triggered a series of debates over the cause of Jiang's death and the betrayal of her husband. Netizens launched a massive search on Renrou (literally "human flesh") Search Engine and discovered Want's address and phone number. Vigilant netizens then "avenged" Wang's wife with personal attacks against Wang on the internet. Wang Fei said he was a victim of Renrou Search. Zhang Leyi, a college mate of Jiang Yan, established orionchris.cn in January when he learned Jiang's death. This spurred a massive "Renrou Search" for more information about the couple's private life. Daqi.com made the blog the focus of a special Web page, It revealed the real names of the couple and Wang's mistress, photos of Wang Fei and his new spouse and the curse words written on Wang's home on January 14 2008. Wang confessed the love affair during the trial. The judge said Chinese law of marriage prescribes that couples be faithful to each other. Wang's behavior not only broke the law but also offended the moral standard of the society - as Jiang Yan's sorrow was evident in her blog. But the behavior of Daqi.com invaded Wang's privacy by revealing his personal information. The Web page was an ordinary news report but the names of the involved parties and other private information should have been withheld, the judge said. The case would be a standard for future virtual lynching cases, the judge said.

Renrou Search sometimes offers a service of justice for the society, said a netizen who identified herself as Ayawawa. She said she had joined the search to seek revenge against the man who betrayed his wife. A friend of Wang's who identified himself as Jia said that the Renrou Search was "online violence." The Renrou Search Engine sprouted in recent years, said Yule, head of the Renrou Search section of Mop.com. The Mop standardized its Renrou search to try to encourage netizens to do good things with the search - for example, helping families find missing relatives, Yule said. The Renrou Search did not promote "online violence", he said.


From http://www.chinaview.cn/ 12/18/2008

TOP↑

 

Police to Launch Online Monitoring of Train Ticket Scalpers

China's police are monitoring the Internet in a crackdown on train ticket scalpers preying on millions of travelers trying to get home for the traditional Spring Festival. A Ministry of Public Security spokesman said Wednesday that police would take effective measures to find those responsible for rampant scalping during the annual peak travel season. Police launched the "Blue Shield" campaign against scalpers on Dec. 15, and to date had arrested more than 2,300 people and recovered 78,000 scalped train tickets, including 60,000 fake tickets, with a face value of 2.46 million yuan (360,000 U.S. dollars). The Spring Festival holiday begins on the Lunar New Year's Day which falls on Jan. 26 this year. It is a traditional time for family reunions. The peak travel season is the largest annual migration in the world and the public routinely complain about problems of buying train tickets. The Ministry of Railways has rejected calls for a real-name system in the sale of tickets in the festive period for technical reasons. The ministry owns, builds and operates the country's railway network, which extends for almost 80,000 km, the longest in Asia, and is expected to exceed 90,000 km by 2010.


From Xinhua News Agency 01/15/2009

TOP↑

 

China Blocks 726 Porn Websites

China has blocked another 244 porn websites in the last week, bringing the total number of blocked ones to 726 since Jan. 5. About one third of the closed websites had not registered with governmental departments and violated the top legislature's regulations and other laws regarding public distribution of sexual images, said a statement issued by the Special Operation Office for Crackdown on Online Porn and Lewd Content. The month-long campaign against Internet porn was launched by the State Council's Information Office, Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Culture as well as four other government agencies.


From Xinhua News Agency 01/20/2009

TOP↑

 

China Extends Porn Crackdown to Online Games

China has extended its crackdown on porn to online games after shutting down 1,250 websites for containing explicit pornographic content. The Ministry of Culture said in a notice posted on its website Thursday that the ministry had already blacklisted a number of online games, including the "Red Light Center", for containing pornographic contents. The multi-user game, developed by Vancouver-based Utherverse Inc, features a virtual sex function for fee-paying users through computerized personae, and allows users to take virtual drugs. The website of the game and its developer was inaccessible by Thursday evening. The notice also demanded game developers to clean up their act when promoting their products. "We have noticed that some game developers and operators have been using obscene pictures and sexually provocative languages to promote their products. The Culture Ministry will target these illegal doings as the focus of our work," the notice said. The Ministry would strengthen administration on online games, mobile games, and online comics as part of the anti-porn campaign to "build a cleaner online environment", it said. The campaign, launched in early January by seven government departments including the State Council's Information Office, Ministry of Public Security and Ministry of Culture, has already been extended to mobile phone games, online novels, videos and radio programs. The departments promised last week that the campaign would be no "flash in the pan". By Wednesday, 41 people had been detained for disseminating porn on the Internet, and over 3.2 million "items of online information" have been deleted.


From Xinhua News Agency 01/23/2009

TOP↑

 

Hong Kong Goes After Commercial Fax Spammer

An enforcement notice has been issued against a commercial fax sender in Hong Kong for continuously breaching the anti-spam rules outlined under Hong Kong's Unsolicited Electronic Messages Ordinance. "Despite our advice, the concerned sender kept sending messages to the numbers registered onto the do-not-call register (DNC). We therefore decided to issue the enforcement notice to direct the sender to comply with the legal requirements," stated a Hong Kong Office of the Telecommunications Authority spokesperson, who did not provide the name of the offending company. Since the full commencement of the UEMO on December 22, 2007, OFTA says it has received 9,217 reports of suspected contravention and has dealt with 71% of those reports. According to OFTA, among the cases dealt with, 67 warning letters have been issued. In these cases, the concerned senders have undertaken rectification measures and hence no enforcement notice was warranted. "This is the first enforcement notice issued under the UEMO.

We will monitor the case closely to ensure that the concerned sender will undertake proper rectification measures in accordance with the enforcement notice. We will consider taking prosecution action if the concerned sender fails to comply with the enforcement notice. Any person who contravenes an enforcement notice is liable upon a first conviction to a fine of HK$100,000," the spokesperson continued. Under the UEMO, bulk senders of commercial electronic messages are required to provide clear and accurate sender information in the message; to provide an unsubscribe facility and an unsubscribe facility statement in the message; and to honor unsubscribe requests within ten working days after the request has been sent. Senders must also not send commercial electronic messages to any telephone or fax number registered in Hong Kong's Do-not-call Registers starting from the tenth working day of its registration, unless consent has been given by the registered user of the relevant telephone or fax number. Finally, email senders are not allowed to send email messages with misleading subject headings.


From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 01/26/2009

TOP↑

 

Taobao.com: Chinese Users Who Sell Fake Products Will Be Terminated

According to information from Chinese Internet auction website Taobao.com, the website is currently cooperating with local commerce departments around China to fight sales of fake and shoddy products, and users who are found selling fake products in their online shops on Taobao.com will have their accounts permanently disabled. Taobao.com's move comes after a shop owner registered on the website was found selling fake products of famous brands, including LV and Dunhill. Those fake products had been confiscated by the commerce department of Haidian District, Beijing. The case has also been transferred to the public security bureau for further investigation. A representative from the website told local media that all of Taobao.com's shop owners registered by the real-name method, which means they need to provide valid identification during their registration process. At present, Taobao.com implements both manual and automatic checks on products sold on the website. Consumers who buy products on the website can alternatively report fake products to the website. Taobao.com has also started a consumer protection scheme. According to this program, if products sold through Taobao.com have quality problems, the website will help the sellers to return the payments for the goods to consumers in advance, shortening the period of waiting for the returned money.


