This December in Dubai, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the specialized UN agency that addresses telecom and related policy matters, will hold a major treaty-writing conference – the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). At the conference, ITU member states plan to renegotiate the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), a major telecommunications treaty last revised in 1988.
In the course of the preparatory process for WCIT, member states have proposed adding or modifying provisions of the ITRs that are likely to impact international ICT services and markets. For example, some proposals could give the ITU regulatory authority over international economic regulation of Internet connectivity, international mobile roaming rates, cyber security and spam, number misuse, Internet governance, and various other topics related to the economics of the international ICT sector.
USCIB and its global network, including the International Chamber of Commerce, are gearing up for WCIT. In a recent briefing note to members, leaders of our Information, Communications and Technology Policy Committee wrote: “We believe that major policy dialogues like WCIT must be informed by relevant, reliable, and current facts. We also believe that, at present, some of the proposals for modifying the ITRs are not informed by complete facts.” The note was sent by Eric Loeb, vice president of international external and regulatory affairs with AT&T and chair of ICC’s Task Force on Internet and Telecommunications; Ambassador David Gross of Wiley & Rein, chair of USCIB’s Information, Communications and Technology Policy Committee; and Heather Shaw, USCIB’s vice president for ICT policy.
In addition, USCIB is organizing a February 9 briefing on WCIT with Ambassador Philip Verveer, deputy assistant secretary of state and the U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy, at Wiley Rein in Washington, D.C.
Staff contact: Heather Shaw