Network shutdowns impacting an entire country are now almost non-existent, but the practice of shutting down communications in certain cities or areas of a country, or suspending certain services continues globally. This has happened over the past decade or so for a variety of reasons, sometimes due to national security concerns but also to prevent the organisation of protests or the spread of civil unrest.
In the midst of rapid socio-political transition, Myanmar is building its telecommunications infrastructure by opening its market to international mobile companies and engaging in national regulatory reform. With one of the lowest internet and mobile subscriber rates in the world, Myanmar faces multiple challenges in building connectivity from both an infrastructural and a policy perspective. Telecom developments could play a significant role in modernizing the country as it emerges from decades of political repression, and although the domestic connectivity plan is moving forward, several challenges need to be dealt with quickly in order to ensure a safe and accessible digital environment. This paper explores connectivity developments in Myanmar, paying particular attention to the opening of the mobile market to international companies, the launch of the new national telecom law, and the development of policies securing digital rights.
The Rise of the Global South on the World Wide Web: Bridging Internet Policies and Web User Behavior
Scholars of Internet governance have traditionally focused on how institutions such as sovereign nation states and multilateral organizations establish public policy. In doing so, experts and policy makers often presume the impact of Internet policies on Internet usage, but rarely do they examine usage aggregated from the behavior of individual web users.