From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 02/10/2009

TOP↑

 

20 Jailed over China's 'Biggest' Online Gambling Case

Twenty people involved in a 1-billion U.S.-dollar online soccer gambling case were fined and sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to six years by a Shanghai court on Sunday. The Shanghai Putuo District People's Court sentenced Qian Baochun, 41, the prime accused, to six years imprisonment and ordered him to pay a fine of five million yuan (735,000 U.S. dollars) for establishing gambling websites. The other 19 convicted, including Zou Jun and Liu Biqing, the other two gang leaders, were sentenced to jail terms from one to five years with a fine ranging from 20,000 yuan to 1.01 million yuan, the court ruled. "This is possibly the country's biggest online gambling case," said Zhang Minxian, spokesman for the court. The gang started its business in the summer of 2006, when the soccer World Cup was held in Germany. The trio of Qian, Zou and Liu opened accounts on several overseas gambling websites and began to develop a network of agents and gamblers. They hired people to help with the operation and received a monthly pay from commission of the overseas websites' profits. The betting stakes amounted to 6.6 billion yuan, and the trio earned 1.6 million yuan from wagers between the latter half of the year 2006 and July 2007, the court said. All the 20 pleaded guilty in January.


From Xinhua News Agency 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

JAPAN: Safe Network Development Promotion Program Developed

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has developed a Safe Network Development promotion program as its comprehensive policy package of countermeasures against illegal/harmful information on the Internet. In light of the purposes of the Act on Secure and Safe Internet Use Environment for the Youth (Act No. 79 of 2008) and Act to Partially Amend the Act on Regulation of Transmission of Specified Electronic Mail (Act No. 54 of 2008) enacted at the 169th Diet session, MIC has organized initiatives against illegal/harmful information on the Internet. It has now developed its Safe Network Development promotion program to identify the direction for future improvement of the environment for Internet usage. MIC will steadily implement the program and continue to make efforts to improve the environment for Internet usage.


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 01/16/2009

TOP↑

 

Personal Data of 4,210 Students, Teachers Lost

KYOTO - An external hard disc containing the personal information of 4,210 people, including students' academic records and the addresses of graduates and teachers, has been lost from Ritsumeikan Junior and Senior High School in Kyoto, the school announced Thursday. Believing the disc, which disappeared on Feb. 7, may have been stolen, Ritsumeikan filed a complaint with Fushimi Police Station. The school apologized to its students for the loss, and will also send letters of apology to the graduates concerned. The disc belonged to a 52-year-old science teacher who used it to store academic records of first-year high school students and second-year middle school students while updating a school computer.


From The Yomiuri Shimbun 02/13/2009

TOP↑

 

SINGAPORE: Data Protection Enforcement Needs Bite

As it puts together its data protection framework, Singapore can learn from economies such as Hong Kong, such as appointing an official or agency for enforcement, according to a Singapore-based consultant. Last month, Minister for Information, Communication and the Arts Lee Boon Yang said in Parliament that the work of an inter-ministry committee formed to review Singapore's data protection regime, is still ongoing. "We're currently looking into developing a data protection model that can best address Singapore's privacy concerns, commercial requirements and national interest," he said. "As data protection is a complex issue, with extensive impact on all stakeholders, this review will take some time." In response to queries from ZDNet Asia, a spokesperson from the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (Mica), said the inter-ministry committee involves public sector agencies including the Infocomm Development Authority, the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Attorney-General's Chambers. According to him, the committee is reviewing various approaches including those of the United States, the European Union and Canada, as there currently is no established, uniform method to deal with data protection. "In shaping Singapore's own data protection regime, we will take into account such international perspectives, where relevant, as well as views from the public. "Mica will share the details of the proposed framework at the appropriate juncture," the spokesperson added. Joshua Chua, Deloitte & Touche's security and privacy leader for risk consulting in Southeast Asia, concurred. "As countries like the United Kingdom, the European Union and Hong Kong have already adopted such comprehensive laws, there are lessons that Singapore can learn from their experience," he pointed out.

According to Chua, there is currently no specific data breach notification legislation in Singapore, which mandates that companies notify regulators and the public in the event of a privacy breach, or leakage of personal customer information. Data breach notification laws typically require companies to establish procedures for handling data losses or leakages, he explained. Such a requirement can help companies be better prepared to handle data breaches. "Companies become aware of when and how they need to notify the regulators and the public, and would also ensure certain mechanisms to be in place for restitution to their customers - typically in the form of free account monitoring for a certain period of time," said Chua. "This helps to preserve the trust of their customers, the regulators and the general public in the event of data loss incidents." The Hong Kong Monetary Authority, for example, issued a customer data protection circular to all authorized financial institutions on Jul. 10, 2008, he noted. The document contained guidelines requiring banks in the Special Administrative Region to have specific data breach management procedures in place, and also to appoint a senior official responsible for incident management. Appointed overseer needs bite Adopting data protection practices and regulations is not without its challenges, noted Chua. First, unlike markets such as Hong Kong, Japan and the United States, Singapore does not have an overarching data protection or privacy law, nor is privacy protected under the constitution or general law. Instead, data protection and privacy is regulated via industry-specific laws and enforced by industry regulatory bodies, he explained. "If a data breach notification law were to be introduced in Singapore without overarching data protection [or] privacy legislation in place, the companies would...need some time to interpret and understand which data would be specifically affected," Chua pointed out. "Since different industries interpret different data as 'customer' data, they would need to understand which data requires monitoring and notification in the event of a breach."

Another challenge is in identifying where the data resides, he said. For instance, if a data processing services provider were to suffer data loss or leakage, who should be held responsible for the breach or misuse of data - the service provider or its client which submitted the information for processing? Ultimately, Chua noted, the challenges lay not so much in the development of the data protection law, but in ensuring its effectiveness. A country that enacts a comprehensive privacy law would appoint an official or agency responsible for ensuring compliance and overseeing the enforcement, such as the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data in Hong Kong. Such agencies need to have the necessary enforcement power and funding in order to be truly effective, he added. "Singapore can learn from Hong Kong's example, where data breaches were occurring in spite of the existence of a data protection law and the Privacy Commissioner's Office. "It was only after several serious data breaches that the Office finally got to receive the necessary funding and enforcement power to do its job, and this subsequently led to a safer environment in terms of data privacy and protection," Chua said, adding that the Office not only issued specific guidelines for incident management but also conducted inspections of companies that had breached data security regulations, scrutinizing their incident management and reporting procedures. Companies, on the other hand, need to ensure they have incident response procedures in place, as poor handling of data breaches can cause further damage. The affected company also needs to understand how to respond to a particular incident - not every breach requires the notification process to be kicked in. "Sometimes, it is sufficient just to strengthen the internal controls, while in other instances, the regulators and specific customers would need to be notified. Knowing which data is lost and what measures are necessary to address the data loss is very important," said Chua. And while fines and jail terms are common deterrents, the framework should take on a "more holistic" approach to inculcate data security and privacy consciousness in people, he added, noting that education and training programs ought to be introduced at all levels.


From http://www.zdnetasia.com/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

THAILAND: 2,300 Websites Blocked

Thai authorities have blocked 2,300 websites for allegedly insulting the country's monarchy and are waiting for court approval to restrict a further 400, the country's government said today. The blocking of the websites under lese majeste laws which protect King Bhumibol Adulyadej has been criticised by rights groups and media organisations in recent months. "The blocking of websites that disseminate content and pictures which insult the monarchy is one of the government's crucial policies," Information and Communication (ICT) minister Ranongruk Suwanchawee said in a statement. "We have blocked more than 2,300 websites. We are preparing to ask for court approval to shut down an additional 400 sites and will amend the ... law to increase powers of ICT officials as soon as parliament reopens," she said.

