Terry KramerChange is not good. Terry Kramer is too nice a guy to call "Dr. No," but that was my earlier headline after listening to his press call and reading his speeches. With the exception of more power to the companies in rate negotiations, the U.S. positions amount to "no substantive change." 

    The U.S. is going to WCIT with "non-negotiable demands," ensuring a difficult negotiation.  ITU SG Touré repeated at Columbia September 23 his intent to decide everything by consensus, virtually giving the U.S. a veto. Touré and a large majority of the delegates believe improvements can be made, that we are not "in the best of all possible worlds." The tension is intense at every meeting. 

    In his own words, here's the positions of Ambassador Kramer. He has five key principles:

  • Minimal changes to the preamble of the ITRs;
  • Alignment of the definitions in the ITRs with those in the ITU Constitution and Convention, including no change to the definitions of telecommunications and international telecommunications service;
  • Maintaining the voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations;
  • Continuing to apply the ITRs only to recognized operating agencies or RoAs; i.e., the ITRs' scope should not be expanded to address other operating agencies that are not involved in the provision of authorized or licensed international telecommunications services to the public; and
  • Revisions of Article 6 to affirm the role played by market competition and commercially negotiated agreements for exchanging international telecommunication traffic.

and here's the full speech, as prepared to deliver to the SAMENA event.

Terry KramerChange is not good. Terry Kramer is too nice a guy to call "Dr. No," but that was my earlier headline after listening to his press call and reading his speeches. With the exception of more power to the companies in rate negotiations, the U.S. positions amount to "no substantive change." 

    The U.S. is going to WCIT with "non-negotiable demands," ensuring a difficult negotiation.  ITU SG Touré repeated at Columbia September 23 his intent to decide everything by consensus, virtually giving the U.S. a veto. Touré and a large majority of the delegates believe improvements can be made, that we are not "in the best of all possible worlds." The tension is intense at every meeting. 

    In his own words, here's the positions of Ambassador Kramer. He has five key principles:

  • Minimal changes to the preamble of the ITRs;
  • Alignment of the definitions in the ITRs with those in the ITU Constitution and Convention, including no change to the definitions of telecommunications and international telecommunications service;
  • Maintaining the voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations;
  • Continuing to apply the ITRs only to recognized operating agencies or RoAs; i.e., the ITRs' scope should not be expanded to address other operating agencies that are not involved in the provision of authorized or licensed international telecommunications services to the public; and
  • Revisions of Article 6 to affirm the role played by market competition and commercially negotiated agreements for exchanging international telecommunication traffic.

and here's the full speech, as prepared to deliver to the SAMENA event.

 

World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12)
Dubai, 3-14 December 2012

PLENARY MEETING

Document #-E
03 August 2012
Original: English

United States of America

PROPOSALS FOR THE WORK OF THE CONFERENCE

I. Introduction

This contribution presents proposals to the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT-12) that have been developed by the United States of America for the revision of the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). The intent of these proposals is to support a revision of the ITRs that advances the worldwide goal of greater competitive and affordable access to telecommunications networks. The ITRs have provided a foundation for growth in the international telecommunications market, contributing to overall economic development around the world. The United States supports efforts to utilize the ITRs as a tool to foster continued development of international telecommunications, without overburdening the telecommunications sector with unnecessary and intrusive regulation. The United States reaffirms its readiness to work with all of the delegations to achieve a successful outcome at WCIT-12.

The United States also notes, however, that the Internet has evolved to operate in a separate and distinct environment that is beyond the scope or mandate of the ITRs or the International Telecommunication Union. Specifically, it emerged from multi-stakeholder organizations such as the Internet Society, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), the Regional Internet Registries (RIRs), and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). These organizations have played a major role in designing and operating the Internet and have succeeded by their very nature of openness and inclusiveness. The United States believes these existing institutions are most capable of addressing issues with the speed and flexibility required in this rapidly changing Internet environment. As a decentralized network of networks, the Internet has achieved global interconnection without the development of any international regulatory regime. The development of such a formal regulatory regime could risk undermining its growth.

