As can be most easily seen from the annexed Map -International Connectivity - Version 16 6/15/97 (http://www.isoc.org/infosvc/map.gif) andTable - International Connectivity - Version 16 6/15/97 (http://www.isoc.org/infosvc/table.txt)70, there are only a handful of countries in the world that have no international connectivity at all (ignoring small island territories). These are concentrated in Africa and the Middle East.
Some level of international connectivity is therefore available in virtually all member countries of the Asian Development Bank, and in most other countries in the world. In most cases this is full Internet connectivity. The only large countries without Internet connectivity are Afghanistan, Myanmar and Papua New Guinea, which together make up a very small percentage of the total population of DMCs of the Bank.
However, the mere fact that a particular country is connected to the Internet only informs us that Internet access is in principle possible within the country, but nothing of the extent to which it is used generally within the country, or the extent to which it is used by the intended audiences for this project. One purpose of the survey of seven countries was to obtain information at this more detailed level about Internet access and usage.
The number of Internet service providers (ISPs) differs considerably between countries.
However, on 16 September 1997 the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of the Government of India (GOI), approved a proposal which will allow private ISPs to provide Internet services in India. VSNL's Internet operations in the six metropolitan hubs will now be transferred to the DoT, which is to develop a much higher capacity backbone infrastructure for Internet services. To provide Internet services within India, ISPs would have to connect to DoT's Internet backbone. DoT will have authority to license all new ISPs, and proposes not to charge any license fee for the first five years.
Since 1 December 1997 individuals can apply to ISPs for full Internet services including World-Wide-Web access, and in theory such services are available to anyone who meets the ISP's requirements. However, our survey assistants note that `it remains to be seen how easy/difficult it will be to subscribe', and that press reports state that the government intends to impose some controls over the content of material coming into and out of Vietnam via the two Internet international gateways in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City.
China's internal data communications networks are extensive, with the two cable/fibre networks, ChinaPac and ChinaDDN, providing E1 speed (2.084 Mbps) links to 3,000 and 2,100 countries respectively. The satellite network ChinaGBN also provides E1 speed links, to a star structure (from Beijing) of 24 provincial capital cities. The inter-city networking in the Philippines is extensive. Indonesian links between major cities are quite good, and 31 cities have some access to at least 28.8 Kbps of reasonably reliable telephone system capacity (the minimum needed for a graphical browser for the World-Wide-Web). In Vietnam there is a 2 Mbps link from Hanoi to Ho Chi Min City. In Pakistan there is ample 64-128 Kbps capacity within the country, and Internet users have full Internet services, however those in small cities may be restricted to e-mail due to bandwidth considerations.
In Mongolia, full Internet services (including the World-Wide-Web) are only available in Ulaanbaatar, with e-mail available in other centres. Datacom is planning a low-cost VSAT wireless network for other centres, and a new ISP entrants is planning a mixed telephone line / satellite reception system for provincial centres which will provide 3 Mbps reception.
In India, access to VSNL's Gateway Internet Access Service (GIAS) network is via dial-up connections in the 19 cities where nodes are located, and access speeds are usually sufficient to allow access to the Internet with graphical browsers, but are sometimes as low as 14.4 Kbps. This network is to be extended by DoT to another 20 major cities, which will account for the bulk of Internet traffic. In 4,300 other towns and cities, access to GIAS is available via DoT's I-net service, which is generally limited to 2.4 Kbps connections and therefore only provides terminal dial-up services suitable for a text-based web browser such as Lynx (discussed in later chapters), but not suitable for graphical browsers. DoT has also installed a high capacity backbone network to link these various means of Internet access with the international Internet connections.
Electricity disruption is not seen as a major impediment to access, at least for the primary audience, but is still a factor making all telecommunications facilities less reliable in some countries surveyed. Brown-outs are frequent in Indonesia, but most major government offices in Jakarta and other major cities have backup generators. Power interruptions are still common in Vietnamese cities, and are very frequent in Pakistani major cities except Islamabad (and worse in smaller ones).
In Indonesia access is generally to the Internet in the USA or Japan via 44.7 Mbps links provided by Indosat (a semi-government international telecommunications provider).
Vietnam has two principal international gateways (points at which the domestic Internet structure of the country is linked internationally to the Internet), providing four connections. From both Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City there is a 256 Kbps link to Australia and 64 Kbps back-up link to the USA. There is also a 2 Mbps link to Hong Kong under construction.