The ministry had spent 45 million baht (AU$1.78 million) to buy equipment for a round-the-clock "war room" targeting inappropriate web sites, Ranongruk said. The ministry would ask the ministries of justice, interior and defence to "decisively" prosecute violators, who face imprisonment and a fine for breaking the law, he added. Defaming the royals in Thailand carries a a maximum jail sentence of 15 years, but media groups say the law is often used as a political tool. Thailand made headlines around the world in 2007 when it blocked the popular video-sharing website YouTube after clips started appearing mocking the 81-year-old King Bhumibol. Global media watchdog Reporters Without Borders recently accused the Thai government of using the laws that protect the monarchy to suppress dissenting voices on the internet. New Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, however, defended the crackdown in a recent interview with AFP, saying that there were "historical and cultural differences" with other countries.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/06/2009

TOP↑

 

VIETNAM: Joining Open Source Software Alliance

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam has officially become a member of Asianux, an organisation dedicated to the development of free software, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Quoc Thang announced on Dec. 5. He was speaking at a symposium on open source software ( OSS ) in Hanoi, organised by the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education and Training, the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other agencies related to the IT sector. "Vietnam's entry marks a new step in the country's advancement in the IT sector in general and the availability of OSS in particular," Thang said. During the past four years, Vietnam has adopted policies designed to encourage the development and application of OSS, resulting in a total of between 14,000 and 20,000 personal computers using OpenOffice, Firefox, Unikey and other free software. Experts say the development of OSS enables developing countries to gain wider access to a range of software solutions, helping them to increase their investment efficiency, better meet the demands of the poor and assist them in adapting to different indigenous languages and cultures. Prior to Vietnam joining Asianux, its membership consisted of Japan , China and the Republic of Korea.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 12/05/2008

TOP↑

 

Vietnam Urged to Pay More Attention to Information Security

Hanoi (VNA) - The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has made public results of its survey on global state of information security in 2008, in which PwC suggesting that Vietnamese companies should pay more attention in the field. One of the key findings of the survey is that Asian companies no longer trail North American organisations in establishing leading practices in information security. Therefore, Vietnamese companies face very high regional benchmarks, PwC said in its statement in early December. Henri Hoang, a director with the IT Security practice in the Ho Chi Minh office of PwC, said that in the IT security context in Vietnam, there has always been a great emphasis on the deployment of security-related technologies such as firewalls and anti-virus software. However, as companies become more sophisticated with securities measures, so do the types of attacks. PwC said Vietnamese enterprises need to have up-to-date security technologies which are supported by well-trained and skilled people. During the preparation of the survey, PwC asked more than 7,000 Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Security Officers, vice presidents and director of IT and information security from 119 countries. PwC is the world's biggest business advisory group, operating in 150 countries and territories. It established offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City in 1994.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 12/10/2008

TOP↑

 

INDIA: Enhanced Managed Security Services Launched

Juniper Networks, Inc. and Sify Technologies Limited, today announced the launch of enhanced managed security services for small to large Indian enterprises, using Juniper's Adaptive Threat Management Solutions. Sify will launch these enhanced services with a single point of service deployment, management and control. The company also plans other managed services, such as for WAN optimization and Application Acceleration. Juniper Network's Adaptive Threat Management Solutions can significantly reduce threats and risks faced by global enterprises. Juniper Networks security solutions identify, mitigate, and report on the most complex security attacks in real time. At the same time, they support compliance requirements, and reduce management overhead so that IT departments can allocate resources to other initiatives. Nagendra Venkaswamy, Managing Director, India & SAARC, Juniper Networks, said, "Managed security services are one of the fastest growing services in India with a market size of about Rs 181 Cores last year. However, the reliability, performance and effectiveness of the underlying security technologies can make or break these services."


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/04/2008

TOP↑

 

INR 2,000 Crores Earmarked for Computerization of All Police Stations

The Government has proposal to provide computer facility with internet to all the Police Stations in the country, including Delhi. All the Police Stations would be extended such facility before March, 2010. Planning Commission has provided an outlay of INR 2,000 crores for utilization in 11th Five Year Plan. This information was provided by Sriprakash Jaiswal, Minister of State in the Ministry of Home Affairs, in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha yesterday.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/24/2008

TOP↑

 

ICT Makes Crime Records Available at Your Fingertips

Delhi Police has come up with a high-tech way to keep a tab on criminals. Delhi Police is in process of installing 171 Automated Fingerprint and Palmprint Identification Systems (AFPIS) in all police stations in the Capital as well as in other important places including the five district courts and 11 district headquarters. The system, a web-based software running on Linux, will enable cops to access existing police records to instantly identify an arrested accused. This way, when they arrest a person, they will be able to access his past crime history, if any, and his personal information mentioned in the police records by putting him through AFPIS. Tenders for AFPIS have already been floated and responded to and now the police are conducting technical evaluation of samples submitted by the applicants. Biometric system providers are of the view that a complete AFPIS unit will cost around INR 20 lakh while a basic unit will come for around INR 10 lakh.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/10/2009

TOP↑

 

First e-Court of India Launched

The first model e-court in the country has been launched by the Gujarat High Court here recently. It has started functioning on a pilot basis at the Ahmedabad City Civil and Sessions Court, providing tamperproof authentic audio-video recording of proceedings with multi-point video conferencing facilities linking the courtroom, central jail, the police commissioner's office and the Forensic Science Laboratory. The under-trials lodged in the central jail could be virtually presented before the court through video conferencing. This project is an initiative of the Central government and was set up with technical support from the Technology, Information, Forecasting and Assessment Council (TIFAC), the Centre for Advanced Computing and National Informatics Centre. There are plans to open similar e-courts in Mumbai and in other parts of the country at the earliest. For the judiciary, the advantage would be that the entire proceedings would be video-recorded and available for review in case of any doubt. The initial cost of the project was INR 82.50 lakh and the annual recurring expenditure was estimated at INR 5.30 lakh while replicating the e-courts would put an additional cost of about INR 24 lakh. Three other major cities in the State - Surat, Vadodara and Rajkot - were expected to be covered under e-courts in the second phase of implementation after about a year.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/11/2009

TOP↑

 

IRAN: Iran Blocks Websites Promoting Khatami

Iranian authorities have reportedly blocked websites promoting the presidential bid of Mohammed Khatami. Reformist politician Majid Ansari as said at least two of the websites have been blocked. Khatami's own campaign website was unaffected. Earlier this month, Khatami, a former president, said that he will run against President Mahmud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 election. Khatami, a reformist, oversaw a thaw in ties with the West during his 1997-2005 presidency. In past years, Iranian reformists have suffered setbacks as conservatives have consolidated power. Authorities have shut down many reformist newspapers and have barred thousands of reformist candidates from running in parliamentary elections.


From http://www.rferl.org/ 02/22/2009

TOP↑

KYRGYZSTAN: Three ISPs 'Out of Action'

According to Information Warfare Monitor, three out of four main internet service providers (ISPs) in Kyrgyzstan have been taken offline by a series of distributed denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. Due to the scale of the attacks, which are reportedly similar to those carried out by Russian hackers on Estonia and Georgia, upstream providers in Russia and Kazakhstan have refused to pass traffic in and out of the country. According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms database there were an estimated 52,000 broadband subscribers (using services with speeds of 256kbps of faster) in the country at the end of 2007.


From http://www.telegeography.com/ 02/02/2009

TOP↑

 

AUSTRALIA: Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-safety

School students from across Australia will participate in the Rudd Governments Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-Safety, the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced today. "Young Australians are well immersed in the digital world. They understand the great potential of the internet and are perfectly positioned to guide the development of effective responses to cyber-safety risks," Senator Conroy said. "I am delighted to welcome the participation of 15 schools in the Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-Safety. I am positive this experience will be rewarding for their students and I look forward to hearing their comments." The Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-Safety will begin in the first half of 2009. The group will consider and communicate to Government, cyber-safety risks faced by Australian children, how best to address these and how to communicate cyber-safety messages to other young Australians. "Students from these schools will have the opportunity to advise the Government on cyber-safety issues currently faced by their peers," Senator Conroy said. The Government committed funding of $125.8 million over four years in the 2008-09 Budget for a comprehensive cyber-safety plan including: education, law enforcement, content filtering, research, and international cooperation. "This is just one of a number of Government initiatives aimed at creating a safer online environment for all Australian children," Senator Conroy said. The 15 schools taking part in the Youth Advisory Group on Cyber-Safety represent a cross section of the Australian community covering all states and territories.