Therefore, the United States will not support proposals that would increase the exercise of control over Internet governance or content. The United States will oppose efforts to broaden the scope of the ITRs to empower any censorship of content or impede the free flow of information and ideas. It believes that the existing multi-stakeholder institutions, incorporating industry and civil society, have functioned effectively and will continue to ensure the continued vibrancy of the Internet and its positive impact on individuals and society. Furthermore, recalling that Member States agreed in Plenipotentiary Resolution 130 (Guadalajara, 2010) that “legal or policy principles related to national defense, national security, content and cybercrime . . . are within [Member States’] sovereign rights,” the United States will oppose any provisions that interfere with those rights. The United States invites other administrations to engage in dialogue consistent with these principles, which are vital to the continuing development of international telecommunications.

II. United States’ Views on the ITRs

The United States believes the changes that have occurred in the global communications sector since the 1988 World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (WATTC-88) in Melbourne, Australia, can be addressed and accommodated with limited revisions to the ITRs. It is important that the ITRs continue to reflect high-level principles that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate existing and future technological and market changes.

In addition, the United States notes that the existing ITRs are currently in force and, as such, are the most relevant starting point for negotiations on their revision. The decisions of the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2010 (PP-10) serve as a guide for those revisions. The ITU Administrative Regulations, i.e. the ITRs and the Radio Regulations, must continue to be consistent with and complement the ITU Constitution and Convention. In addition, the revised ITRs should continue to be a “stable treaty,” with no need for regular or frequent updating. Moreover, the ITRs must continue to recognize the sovereign right of Member States to regulate their telecommunications sectors.

A recent statistical report from the ITU catalogues the extraordinary increase in competition in the global communications market over the past decade (ITU StatShot, 2011). The ITU report notes that in 2010, competition was allowed for mobile and data services in more than 90% of countries and for international gateway access in 78% of countries. It further notes that competition in basic voice services exists in two-thirds of countries and in leased lines in three-quarters of the world’s countries. This competition has led to unprecedented technological advances and spurred the development of new services.

The success of international communications since 1988 indicates that the ITRs have provided a sound contribution to innovation and growth. As a result, most provisions of the ITRs require minimal, if any, changes. The exception is Article 6, which addresses the exchange of international telecommunications traffic. Article 6 requires substantial revisions to reflect today’s communications environment and to accommodate future technological and market changes.

The current ITRs reflect a communications market where most traffic was exchanged between monopoly carriers and where the traffic was fixed telephony, fixed data, and telegraph. Today, most traffic is exchanged under commercial arrangements between carriers operating in competitive environments where there are multiple competing services.

Therefore, the United States proposes the following:

  • Minimal changes to the preamble of the ITRs;
  • Alignment of the definitions in the ITRs with those in the ITU Constitution and Convention, including no change to the definitions of telecommunications and international telecommunications service;
  • Maintaining the voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations;
  • Continuing to apply the ITRs only to recognized operating agencies or RoAs; i.e., the ITRs’ scope should not be expanded to address other operating agencies that are not involved in the provision of authorized or licensed international telecommunications services to the public; and
  • Revisions of Article 6 to affirm the role played by market competition and commercially negotiated agreements for exchanging international telecommunication traffic.

III. Proposals for the Work of the Conference

The United States recognizes the role that the ITRs have played in promoting the growth of telecommunications networks. Meanwhile, the United States also recognizes the sovereign right of each country to regulate its own telecommunications sector. Moreover, the United States opposes adding provisions to the ITRs that can be interpreted to restrict the choices available to governments in regulating their national telecommunications regimes. If the ITRs are to promote telecommunications development in an enduring manner, they must remain flexible enough to allow for rapid technological change and the evolution of new business models and consumer-oriented services.

In light of the above, the United States is pleased to submit its first tranche of proposals in Addendum 1 for consideration by the World Conference on International Telecommunications 2012 (WCIT-12). The United States reserves the right to add to, or otherwise modify, the views and proposals expressed herein through subsequent contributions.

Subsequent proposals are included as additional Addendums to this document.

The attached table in the Annex provides a summary of the list of proposals from the United States.

