There are many arguments that can be made against the ETNO proposal to import the international accounting-rate regime from voice telephony to the Internet. Here as a PDF is an argument about its impracticality from ISOC. ISOC also agrees with my main point that the ETNO proposals will result in the marginalization and exclusion of the developing countries, especially their poor who are just beginning to join the Internet economy: Because the bilateral model of sending-party-network-pays or “sender pays” that is common in traditional telephony or mobile-settlement systems does not readily accommodate the Internet’s multi-party transit network system, it cannot be mapped to the Internet as we know it. Simply said, retro-fitting a “sender pays” settlement regime to the Internet is not possible without extensive changes to the infrastructure of the global Internet. In addition, the “sender pays” model could adversely impact the technical and commercial environment in developing economies that need to grow their networks.
The South Asian Telecom Regulators Council (SATRC) met in New Delhi 12-14 October 2008 and discussed among other things, the implementation of the SAARC Declaration commitment on reducing intra-SAARC voice telephony call charges. This is the policy memo we sent to all the SAARC regulatory agencies immediately after the SAARC Summit: Options for lowering intra-SAARC international voice telephony tariffs The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was created in 1985 to foster regional and economic cooperation within South Asia. It has made several attempts to improve connectivity within the region by actions including the lowering of telecommunication prices among member countries, but has met with little success so far. In its most recent effort to reduce international call tariffs within the region, the Colombo Declaration of the 15th SAARC Summit (August 2008) points out in paragraph 6 that “an effective and economical regional tele-communication regime is an essential factor of connectivity, encouraging the growth of people-centric partnerships.” The Declaration stresses “the need for the Member States to endeavour to move towards a uniformly applicable low tariff, for international direct dial calls within the region.