WCIT: Internet Issues Still In Draft New Telecom Rules

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By Monika Ermert for Intellectual Property Watch

Dubai, UAE – The internet is not completely out of the first consolidated draft proposal for the future International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) that was introduced late on 11 December at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai.

The issue of scope still is not resolved, despite attempts to push back against broad definitions like information and communication technologies – with references to operating agencies and registered operating agencies both in the text.

The 11 December draft is available here [pdf].

Spam and security of the networks have been included via high-level provisions. The chapters touching on the internet read:

31C 3.7 [Member States shall refrain from taking [unilateral and/or] discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State’s access to public [international telecommunications networks and services] [Internet sites and using resources].]

31D 3.8 [Member states shall, if they so elect, be able to manage the naming, numbering, addressing and identification resources used within their territories for international telecommunications.]

Internet policy also is inserted into a resolution that underlines the role of the ITU. Governments in this resolution are invited to elaborate on their respective positions on international internet-related technical, development and public policy issues.

Moreover, the ITU secretary general is tasked “to continue to take the necessary steps for ITU to play an active and constructive role in the multi-stakeholder model of the Internet as expressed in § 35 of the Tunis Agenda.”

Finally, there is also a request to have the ITU support participation not only by member states, but by all stakeholders in the ITU work. The text is still heavily bracketed despite WCIT Chair Mohamed Al Ghanim mention of a breakthrough.

More fights on the internet in and out of the ITR can be expected with a counterproposal by a group of countries around the United Arab Emirates, China, Russia and others looming in the background after being finally put on the table as a WCIT document.

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