From http://www.alp.org.au/ 12/08/2008

TOP↑

 

ABS to Release Most Website Data Under Creative Commons Licensing

In a first for an Australian Commonwealth government agency, the ABS is set to release most of its website data under Creative Commons licensing on 18-19 December. Announced in their Website changes coming soon page, the ABS states, Creative Commons provides a spectrum of licensing for the use of intellectual property between full copyright and public domain - in essence 'some rights reserved'. The ABS is poised to introduce Creative Commons licensing for the majority of its web content. The relevant Creative Commons logo (which will link to the Attribution 2.5 Australia Licence) will be included at the bottom of every page on the ABS website. This will allow greater legal reuse of ABS data, placing the organisation inline with similar central statistical agencies in other democratic countries. This was previously recommended in the VentureAustralia report, reviewing the National Australian Innovation System. Released by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Recommendation 7.8 stated that, Australian governments should adopt international standards of open publishing as far as possible. Material released for public information by Australian governments should be released under a creative commons licence.


From http://egovau.blogspot.com/ 12/12/2008

TOP↑

 

Rudd Hiring Security CIO

Kevin Rudd's department has advertised for a top-level security-focused chief information officer to oversee the technology aspects of its national security strategy. The so-called National Security CIO will be a part of the new National Security and International Policy Group within Rudd's Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, according to advertisements placed today. The position will report to former SAS commander Duncan Lewis, who was this month appointed as Rudd's new national security advisor. "The National Security CIO will provide strategic direction, co-ordination and oversight of the national security community's information and communications technology architecture and strategy," the advertisement stated. It remains unclear what relationship the new public servant will have with AusCERT, the nation's existing Computer Emergency Response Team, or the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), which sits within the Department of Finance and Deregulation and is the Federal Government's top authority in terms of information technology policy across government.

There is also the Defence Signals Directorate, which sets a range of security policies across government agencies. The news comes as Rudd has recently promised to bolster Australia's cyber-defences to fend off what he described as hackers' and terrorists' ready access to technology. "We are highly dependent on computer and information technology to drive critical industries such as aviation, electricity and water supply, banking and finance, and telecommunications networks," the Prime Minister said in his first national security statement. "This dependency on information technology makes us potentially vulnerable to cyber attacks," he said. "A number of actors may carry out such attacks ranging from hackers, to commercial entities and foreign states."


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 12/12/2008

TOP↑

 

Government Bolsters E-security

Attorney-General Robert McClelland and Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, today jointly announced the first outcomes from the E-Security Review 2008. "The Prime Minister's National Security Statement recognised that e-security is one of the Government's top national security priorities. New online threats are emerging and it's imperative that we take steps to protect critical e-infrastructure," Mr McClelland said. The Review made a number of recommendations, including: The development of closer relationships between the Commonwealth and theprivate sector in the area of e-security; Improved engagement with Internet service providers (ISPs) to help create a "security culture" amongst Australian Internet users; and Building international partnerships on e-security to promote awareness, marshal expertise, and eliminate safe havens for cyber criminals. In response to the Review, the Australian Government Computer Emergency Readiness Team (GovCERT.au) will establish trusted information exchanges with the private sector. This will enable the Commonwealth and business community to share unique detailed technical information, thereby building a greater understanding of the online environment and its threats.

The exchanges will cover the banking and finance sector, the telecommunications industry, and water and power utilities. The Australian Communications and Media Authority, in conjunction with the Department for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, will also work with ISPs to develop a code of practice for e-security "Increasingly sophisticated Internet-based attacks can leave small businesses and individuals vulnerable to online fraud, identity theft and loss of privacy. ISPs are uniquely placed to help inform, educate and protect their subscribers," Senator Conroy said. The Rudd Government is conferring in respect to implementing other recommendations made by the Review. The totality of measures will be contained in a new e-security framework. The Government thanks the many organisations and individuals who provided submissions and made time available to assist in the Review.


From http://www.alp.org.au/ 12/22/2008

TOP↑

 

NSW Govt Investigates Potential Hack

The personal details of job seekers may have been compromised after the NSW Government website used to advertise public service roles came under attack from a security threat. The Department of Commerce, which administers the jobs.nsw.gov.au site, refused to say if any personal data had been stolen or when the security threat occurred. But in a statement posted on the website, job seekers were warned not to reply to a spam email "advertising a non-existent job vacancy" and requesting the recipient to reply to receive further information. A departmental spokeswoman said the matter was now under investigation and the site had been temporarily shut down. "Clearly people were sent some unauthorised emails and the safest thing for us to do in that case was to shut down the site, offer alternative arrangements for the advertising of government jobs and kick in the procedure for investigation," the spokeswoman told AAP. "We don't know the level of sophistication we're dealing with at this stage and that is hopefully what we will find out in the next day or so."


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

AFRICA: e-Government Forum to Be Held in Rwanda

Preparations for the third annual African e-government Forum to be held in Rwanda in March have begun. The three-day event will give an opportunity to Information and communication technologies to voice their views, insights, knowledge and share experiences at the forum. Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) will be organizing the event. CTO is an international development partnership between Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth governments, business and civil society organisations. The Forum hopes to attract Ministers of Technology, heads of e-government projects, civil society leaders and representatives from IT organizations including mobile operators, infrastructure providers, foundations, development and donor agencies to discuss current issues and witness success stories on e-government in Africa.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/19/2009

TOP↑

 

ASIA: The 2nd Annual ID Management & Access World Asia 2009

Venue: SUNTEC Singapore International Convention and Exhibition Centre - Singapore

The 2nd Annual ID Management Summit Asia encompasses the areas of IDM and Access Control. This is the ONLY event in Asia that will bring together the private and public sector to discuss and learn about the latest technology and best practices in the IDMA space.


From http://www.terrapinn.com/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

EUROPE: Towards the SDI Best Practice Award 2009

The eSDI-Net+ project is currently conducting a process of Identification and Analysis of Spatial Data Information (SDI) Best Practices at sub national level. This process will lead to the SDI Best Practice Award at the end of 2009. The application deadline is 22 September 2009. eSDI-Net+ offers limited opportunity for SDI's throughout European countries and regions to present themselves to Spatial Data Experts and local SDI stakeholders on the occasion of personal interviews and local workshops. All types and sizes of stakeholders in charge of SDI developments from any region of Europe and at any level - from local to regional and national - are welcome to apply. The application should be submitted by organisations facilitating access to geographical content or providing geo-information services to end-users.

