Recognizing WSIS Impacts

Unless it acknowledges key characteristics of the Internet, the World Summit on the Information Society will easily undermine it

WTDC Prep in Context + WTDC 23: International Internet Connectivity

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Seth Johnson
Date: Fri, Jun 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM
Subject: Rev. WTDC Resolution 23 + Re: WTDC Prep in Context — Re: [ITAC-D] WTDC-14 Preparatory Meeting – Tuesday June 25
To:, Doreen McGirr , “Zichy, Franz J” , “Minard, Julian E”
Cc: Julian Minard

Hello Doreen, Franz, Julian, all:

Please take note of the following observations on WTDC Prep in the overall WSIS context.

I have been reading all the relevant resolutions from a broad perspective, including WTDC, WTSA and Plenipot.

As an example, I have attached a revision to WTDC Resolution 23. It’s relevant to WTDC Prep, though not terribly interesting in itself.
(WTDC 23 – ID Edits)

However, it is related to PP Resolution 101, which is clearly focused on an evolution toward NGNs, a migration to NGNs and future networks.

My overall recommendation for you as you prepare for WTDC and the regional meets is about making it possible to see when the ITU’s development initiatives may undercut the Internet and its advantages, noting that the WSIS resolutions do not provide for that in any useful way. I offer the following comments to be borne in mind, since this analysis of the plenipotentiary and WTSA resolutions will be relevant to WTDC resolutions as we proceed.

However, the approach to take here is more something to pursue as a priority issue — how to recognize the impact of WSIS (ITU-D) initiatives on the Internet — approaching the WTDC with the general problem in mind in the larger context, rather than an approach of just looking at WTDC Resolutions (and Questions).

Below are short notes — in 4 paragraphs — that relate WTDC Resolutions 23, 30, 13, 37 and 47 to the larger context. I’m just addressing a few resolutions more directly related to the ITU’s role in relation to the Internet. Other impacts are important, but not at the center of the problem.

WTDC 30 and 13 relate to PP Resolution 102, which among other things stresses the problem of private investment in infrastructure and services. WTDC 30, for its part, speaks of funding methods, appropriate mechanisms for funding, inviting ITU-D “to facilitate an enabling environment for infrastructure development,” including finding “innovative financial mechanisms,” and advancing “legal and regulatory frameworks” to foster investment in infrastructure. Clearly this can be read as consistent with the nature of the telecommunications market in the US, where the physical layer is allowed to be vertically integrated with the telecommunications services of a few incumbents. If the WSIS places clear emphasis on NGNs in its development programs, it’s imperative to be able to recognize the difference between these kinds of offerings and the Internet. We also need to incorporate funding methods that recognize the special problem of physical layer access by competing providers, as opposed to vertically integrated methods.

WTDC 13 also emphasizes investment and innovative partnership schemes. We need to be sure this does not translate, as it easily will, into promoting arrangements like we find in the US wherein telecommunications providers vertically integrate the physical layer and public right of way with their particular services. If that model is supported at all, we should also be certain to recognize that a competitive environment of numerous providers interoperating at the physical layer empowers end users and providers and fosters innovation. This is particularly important to developing countries. This type of context is also is preferable over local/national/regional intranets provided by a few providers, since it creates a platform using the Internet protocols that doesn’t (can’t) presuppose what kinds of services participating providers and end users will offer on their own networks.

PP Resolutions 101 and 102 were the resolutions recently deliberated over at the WTPF. PP Resolution 137 is also focused on implementing NGNs in developing countries. The WSIS instruments in general are not focused on fostering the Internet as such, but other types of offerings.

You can see these in html form here:

Other WTDC Resolutions that raise similar problems are WTDC 37 and 47, relating to bridging the digital divide and the standardization gap and the conformance and interoperability program via PP Resolutions 123, 139 and 177. These need to recognize the nature of the Internet, acknowledge the advantages of the open platform produced by autonomous competing providers interoperating by using the Internet protocols, the empowerment of end users and competing providers this engenders, and should speak of pro-competitive policy frameworks in terms that specifically acknowledge other approaches besides vertical integration of the physical layer with particular providers and products. The conformity and interoperability framework should reflect the distinction between the form of connectivity that the Internet Protocol makes possible between independent networks, and connectivity that supports specialized functions (like QOS) that are not as readily supported by general purpose internetworking.


On Fri, Jun 21, 2013 at 1:31 PM, Zichy, Franz J wrote:

A WTDC-14 prep meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 25, from 2:00-4:00pm at 1300 Eye Street NW, on the 5th floor conference room. If you intend to participate in person, please notify me.



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