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Tag Archives: ITU

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Reflecting on international telecom/Internet policy after the Dubai debacle

I spent more time than I had on working to fend off bad proposals to impose the sending party network pays principle on data as part of the revision of the International Telecom Regulations of the ITU. We succeeded, but I did not really think there were any winners in Dubai, really. Now that some […]

World’s first proven sabotage on submarine cables

Subsea cable

Earlier we discussed the snapping of four submarine cables in Egypt and its impact. Now we have come to know it was an act of sabotage. Telecom Egypt’s CEO Mohamed al-Nawawi has confirmed that his country’s Armed Forces have arrested three saboteurs. Among the global news outlets, Associated Press and BBC have covered it by […]

Broadband Commission might need a new co-chair

The ITU’s Secretary General appointed the biggest single barrier to broadband in Latin America, the wily Carlos Slim Helu, as the co-chair of the Broadband Commission. He specializes in tying up efforts to regulate his enterprises. Now that the political elites in Mexico have agreed to curb the hegemony of Telmex, his hands will be […]

Universal access to energize mobile phones

Universal access was discussed in “Networking Revolution: Opportunities and Challenges for Developing Countries” of the World Bank in June 2000 as follows: In low-income countries, however, the focus should be on providing public access to services. The only realistic objective in the short term is therefore to achieve “universal access”, whereby everyone would be able […]

Mexico’s telecom-Internet-TV monopoly under attack?

One of the great ironies of the present discourse on Internet/broadband is the appointment of Carlos Slim Helu, the world’s richest man and possibly the single most significant barrier to greater Internet access in Latin America, to serve as the Co-Chair of the ITU-UNESCO Broadband Commission. It is widely recognized that Telmex exerts significant market […]

ITU’s ICT Development Index: What is not trite?

There is so much wrong with the IDI. It gives a higher ICT development rank to Cuba (106) and Zimbabwe (115) well ahead of India (119). I ridiculed the predecessor of the IDI in the past, but they keep churning it out unfazed and people keep paying attention, which then causes me to pay attention […]

Activists urge U.S. government to stop funding ITU

An advocacy group called “De-fund the ITU” demands the US government stops funding the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In a signature campaign they have accused ITU of leading several countries to seize the control of the Internet during WCIT 2012 in Dubai. Their goal was a coup: to overthrow the open and transparent system of […]

Nuanced and progressive: An assessment of India’s stance at WCIT

Asia is said to the last redoubt of belief in the Westphalian state. The Internet is fundamentally incompatible with the notion of a national state (legislature, executive and judiciary) having untrammeled authority over all that went on within its boundaries. It is therefore understandable that government officials have trouble dealing with Internet policy. But as […]

Bangladesh hugs ITU without extra-payment

The Bangladesh delegation flew to WCIT 2012 without necessary homework. Members had, however, informally said they would “follow the crowd” in the conference at Dubai. And they kept their word while voting in favor of the new ITR. After coming home, the team leader is triumphant: Least developed countries like Bangladesh will be benefitted from […]

WCIT: The debate continues in India

Many countries left the final decision on the ITRs to officials. In some case like Kenya, the officials applied their minds. In too many developing countries, it was a knee-jerk response based on maximizing national control and/or loyalty to the ITU. India is different. “ITU should only focus on telecom sector and not get into […]

20 km away with your freedom: A government servant who does not believe in concentrating power in government

It’s a rare government servant who does not believe that his prime directive is not that of giving all possible power to his government. Refreshing. But Dr Ndemo had indicated he would not support the inclusion of internet in the ITU regulations even before he left the country for the conference. “Why would we want […]

Another agrees: Not enough consensus building occurred prior to Dubai

I trace the failure of Dubai back to the decision to cut corners on the expert group that was to prepare for the conference. A delegate who was a participant-observer reaches a similar conclusion. Consensus-based decisions take time. Principles must be understood, positions presented, compromises made. Throughout the process, enlightenment occurs at various times and […]

ITRs get into roaming

Surprisingly detailed attention has been paid to international roaming by the delegates in Dubai. Even the phenomenon of inadvertently connecting to a foreign network in border areas has been covered. Though of course none of the provisions are mandatory. 38A 4.4 Member States shall foster measures to ensure that authorized operating agencies provide free-of-charge, transparent, […]

Who is responsible for the Dubai Debacle?

Many talk about the collapse of WCIT as a natural phenomenon; something that just happened, rather than something that specific individuals were responsible for. I disagree. This was something that could have been avoided. The process leading up to the Dubai fiasco could have been handled better. ITU likes to claim that the 1988 WATTC […]

Obituary: The independence of Internet

Born free Internet will breathe its last once the authoritarian governments-led ITU-members sign a revised ITR at 1330 GMT today at the end of fortnight-long WCIT 2012 in Dubai. United States and its West European allies along with Australia, Japan, Philippines, Poland, Egypt, Kenya and Czech Republic are, predictably, not signing this controversial treaty. It […]

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