Each interviewed SDI will then be evaluated by the national representative of the eSDI-NET+ project, taking diverse criteria into account. Key aspects of successful SDI selection will comprise: Technological, innovative level and originality of the project; Implementation and/or readiness for INSPIRE principles; Level of fostering cooperation between different users (proof of visibility and/or user feedback); Possibility of extension to other countries and regions. Following to the Identification and Analysis of Best Practices, outstanding European SDI initiatives and solutions will be awarded in 2009. eSDI-Net+ (Network for promotion of cross-border dialogue and exchange of best practices on Spatial Data Infrastructures throughout Europe) is a project co-funded by the European Community programme eContentplus. The project started in September 2007 and will run for three years. Its objective is to bring together existing SDI key players and target users in a Thematic Network to be established as a platform for communication and exchange between different stakeholders involved in the creation and use of SDI's.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 01/29/2009

TOP↑

 

European eParticipation Day 2009 Promotes the Use of ICT to Support Citizens' Participation in Decision-making

The European eParticipation Day 2009 is a first event organised by the European Commission to enhance and boost eParticipation - the use of ICT to support citizens' participation in decision-making. The event to be held 4 March 2009 in Brussels is the culmination of the work done by the European Commission in recent years to empower citizens through the use of new ICT tools and applications in having a greater say in the political decisions which affect them. The event - which takes place in a timely moment for European citizens, as the European elections are approaching - provides the opportunity for a high-level debate on the state of play and future developments in eParticipation. Furthermore, the event will host an exhibition showcasing the results of EU-funded projects (from programmes of the Directorate-General Information Society and Media) in this field. The European eParticipation Day 2009 follows three years of the eParticipation Preparatory Action, strongly supported by the European Parliament, which has engaged about 70 MEPS (around 10 % of the total) as well as almost all the national parliaments of the EU Member States. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for the Information Society and Media, will give the closing speech at the event.


From http://www.epractice.eu/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

Taking the Best of Web 2.0 into the Public Sector

With the widespread use of the internet and the enormous success of social network platforms, governments around the world are jumping on the bandwagon and work on strategies how to expand their services by incorporating Web 2.0 technologies. Anthony Williams, Vice President and Executive Editor of the international business innovation think tank New Paradigm says "the Web offers the public sector huge opportunities to collaborate with citizens". He also foresees Web 2.0 technologies being employed to transform service delivery, make smarter policies, flatten silos, and most importantly, reinvigorate democracy. However, using Web 2.0 does come with certain security threats and issues such as malwares and the easy access to private information. In addition, according to South Korea's Dr Kim Seang-Tae, President of the National Information Society Agency (NIA), "current discussions concerning e-government have some limitations in addressing possibility and current change, because they ignore development of civil society and democracy".

Dr Kim Seang-Tae has published numerous works of research in the field of e-governance and he will be the keynote speaker on the topic of "Government & Web 2.0" at the Government Information Forum 09, coming up on 4- 5 March 2009 in Singapore. Dr Kim will be addressing how governments can take the best of the social internet to improve access and data capture - whilst at the same time maintain secure, transparent and responsible decision-making processes. Beside Dr. Kim Seang Tae this high-level conference, organised by FutureGov magazine, will gather numerous public sector ICT leaders from APAC and beyond to discuss five key fields that must be embraced for agencies to drive organisational efficiency, enhance customer engagement while at the same time improving corporate accountability and transparency.

The five featured fields will be Information Management, Interoperability, Business Intelligence, Enterprise Content Management and Information Security. International experts like Rain Ottis (Scientist, NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, ESTONIA), Chim Voon How (IT Director, Singapore Land Authority, SINGAPORE), Dr Chao Han-Chieh (IT Director, Computer Centre, Ministry of Education, TAIWAN), Dr N.T. Cheung (Chief Medical Information Officer, Hong Kong Hospital Authority, HONG KONG), Jeremy Shen (Director, Information Centre, Ministry of Interior, TAIWAN) and many more will update participants on their experience, current developments and how to ensure successful government modernisation. Registration for the Government Information Forum 2009 is open for all public sector officials. For more details, the complete agenda and registration please download the brochure: Full Brochure - Government Information Forum 2009.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 02/03/2009

TOP↑

 

ITU Telecom World 2009 Set to Open in Geneva, 5-9 October

Geneva - ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 is on track to open its doors 5-9 October at PALEXPO in Geneva, Switzerland. With the world in the grip of an unprecedented financial crisis and economic slowdown, ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 remains a unique networking platform for the ICT industry as well as top-level policy-makers and regulators to address the issues at hand and seek a way forward. As a UN Specialized Agency and the leading intergovernmental body dealing with information and communication technologies (ICT), ITU is well-placed to create a brainstorming forum at the highest level. Heads of State and Government, Ministers, regulators and industry leaders are expected to seek solutions to inject new vigour in the ICT sector, which has been the powerhouse of economic growth worldwide. The ICT sector continues to be seen as the catalyst to stimulate growth in the other sectors as well. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will be attending ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, has called for governments and industry not to lose sight of the global challenges of our times - meeting the development goals, mitigating climate change, building a green economy - while putting in place national stimulus packages. ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said that the ICT industry and governments must continue to invest in infrastructure and the roll out of cost-effective services as a means to stabilize the sector.

High-level networking platform
"Business is anything but usual in these turbulent times," Dr Touré said. "ITU is deeply concerned by the impact of the financial crisis on its Members and the ICT industry. But we have to appreciate the realities and adjust dynamically to achieve the new demands. ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 is an opportunity for all stakeholders to create the plank for investment and growth. I have therefore invited Heads of State and Government to discuss the situation with leading industry CEOs in an open Forum. I expect this event to make significant inputs for the ICT industry in 2009 and beyond." ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 will provide the venue for a strategic dialogue between industry and government to discuss the key elements of investment in communications infrastructure and the new and changing roles of both industry and government. It will offer an opportunity to Connect Minds by focusing on the impact of the financial crisis. And it will build crossover synergies between governments, policy-makers and industry leaders overseeing the broader objectives of achieving an economic turn around, on the one hand, and the commercial ICT showcase - a one-stop shop for a broad cross-section of state-of-the-art products, applications and services, on the other. ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 will feature a dynamic and truly global Exhibition that will showcase leading edge technologies and applications. However, with several companies experiencing difficulties, some exhibitors have shied away from participating at trade shows this year. This is true not only for the ICT industry, but across all segments of the world economy. In refocusing ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 to adjust strategically to the current situation, ITU has called upon governments to intervene. As part of stimulus packages being unveiled globally, a number of national pavilions will provide the platform for the ICT industry from around the world to participate in ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, bringing a new flavour to this venerable ICT showcase. Alongside, thematic pavilions will explore the ICT applications and key themes central to our global wellbeing: health, education and climate change.

ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009: a unique ICT showcase
ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 is, in many ways, a unique event within the ICT industry:
--It encompasses the full reach of the ICT industry (mobile to satellite, broadband to NGN and more)
--It is vendor-neutral and not-for-profit
--It benefits from ITU's unique drawing power and track record in convening leaders from across the entire ICT sector and political spectrum
The VIP programme builds a global community of the world's most outstanding industry leaders and decision-makers from stakeholders around the world aimed at social networking, fostering new partnerships and seeking practical solutions and responses to rebuild the economy

In the run up to ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009, ITU will be engaging with industry and policy-makers at other ICT events, such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 16-19 February 2009, where the Secretary-General will launch a Report on the economic downturn: "Confronting the Crisis: Its Impact on the ICT Industry". The ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum in Lisbon, 21-24 April 2009, will hold a high-level Strategic Dialogue to address the issues. ITU will leverage its unique power and track record as a UN agency to make ITU TELECOM WORLD 2009 an event that will be critical for the advancement of ICTs.


From http://www.itu.int/newsroom/ 02/12/2009

TOP↑

 

CHINA: Online Game Industry Calls for Government Oversight

During the First International Digital Creative Industry Summit held in Wuhan, representatives from the Chinese online game industry called on relevant government departments to introduce a classification system into China's game industry to promote the healthy development of the industry. Jointly held by the China Youth Internet Association and the Wuhan Propaganda Department, the First International Digital Creative Industry Summit invited industry insiders to hold discussions about several topics, including the digital creative industry and and the promotion of new Internet economy. Chen Yingru, vice general manager for Jiangsu Global Digital Culture Experience Park, said that online games are vehicles that can carry both unhealthy contents like violence and healthy contents like puzzle games that make users more intelligent. They key factor lies with the guidance of the government, which is the biggest stakeholder in this industry.