China's various networks connect to the Internet in Japan, USA and Hong Kong at 19 Mbps (with an E3 line of 45 Mbps planned for 1998), the USA (various 2 Mbps + 128 Kbps), Germany, France and Japan (various 64 Kbps links). The situation in China is obviously complex, and involves rapidly expanding and extensive Internet connectivity. A map of Cernet's connectivity is availablehttp://www.cernet.net/cernet/structure/index.html#topo].
The numerous ISPs in the Philippines result in a complex network of international Internet connections, mainly to the USA. In 1996 15 ISPs had their own international gateways, but in October 1996 the five largest accepted a proposal by the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) to join a consortium, the Philippine Internet Exchange (PhIX) http://www.phix.net.ph].
In India, VSNL is, and will continue to be, the sole gateway for overseas linkage to the Internet. This monopoly will continue until 2004, a deadline for opening competition in provision of international long distance calls resulting from World Trade Organisation negotiations.
In Pakistan, the Pakistan Telecommunications Corporation (PTCL) has a monopoly over provision of international connectivity. PTCL's current international connection to the Internet is via Intersat (a satellite telecommunications provider), but cable links are also planned. PTCL then provides Internet connections on fibre networks at E1 speeds (2.o84 Mbps) to all major cities in Pakistan.
Mongolia has the most limited international connectivity of the countries surveyed, with one 128 Kbps connection to the USA, being upgraded to 256 Kbps.
Although the situation in Vietnam under the new regulations is yet untested, subscribing to Internet accounts in the first month of operation is reported to have been uncomplicated and without delay. In the Philippines, Mongolia and in Pakistan there are no legal or licensing restrictions on Internet use at present.
In India there are no legal or licensing restrictions which will prevent access, but all GIAS subscribers must agree to conditions involving use of approved equipment and restrictions on sending objectionable material. Students are only provided with terminal access via I-net.
In Indonesia ISPs must register with the Department of Post, Telecommunications and Tourism, but this is said to be for purposes of allocation of telephone lines and consumer protection. Most ISPs block access to certain Internet news groups believed to contain pornography, but otherwise no attempt is made to control access to specific types of Internet content, although there has been public discussion on ways to achieve this.
In China, an individual wishing to obtain an Internet connection must register his or her name, identity number and IP address (or ISP account number) with the public security department. Access to news groups is not permitted, and some World-Wide-Web content is screened. However, there is general access to the World-Wide-Web, not merely to e-mail. New regulations took effect in December 1997 which attempt to place stricter controls on such matters as access to pornography, disclosure of State secrets and `defaming government agencies'.
It is these recurrent telecommunications and ISP charges which are most often mentioned by survey respondents as an impediment to access.
A very recent development which may reduce this problem is that the Philippines Government has in December 1997 taken a significant step to ensure pervasive use of the Internet by government agencies, through a Presidential Order which requires all agencies to obtain Internet connections through private ISPs. The Order follows House Resolution No 890 of the House of Representatives, Tenth Congress. President Ramos' Administrative Order No. 332 Directing All Government Agencies And Instrumentalities Including Local Government Units To Undertake Electronic Interconnection Through The Internet To Be Known As The RPWEB is included in the Annexures: Philippines - Administrative Order 332, 9 December 1997. It requires all government agencies, down to the division level, to connect to the Internet `through any ISP' `as soon as possible'. Agencies are to pay for connection out of their normal budgets, and no longer need special approval to do so. Telecommunications carriers are required to give priority to Internet infrastructure. The National Information Technology Council is to monitor the process.
Despite these factors, our survey assistants estimate that around 30% of the primary audience access the Internet in their personal capacity. The other 70% generally have no computer literacy at all, let alone Internet skills. This is particularly so in relation to those involved with legislation, where traditional Labor-intensive methods of work are common. The provision of training in Internet use would be attractive to those already interested, and would also increase awareness generally among the primary audience - though unlikely in itself to bring change.
Our survey assistants are of the opinion that the key to usage of Project DIAL facilities by the primary audience would simply be a government policy decision to participate in the project, as otherwise no resources will be made available.
An important exception to this is the Ministry of Law and Justice, which has created numerous databases (in conjunction with NIC) of Supreme Court cases since 1950 and legislation since 1834http://caselaw.delhi.nic.in/ ]. Most senior officers of the Ministry use the Internet regularly in their duties and at their homes. Other exceptional agencies include the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Power.
