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Internet Society Board of Trustees Calls on Policymakers to Preserve the Internet’s Openness, Innovation, and …

| October 23, 2012 | 0 Comments


During its recent meeting in Toronto, Canada, the Internet Society Board
of Trustees called on policymakers, in advance of the World Conference
on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in December, to preserve the
openness, dynamism, and growth of the Internet when modifying the
International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs).

The Internet Society Board was encouraged by recent remarks by ITU
leaders that the WCIT is about promoting greater connectivity and not
about regulating the Internet. At the same time, the Board noted that
some of the proposals to modify the ITRs could have far-reaching impacts
on individuals who use the Internet, businesses that rely on global
interoperability, and developing-market economies where Internet growth
is essential to economic prosperity. The Board underscored the need for
care, pointing out that seemingly small word changes in the treaty could
have unintended consequences for the Internet.

“ITU Member States have important decisions to make at the WCIT,” stated
Eva Frölich, Chair of the Internet Society Board of Trustees. “It is the
Board’s sincere hope that delegations to the WCIT will chart a course
that supports global interoperability and enables continued growth,
competition, and innovation in the telecommunications sector.”

As in previous statements on WCIT, the Internet Society Board reiterated
its belief that any revisions to the ITRs should:

  • Reinforce Member States’ commitment to open, transparent, and
    inclusive policy-making processes;
  • Enshrine a commitment to open, voluntary international standards;
  • Emphasize policy approaches such as competition, liberalization, and
  • Be based on thorough technical and socio-economic analysis; and
  • Retain the high-level nature of the ITRs.

The Board noted that a number of proposals to the WCIT would apply
telecommunications regulations to Internet traffic. This approach could
result in fragmentation of networks, higher costs for end-users, and
could ultimately stifle innovation and creativity.

“The Internet Society, along with our members and Chapters around the
world, remains committed to working with all stakeholders in preparation
for the WCIT,” said Internet Society President and Chief Executive
Officer Lynn St. Amour. “The 1988 ITRs encompassed high level principles
that enabled exceptional growth for the telecommunications industry and
provided countless benefits for people around the world. It is the
Internet Society’s hope that WCIT will build on what has worked in the
past, and that the new treaty will have an even more profound and
positive impact.”

For more information on WCIT, visit http://internetsociety.org/wcit.

About the Internet Society

The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet
information and thought leadership from around the world. With its
principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet
Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and
future development among users, companies, governments, and other
organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world,
the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the
Internet for everyone. For more information, visit www.internetsociety.org.

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