Chen says many foreign countries use classification systems to divide online games and define which games are suitable for youngsters and which games are not. For those viewed as unsuitable for youngsters, only adults can gain access to those online games. Xu Hui, founder and CEO of the 3D digital world HiPiHi, told attendees online games have become the mainstream entertainment for Chinese teenagers. People of different ages have different demands. These demands should be defined, but this mission cannot be completed by companies or parents alone. It needs the mandatory regulatory measures launched by the government authorities. Early in 2004, the China Youth Internet Association set up the "Recommended Standard for Green Games", in which it set different grades for online games. However, because it was launched by a non-governmental organization, the standard did not attract much attention in the industry or the Chinese government.


From http://www.chinatechnews.com/ 12/09/2008

TOP↑

 

Chinese Company Wins Nokia's Global Innovators Prize

Nokia Corporation announced here on Tuesday the final winners in its global Calling All Innovators contest for mobile applications and solutions to help improve the quality of life on the planet. A Chinese company won the grand prize in the Technology Showcase Category. Challenged to create applications to improve the quality of life around the world, the grand prize winners of Calling All Innovators are Green Drive by Road-Guard (Israel) in the Eco-Challenge category; Nano Ganesh by Santosh Ostwal (India) in the Emerging Markets category; and X Dancery by Simlife Ltd. (China) in the Technology Showcase category. X Dancery, this application, fully optimized for the S60 5th Edition's touch screen UI and motion sensor technology, and with advanced 3D-graphics rendering capabilities, analyzes any MP3 file to automatically generate a unique tempo-based game for each selected musical track. Each of the grand prize winners received a cash award of 25,000 U.S. dollars and will receive help in distributing their mobile applications to consumers worldwide.

First place winners in each category received 10,000 U.S. dollars, and second-place winners each received 5,000 dollars. Yin Yimin, CEO of China's ZTE Communications Company, delivers a speech at a press conference during the 2nd day of the Mobile World Congress held in Barcelona Feb. 17, 2009. They were honored at the Forum Nokia Calling All Innovators Award Ceremony during the four-day annual GSMA Mobile World Congress starting from Monday. They were selected from among nearly 1,000 developers who competed in Eco-Challenge, Emerging Markets and Technology Showcase categories with mobile applications designed to contribute toward building a better world. "The high caliber of these nine winners in the first iteration of Calling All Innovators underscores the remarkable, ongoing creativity and innovation that currently defines the mobile developer community around the globe," said Rob Taylor, Director of Forum Nokia. In the next round of Calling All Innovators, Forum Nokia is challenging developers to create applications that will enhance the use of mobile devices in real-world scenarios, in the following categories: Internet Innovation, Flash, and Emerging Markets. Nokia's global developer program, Forum Nokia connects developers to tools, technical information, support, and distribution channels they can use to build and market applications around the globe.


From http://www.chinaview.cn/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

JAPAN: Mic to Hold the MRA International Workshop 2009

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) will hold an international workshop on Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) for Telecommunications equipment early in March, 2009 at the "CHIYODA HOSO KAIKAN" (Chiyoda Broadcasting Hall) in Tokyo.

Purpose of the workshop: The MIC will hold the workshop designed to promote the efficient operation and ongoing expansion of the MRA and to nurture the development of internationally respected conformity assessment bodies (CABs) in accordance with the supplementary resolution adopted by both Houses during deliberations in the Diet on the Japan-U.S. MRA which came into force in January 2008, and the revised MRA Law.

Date and venue, etc. of the workshop:
-Date: Tuesday March 3 and Wednesday March 4, 2009 (two days)
-Venue: "CHIYODA HOSO KAIKAN" (Chiyoda Broadcasting Hall) (The hall is located at 1-1, Kioi-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN.)
-Attendees: Approximately 100 (mainly representatives of domestic manufacturers and officials involved with domestic and overseas accreditation bodies)


From http://www.soumu.go.jp/ 01/30/2009

TOP↑

 

SOUTH KOREA: IP Manpower Training Available for Small Businesses

Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) Commissioner Jung-Sik Koh announced that starting January 19 "IP Manpower Training Services" would be available for small businesses. These services will allow small business to get more efficient patent training by directly sending instructors to company sites. To date, small/medium enterprises have been undertrained. The distance to training facilities, lack of customized training programs, and shortage of replacement workers are usually held to blame. KIPO is planning to offer practical training services to remedy this situation and meet the needs of small business. To start, it will send its instructors directly to the companies, relieving the need for replacement workers. And it will encourage participation by providing its services even after hours. Companies can freely apply for these services, however, ten or more trainees are required for the introduction course and five or more are required for the intermediate and advanced courses. For companies that cannot meet these requirements, courses at their nearby local intellectual property centers are also available.

During the first half of the year, courses will be held at the local intellectual property centers in Incheon, Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, and Cheongju. Training will vary depending on the level of intellectual property used by the company and in consideration of the differences among them. Programs will be self-oriented, developed with the help of experts in the field. Case-by-case patent training will be provided in ways that are practical to the company. It will use various case models of infringement or of being infringed. The instructors will comment on their counter-measures against those cases, which will help to increase their patent responsiveness. Interested companies can fill out applications online at www.kipa.org or www.iphuman.or.kr, by e-mail to kyoenm@kipa.org or by fax at 02-3459-2859. Submissions are due January 30. The cost is free.


From http://www.korea.net/ 01/23/2009

TOP↑

 

PHILIPPINES: PGMA Leads Efforts to Stimulate e-Services Growth in RP

Amid the difficult issues besetting the country's information and communication technology (ICT) industry brought about by the deepening recession in the United States, which affects the rest of the world, the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) of the Department of Trade and Industry is holding the 9th e-services Global Sourcing Conference Exhibition on February 9-10, 2009 at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. No less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who believes that the ICT sector, specifically the business process outsourcing (BPO), can provide the much-needed jobs at this time, will grace the annual event. Emerging issues and trends in Information and Communication Technology and the growing needs of corporations all over the world for solid IT skills and infrastructure will be discussed at the event. With the e-Services Conference and Exhibition, local companies engaged in providing IT products and services, call centers, and knowledge process outsourcing among others, will come together and talk about the future of the industry and how meaningful strategies could be devised to deal with issues besetting the industry. The e-Services Conference also seeks to acknowledge and highlight Filipino ingenuity and creativity as some 200 exhibitors and 2,000 participants from all over the world are participating in the e-Services conference. Trade Undersecretary Thomas Aquino said the Philippines continues to be seen as a "BPO goldmine" by businesses all over the world and is on the way to becoming the world's center of global procurement. Despite the closure of some companies, top players in the BPO industry agree that the effect would be growth of the industry, albeit with lower growth rate. This year, e-Services will again pave the way for the global leaders, decision makers, and centers of excellence in global ICT and BPO to:
* Converge and collaborate to tackle the emerging issues and trends in the global IT;
* Connect with their counterparts in the field of IT and its related products and services; and
* Create ideas and solutions to fill the ever changing need of the global IT industry.

E-Services is recognized as a high-profile meeting place in the Asia Pacific that gathers the brightest minds and the best players in the world of ICT and BPO.


