This project, funded by LIRNEasia, seeks to evaluate regulatory efficacy in Sri Lanka’s telecommunications sector, using a particular technique – the TRE method. The Sri Lanka study is a part of broader cross-country research in the South Asian region and the 2011 study is also the third in a series of collaborative TRE research projects undertaken by IPS and LIRNEasia. The TRE method, is a parsimonious way of assessing regulatory effectiveness using perception surveys and systematically eliciting responses from three informed groups of stakeholders: those directly involved in the telecommunications sector (e.g., operators); those observing the sector with broader interest (e.g., investment consultants); and those representing the public interest (e.g., the media). Whilst similar studies on regulatory efficacy in the telecommunications policy space, use sector performance as a proxy to evaluate regulatory effectiveness, TRE research is premised on the fact that the former method is not sufficient for the purposes of understanding regulatory governance and that sector performance in itself is the outcome not only of regulatory governance and efficacy but also of a vast range of global and country-specific economic and socio-political variables, which also means that a comprehensive analysis of these various factors is a costly exercise.
The TRE survey for 2011 looked at regulatory effectiveness in the fixed, mobile and broadband sectors. The specific dimensions for evaluating efficacy are five from the GATS Telecommunications Reference Paper-market entry, access to scarce resources, interconnection, tariff regulation, regulation of anti-competitive practices- combined with quality of service and universal service obligations.