High level authorisation and encouragement of Internet use, such as by the Philippines Presidents' Administrative Order, seem clearly helpful in this regard. To the extent that the Bank is able to encourage member governments to adopt similar policies, this would further the aims of this Project.
The desirability of training in internet use, with a concentration on the law-related content available via the internet (in other words, the substance of Project DIAL) was also identified by survey respondents. The costs of acquiring the necessary hardware and software to allow internet access was not identified as a substantial problem.
The question of what assistance the Bank might provide to facilitate usage of Project DIAL by the primary audience and help overcome these impediments is considered in the recommendations at the end of this Chapter.
In Vietnam Internet access (e-mail only) is above 25% for lawyers, and very high for foreign NGOs, but low otherwise. Computer literacy is much the same as with the primary audience.
In China, half of the respondents in this group (lawyers and those requiring law resources) use the Internet. Of these, about 21% have full Internet access but the majority (about 79%) only have e-mail. The majority (67%) regard the cost of Internet access and telecommunications as the most significant impediment that prevents greater Internet access, followed by the lack of Internet training. All respondents claimed that they were computer literate, 21% stating that they had ample computer knowledge, and the rest (79%) stating they had `some' computer knowledge. All respondents stated that if Internet use training was available to them, it would definitely increase their use of the Internet.
In Pakistan, the situation is quite different with the secondary audiences. About 30% of private lawyers are Internet users, and another 30% are generally computer literate. More than half of all law students are Internet users (privately, as their colleges do not have facilities), and the situation is similar with NGOs.
In India, access to full Internet services by larger law firms is increasing rapidly, and e-mail use is quite common. Since the full cost of obtaining Internet access (hardware included) amounts to nearly US $2,000, this is a significant impediment to many users, particularly students and academics and many small business and law firm users. In many firms the acceptance of handwritten records and labour-intensive practices are the same as in the government sector.
In Mongolia, law consulting companies are not connected to the Internet, but some private and State-owned companies with international business are so connected. Law schools have access to well-equipped computer training facilities. Computer training is available and most lawyers are familiar with word processing and other common programs.
In the Philippines, private sector lawyers, law association, law schools and students, banks, and NGO's generally make greater use of the Internet for research than government officials, including web access. Some law schools provide their own website for student use.
The question of what assistance the Bank might provide to facilitate usage of Project DIAL by the Project's secondary audiences and help overcome these impediments is considered in the recommendations at the end of this Chapter.
 Accessible in various formats at
 On October 24, 1995, the Federal Networking Council of the Internet Society unanimously passed a resolution defining the term Internet. This definition was developed in consultation with members of the internet and intellectual property rights communities. RESOLUTION: The Federal Networking Council (FNC) agrees that the following language reflects our definition of the term "Internet". "Internet" refers to the global information system that -- (i) is logically linked together by a globally unique address space based on the Internet Protocol (IP) or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons; (ii) is able to support communications using the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite or its subsequent extensions/follow-ons, and/or other IP-compatible protocols; and (iii) provides, uses or makes accessible, either publicly or privately, high level services layered on the communications and related infrastructure described herein.
(Source: B Leiner et at `A Brief History of the Internet' - )
70 Copyright Larry Landweber, University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the Internet Society
 There are notable exceptions such as Dongguan City (near Hong Kong) which has its own high capacity network: see
 (i) Interministerial Circular 08 of the General Department of Post (GDP), the Ministries of Interior, and Culture and Information dated 24 May 1997 guiding the issuance of permits for access, provision and use of the internet in Vietnam (Circular 08);
(ii) Decision No 683 of the GDP dated 14 November 1997 issuing the Regulations on the quality standards of the internet service;
(iii) Decision 682 of the GDP dated 14 November 1997 issuing temporary fee rates for access to the internet;
(iv) Decision 679 of the GDP dated 14 November 1997 issuing the Regulations on internet services; and
(v) Decision 848 of the Ministry of Interior dated 23 October 1997 promulgating Regulations on methods and equipment for the examination and control of internet activities in Vietnam in order to ensure the national security (Decision 848).
76]Such laws could in theory be relevant to the operation of Project DIAL because it is possible that the DIAL Index could provide links to sites deemed `objectionable' in a particular country because of its legal / political content.
 CNN Interactive, 30 December 1997
 A 250 hour package is also available at a higher rate. A 30% reduction of all charges is at present under consideration.