From http://www.gov.ph/ 02/08/2009

TOP↑

 

VIETNAM: Second ICT Forum Kicks Off in Hanoi

Hanoi (VNA) - The second Hanoi forum on Information-Communication Technology (ICT-Hanoi 2008), themed "ICT industry issues and challenges", opened in Hanoi on Dec. 11. Prof. Dao Trong Thi, chairman of the National Assembly's Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children and almost 200 policy makers, IT businessmen and specialists from the US, France, Finland, Germany, the Republic of Korea, Japan and India attended the event, which was co-organised by the Hanoi National University and the Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies. Participants exchanged knowledge and experiences regarding ICT and informed each other of current opportunities and challenges within the industry. They also mapped out solutions and application models to promote the development of Vietnam 's IT industry. They also discussed solutions for IT human resources development, Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Software Engineering (SE). A host of current hot topics relevant to Vietnam's IT industry were also presented at the forum, such as ICT competitive strategies and intellectual property rights, the use of technological and scientific budgets for research and development and the influence of IT on a range of social issues.


From http://www.vnagency.com.vn/ 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

Vietnam's Online Ministerial E-Govt Dialogue

Information on most public services will be online by 2015, Vietnam's Deputy Ministry for Information and Communications (MoIC), Nguyen Minh Hong, told the country's netizens in an online dialogue session. Ministries, government agencies, centrally governed cities and provinces will have 60 per cent of the documents uploaded on their web portals in 2010, up from 30 per cent estimated for 2009. Hong said information technology would be used to renovate information management among government agencies. National databases on people, land, finance, economics, industries and trade would become the foundation for e-government. While answering another query, Hong said that government leaders at all levels should be well aware of the e-government plans. He also mentioned about the importance of completing a legal framework for the operation and improving co-operation in sharing information among different agencies of the central government. Agreeing that incomplete awareness by some local leaders on the importance of IT had slowed the process, Hong revealed he had witnessed progress in computerisation within the agencies. He said that the ministry would make proposals to the Government to promote the process by the end of this year.

Replying to a provincial government ICT official's comment that everything about applying IT just stayed on paper since there was no capital to translate it into reality, the Deputy Minister said the Prime Minister's decision had been issued in March so it failed to synchronise with the central budget plan. It took time for MoIC, Finance, Investment and Planning ministries to make calculations on supplementing expenditure. The online discussion has also seen topics such as poor IT knowledge of local leaders and connectivity in some mountainous regions. While saying that the central government should have IT training programmes for local officials, Hong added that the development of e-government was a long, continuous process. He said his ministry would ensure internet connection for every commune by 2010. Commenting about the effect complicated administration procedures have on the feasibility of e-government, Hong said e-government would contribute to simplifying administration procedures. It required public servants to move from paper-based working habits to a computer-based working style, which is a length process.


From http://www.futuregov.net/ 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

INDIA: 3rd National Consultation on Rural Inclusion

Third National Consultation with the central theme of 'ICT for rural Inclusion: Access, Empowerment, Employability' will be hosted by NASSCOM Foundation (NF), the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) arm of NASSCOM. In consultation with the NGO partners, this three day National Consultation aims debate on enabling rural inclusion, and take stock of the progress made by the various programmes to enhance access, empowerment and employment of the underserved in India. Focus will be also be on connecting Non Government Organization's (NGO's) to employability skills training, training for the differently abled, skills imparted for Rural BPO's and Animation skills training youth and discussions around training for the retail sector. Apart from these deliberations, there will be training programs for NGO partners on documentation. The objective is to build capacity of the grassroots managers to document their project experience and impacts.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 12/19/2008

TOP↑

 

'Innovations 2009' to Be Held in Pune

'Innovations 2009' which is planning to showcase 15 innovative products or processes developed by the technocrats is to held on January 10 and 11 at the Dewang Mehta Auditorium of Persistent Systems, Pune. Its to being organised jointly by the IIT Bombay Alumni Association - Pune Chapter and TiE along with Praj Industries and Persistent Systems. Out of the 15 innovators selected for this year, five are from bio-medical and pharmaceuticals, three from chemical and biotechnology, three energy and environment and four from the information and communication technology products. The short-listed innovators will then present their ideas in the rapid-fire format, where each of them will get six minutes to present followed by an interaction with the audience. These presenters are from cities such as Chennai, Bhopal, Dhule, Kolhapur, Navi Mumbai and Pune.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/09/2009

TOP↑

 

Training Programme on e-Procurement by Delhi Government

Department of Information Technology, Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi is conducting a Training Programme in e-Procurement which will be held on the every Tuesday and Friday between 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. This programme aimed at suppliers/contractors/vendors intends to smoothen the implementation of the e-procurement system. The venue for this training programme will be Department of Information Technology, Government of NCT of Delhi, 9th Level, B-Wing, Delhi Secretariat. Government of NCT of Delhi has already implemented e-procurement system for all tenders compulsorily in the departments of Public Works Department (PWD), Health and Family Welfare, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) / Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) , Irrigation and Food Control, Delhi Jal Board, Food and Civil Supplies, Excise and Entertainment, Union Territories of Civil Services (UTCS), Education, Delhi Transco Ltd., Indraprastha Power Generation Corporation Limited (IPGCL) / Pragati Power Corporation Limited (PPCL) and New Delhi Municipal Committee (NDMC). Many other departments of the Government of NCT of Delhi are going to implement the same starting from tomorrow i.e. 15th January 2009. These departments are Delhi State Civil Services Corporation (DSCSC) Ltd., Audit, General Administration Department, Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC), Land and Building, Urban Development, Central Prison, Trade and Taxes, Revenue, Developments, Transport, Information and Publicity, Labour, Training and Technical Education, Higher Education, Social Welfare, Cooperative Societies, Delhi Fire Services, Conservator of Forest and Prevention of Food Adulteration. The bidders who intend to participate in e-tenders are required to register with Application Service Provider (ASP) of Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D) by paying a registration fee of INR 6 thousand plus service tax at the help desk set up at room number 129-130, Level-1, Delhi Secretariat between 9.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on all working days.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 01/14/2009

TOP↑

 

12th National Conference on e-Governance

The Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances in association with the Department of Information Technology and the Government of Goa are organizing a two-day National Conference on e-Governance on 12 & 13 February 2009 in Goa. The objective of these awards is to recognize and promote excellence in implementation of e-Governance initiatives. Senior Officers from the Government, industry, academicians, technical experts and NGOs will participate in the Event. During the Conference national awards for e-Governance will be presented. These awards are given in seven different categories concerning various aspects of e-Governance. The National Awards on e-Governance distinguish some of the best Government to Government (G2G), Government of Citizen (G2C), Government of Business (G2B) initiatives by various government departments and public sector units. The Conference along with the Exhibition is a forum to showcase best practices, innovative technologies and ICT solutions.

'Public Distribution System Online' Government of Chhattisgarh, Department of Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Protection Raipur and National Informatics Centre, Raipur; 'E-CITY', Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, e-Governance Department, Ahmedabad, Gujarat: Jaankari, Government of Bihar, DAR& PG, Patna; 'Sujala Watershed Project', Government of Karnataka,Watershed Development, Department, Bangalore and 'Tele-opthalmology Project', Government of Tripura, Department of Health, Vision Centre, Agartala are the winners of gold medals in five different categories. None of the nominations was considered suitable for gold in the remaining two categories.


From http://www.egovonline.net/ 02/12/2009

TOP↑

 

TAJIKISTAN: FOCUS Conducts Geographic Information System Training for Government Institutions in Tajikistan

Between December 9 and 22 2008, Focus Humanitarian Assistance (FOCUS) is holding the first of three training courses in Dushanbe and Khorog, Gorno Badakhshan on the use of Geographic Information System (GIS). According to Ms. Soro Marodaliyeva, Communications Officer, Focus Humanitarian Assistance Tajikistan, the FOCUS training aims to build capacity within government institutions and to enhance their staff's knowledge and skills in this field. This training is being conducted within the framework of the DIPECHO project "Fostering Disaster-Resilient Communities in Isolated Mountain Environments" funded by the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO). In Tajikistan, FOCUS has a long history of working in close collaboration with government institutions in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction.

