Internet Society Frontpage

Events Membership
About the Internet Standards
Publications  Public Policy
About ISOC Education

About the Internet Society 

Become an ISOC Member

Board of Trustees

2008 Board Election

Candidates: Amitabh Singhal, India

I welcome the opportunity to participate in ISOC's growth and help lead your organization as a Board of Trustee member. I am especially pleased to be the first candidate from the Indian subcontinent to ask for your support for my election. I am the Director & CEO of Telxess Consulting Services (Pvt) Ltd, a consulting services company that advises clients on government, policy and regulatory issues in the Internet and telecommunications marketplace in the emerging South Asia region.

My interest in a position on the ISOC's Board of Trustees is due to multiple factors -

  1. Rapid growth and relevance of the emerging South Asian Internet economies, coupled with the low relevance of ISOC in this region
  2. Bring ISOC's model of an open and interactive Internet to the South Asian region, where government policies often dictates Internet policy, resulting sometimes in stunted technology, regulatory and economic environments
  3. Be a catalyst in helping ISOC become an organization whose thoughts and directions on Internet governance and policy is listened to and be relevant in more regions of the world, and bring a currently unfulfilled need in ISOC to understand the thinking behind one of the fastest growing Internet growth regions in the world.
  4. Help revitalize the chapter's movement inside ISOC - ISOC chapters worldwide need continued support and revitalization from ISOC, and I believe that ISOC's chapters can become the strongest voice of ISOC worldwide.

In 1997-98, I co-founded the Internet Service Providers Association of India (ISPAI), where I served as its President through Sep 2005. I am currently Director General of ISPAI. ISPAI is India's first ISP industry association, and one of my key roles there was to work closely with the Indian government on significant liberalization of national IT, Internet and Telecom policies.

In 2003, I helped a few of India's IT leaders get together to build the National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI), a non-profit company that is India's first internet exchange. NIXI has peering nodes in four major metropolitan hubs in India. I served as the CEO of NIXI from 2004 to 2005, and currently serve on its Board of Directors. NIXI is a public private partnership initiative, with participation from the government, academia and industry. Apart from running Internet Exchanges, NIXI is the .IN ccTLD Registry and also hosts 3 root Servers. Both the above were voluntary and honorary commitments throughout, while working as the Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs at GTL Limited, a private company engaged in the business of network engineering, enterprise IT solutions and outsourcing.

I have been involved very actively with the Internet and Telecom sector in India and have contributed to the privatization process for nearly a decade, helping, influencing and writing key components of various policies and regulations. I advised and helped write the Internet licensing conditions in India, when the Services were opened up post de-monopolization. I initiated the privatization process of International Gateways, which led to the end of monopoly in bandwidth market in the country. The profound impact over the years, of which, has been to turn Indian operators into one of the largest operators of global bandwidth links. I have been a part of various local think tanks on Developmental issues on Internet/Telecom including adoption and use of new and emerging technologies in Broadband, Wireless, IDN areas, etc. and have recently done assessments and evaluation of pilot proposals for Broadband over Power lines, as part of a team at the Department of IT, Ministry of Communications. Some of my other engagements have included industry interactions on issues of Internet Governance, Cyber Security. I have been on numerous industry-government committees and task forces, such as Cyber Regulations Advisory Committee, Expert group of Prime Minister's Group on Telecom & IT Convergence, Development Council for Telecom (laying the Indian Telecom roadmap).

I have been the key spokesperson on behalf of the ISP industry in India and played the most proactive role in ISPAI's interaction with various national and international agencies, business chambers, etc.

My Vision for ISOC is to facilitate a fuller integration of the South Asian regions, much of which is underdeveloped in terms of Internet infrastructure, penetration and usage, where ISOC's presence and assistance will be both welcome and mesh with ISOC's mission and goals.

Despite Asia becoming the biggest markets for communication services, challenges that potentially hold back further spread of Internet widely need to be understood and dealt with comprehensively. Education, standards and policy are intertwined in the growth of ICT in the South Asian region; ISOC ought to play a key role in this area, but it is both under-represented and its resources under-utilized.

Getting ISOC to proactively encourage more active local chapters to organize themselves, with the support of respective industry, governments and other relevant institutions, can do this. Contribution of ISOC and it's relevance to the Internet world can be enhanced multifold by getting it to adopt a significantly more meaningful approach towards the issue of Digital Divide in this region.

The root cause of the divide stems from several social and economic realities, such as low levels of income and purchasing power disparities, resulting in lack of device ownership, lack of or more likely non-scalability of locally relevant, local language content and applications to a bigger mass of people, etc. These challenges are not only typical to this region but the lessons taken from here are now globally relevant more than ever before precisely because just about 1.1 billion of the world's population have access and need is to move to the next billion or more. I want to be able to get ISOC to escalate and involve itself with this next wave of Internet growth.

I have a Bachelor's Degree and a Post Graduate in Marketing Management along with Certifications in Sales Management and Quality Management.

I have 23 years of working experience most of which have been spent with the Office Automation industry during the 80's and the Telecom, Internet and IT industry during the 90's and later, working for various companies.