These institutions include the Committee of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense, the Head Agency of Geology under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Hydro-meteorological Observatory of Khorog city and the Avalanche Station of Navobod, GBAO. This three-phased training is being held for the employees of the above mentioned institutions. The second and third phases are planned for February and July of 2009 respectively. Since 2003, FOCUS in Tajikistan has been the implementing partner of the DIPECHO project in GBAO. It has realized comprehensive community-based disaster risk reduction initiatives throughout GBAO and providing capacity building programs for local government institutions working in the field of Disaster Risk Reduction. (by Bahrom Mannonov)


From http://www.asiaplus.tj/ 12/11/2008

TOP↑

 

Roundtable Meeting to Discuss Information System for Health Care Management to Be Held on Friday

The progress of implementation of the program for development of information system for health care management will be the focus of a roundtable meeting that will be held at the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Dushanbe on February 20, Ms. Fotima Yoqubova, a spokeswoman for a MoH, told Asia-Plus today. According to her, the healthcare database software, DHIS2, is expected to be presented on sidelines of the meeting. "Besides, a videoconference with participation of representatives from India's Healthcare Information System Program Center and the Oslo International Technical Group DHIS2 (Norway), which are partners on working out the program, will be held during the meeting," the spokeswoman said. (by Mavjouda Hasanova)


From http://www.asiaplus.tj/ 02/18/2009

TOP↑

 

UZBEKISTAN: ICT Sector's Development in 2008 Considered

The Cabinet's Complex for information systems and telecommunications held a session on 13 January to sum up the results of the sector's development in 2008. According to the latest data, the ICT sector manufatured products and provided services worth UZS 1.49 billion last year, which is 56.8% more than in 2007. The exports increased 40.2% compared to the forecasts. Foreign direct investments totalling USD 243.87 million (UZS 339.95 billion) were attracted in 2008 to the sector. The number of internet users reached 2.4 million by the year-end, and the quantity of mobile users increased more than twice and made up 12.65 million. The session participants called for wider introduction of ICT in the ministries and other state bodies, as well as local authorities. They also said the quantity of interactive state services had to be increased and more attention should be paid to development of modern ICT services in rural areas.


From http://uza.uz/ 01/15/2009

TOP↑

 

Modern Media-Marketing Techniques Discussed

A training seminar on "Modern technology of media marketing" was held on 13 February in Tashkent for the management of promotion departments, press services, and advertising and marketing staff of printed and online media agencies. The event was organized by the Institute of Economy of the Sciences Academy of Uzbekistan jointly with the Public Fund to Support and Develop Independent Media and News Agencies of Uzbekistan, and the Association of Professional Business Consultants. The primary purpose of the event was to provide assistance to printed and online publications in the development of their marketing strategies in the conditions of contemporary economic reality. Uzbekistan has turned into an integral element of the world economy and global financial market.

Developing macroeconomic situation in the world and the region creates the need for the development of an adjusted economic strategy that would include a number of effective measures to support and develop different sectors of economy. World practices shows that over the periods of economic instability, the companies' protective reactions were to cut the costs, in the first place, by cutting down on promotion campaigns, and minimization of advertising budgets. This implies potential fall in come of different media and advertisement agencies. As noted during the seminar, effective use of marketing innovations in the activity of mass media could play a positive role in maintenance of stable operation, and support of various organizations, companies, business entities by providing accessible and at the same time effective instrument of influence on consumers.


From http://news.uzreport.com/ 02/16/2009

TOP↑

 

AUSTRALIA: Safer Internet Day 2009

Young people around Australia will participate in activities promoting responsible internet use during Safer Internet Day tomorrow. "The themes for Safer Internet Day 2009 - safe social networking and the prevention of cyber-bullying - are particularly relevant given the popularity of services such as Facebook, MySpace, Habbo Hotel and Bebo among young people," the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy said. "Young people are highly engaged with the online world and it is important that they have the knowledge and experience needed to be responsible cyber-citizens." Australia is one of more than 50 countries expected to recognise Safer Internet Day on Tuesday 10 February, 2009. Activities organised by the Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) include:
social networking and consumer safety forums for secondary school students
launch of new cyber-bullying initiatives for primary school children on the SuperClubsPLUS Australia website, and
launch of Cybersmart Detectives Game in schools in New South Wales.

"Statistics show that young people spend as much as 65 per cent of their online time engaged in social networking and other related communication activities," Senator Conroy said. "While most online experiences for young people are positive, they are never risk-free, so it is important that we raise awareness of safer online behaviours." The Rudd Government is investing $125.8 million cyber-safety plan to help create a safer online environment. Measures include the law enforcement, education, content filtering, research and international cooperation. The Government is also creating a Youth Advisory Group to help guide effective responses to online safety risks. For more information on the cyber-safety plan, visit www.dbcde.gov.au/cybersafetyplan. For more information on ACMA's activities for Safer Internet Day 2009, visit www.acma.gov.au.


From http://www.minister.dbcde.gov.au/ 02/09/2009

TOP↑

 

World's Largest Nanotechnology Exhibition

An Australian nanotechnology company that is developing an efficient water purifying technology is one of 17 Australian firms and research institutes heading to Japan for the world's largest nanotechnology exhibition. Nano tech 2009 will be attended by around 50,000 people representing over 600 firms and agencies from 21 countries. "Nano tech 2009 gives Australian nanotechnology firms opportunities to build strong international relationships which are critical in this rapidly moving area," Senator Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research said. "Innovation creates new economic and social opportunities. The Australian Government is committed to promoting responsible development of emerging and enabling technologies like nanotechnology. "Nano tech 2009 has a green nanotechnology theme. Australian exhibitor Starpharma is developing an efficient nano sponge to capture toxins from contaminated water. Access to pure water is an increasing issue in Australia and globally. This technology has the potential to make unsafe water usable. "Studies say nanotechnology could be worth $50 billion to the Australian economy by 2014. "Nanotechnology receives around $140 million in Australian Government support through the National Nanotechnology Strategy, Australian Research Council research grants, CSIRO research programs, and infrastructure provided under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Scheme. "The Australian Government has provided the Australian Nanotechnology Business Forum-led delegation, comprising nanotechnology companies and research institutes, with an $88,000 grant to take part in nano tech 2009."The forum was established as the nanotechnology sector's peak body to further the interests of Australian private sector nanotechnology companies.


From http://www.alp.org.au/ 02/19/2009

TOP↑

 

NEW ZEALAND: Location for Linux.conf.au 2010

This year, Linux fans "marched south" for Linux.conf.au (LCA) in Hobart. Last week, conference organisers told delegates that they would be heading overseas to Wellington, New Zealand for LCA 2010. The Wellington conference will be the second LCA hosted in NZ - the first was in Dunedin in 2006. The conference wrapped up on Friday with the announcement of next year's venue and the traditional handover to the 2010 organisers, headed up by Andrew and Susanne Ruthven. Despite the tough economic conditions, which impacted on attendance numbers and saw around eight speakers pull out of the conference, LCA attracted 530 attendees this year. Attendees also raised $38,000 at a charity auction benefiting the endangered local marsupial and LCA mascot for 2009, the Tasmanian devil. In addition to individual bidders, a consortium of bidders raised $10,600, which was matched by a $10,000 donation by Linux Australia, the community group behind LCA. The colourful charity auction took place at Wednesday's conference dinner. Attendees bid for the rights to a personalised licence plate "GEEK" and Linux creator Linus Torvalds promised to shave HP's Linux CTO and open-source luminary Bdale Garbee's beard. LCA is Australia's largest tech conference devoted to free and open-source software, and is run by volunteers each year.


From http://www.zdnet.com.au/ 01/27/2009

TOP↑

 

        Powered by JCTEK