Annex

List of Proposals to WCIT-12 from the United States of America

USA

Title of USA

Summary of Proposal

USA/XA1/1 Title of International Telecommunication Regulations Remains unchanged.
USA/XA1/2 Title of Preamble Remains unchanged.
USA/XA1/3 Text of Preamble To align with the current terminology used in CS No. 31.
USA/XA1/4 Title of Article I Remains unchanged.
USA/XA1/5 Text of Article 1.1 a) Editorial update to clarify that the ITRs apply to Member States.
USA/XA1/6 Text of Article 1.1 b) Editorial update.
USA/XA1/7 Text of Article 1.2 No changes proposed; this provision stood the test of time.
USA/XA1/8 Text of Article 1.3 No changes proposed; this provision embodies the purposes of the Union articulated in Article 1 of the CS.
USA/XA1/9 Text of Article 1.4 Editorial changes to reflect that ITU-T Recommendations should continue to be voluntary. Delete provisions regarding Instructions because they are no longer in effect.
USA/XA1/10 Text of Article 1.5 The proposed revisions reflect the international telecommunication traffic exchange in competitive environment.
USA/XA1/11 Text of Article 1.6 Proposed changes reflect reasons given for Article 1.4.
USA/XA1/12 Text of Article 1.7 a) Editorial update to align with CS/CV.
USA/XA1/13 Text of Article 1.7 b) Propose deletion as this provision is similar to the provision found in Article 1.6.
USA/XA1/14 Text of Article 1.7 c) Proposed revisions align the text with terms in CS/CV.
USA/XA1/15 Text of Article 1.8 No changes proposed; this provision stood the test of time.
USA/XA1/16 Title of Article 2 Remains unchanged.
USA/XA1/17 Text of Article 2 No changes proposed; introduction describes the scope and purpose of the definitions included in the ITRs.
USA/XA1/18 2.1 Telecommunication No proposed revisions.
USA/XA1/19 2.2 International telecommunication service No proposed revisions.
USA/XA1/20 2.3 Government telecommunications Proposed revisions align ITRs definition with definition found in CS No. 1014.
USA/XA1/21 2.6 International route The proposed revision supports suppression of this definition.
USA/XA1/22 2.7 Relation The proposed revision supports suppression of this definition.
USA/XA1/23 2.8 Accounting rate The definition is no longer necessary in light of proposed changes to Article 6.
USA/XA1/24 2.9 Collection charge Editorial changes.
USA/XA1/25 2.10 Instructions The proposed revision supports the suppression of the reference to ITU-T Instructions.
USA/XA1/26 Title of Article 3 Remains unchanged.
USA/XA1/27 Text of Article 3.3 Propose deletion as this provision is not appropriate in a competitive environment.
USA/XA1/28 Title of Article 6 Proposed edits reflect the fact that detailed regulatory provisions governing charging and accounting for international telecommunication services are not appropriate for a competitive market.
USA/XA1/29 Title of Article 6.1 Propose deletion as title is obsolete.
USA/XA1/30 Text of Article 6.1.1 Proposed revisions provide language that is flexible and can accommodate technological advances and market developments.
USA/XA1/31 Text of Article 6.1.2 Proposed deletion as this article is not relevant in competitive markets.
USA/XA1/32 Text of Article 6.1.3 Renumbered to 6.2.
USA/XA1/33 Text of Article 6.2.1 Moved from 1.6 in Appendix 1.
USA/XA1/34 Title and text of Article 6.2 and subsection Propose deletion as it is replaced by new 6.1.
USA/XA1/35 Text of Article 6.3 and subsection Propose deletion as these provisions are obsolete.
USA/XA1/36 Text of Article 6.4 and subsections Propose deletion Appendix 1 and modifying Appendix 2.
USA/XA1/37 Title of Article 9 Remains unchanged.
USA/XA1/38 Text of Articles 9.1 a) Editorial update to align with CS/CV.
USA/XA1/39 Text of Article 9.1 b) Propose deletion of “of third countries” as technical harm to all telecommunication facilities should be avoided, not just of third countries.
USA/XA1/40 Text of Article 9.2

Editorial update to align with CS/CV.

 

TEXTS & TRANSCRIPTS

 

 

State’s Kramer at SAMENA Telecommunications Council

10 September 2012
 

U.S. Department of State
Remarks by Terry Kramer
Ambassador U.S. Head of Delegation, World Conference on International Telecommunications
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
September 9, 2012

Remarks to SAMENA

As Prepared

Welcome/Intro

First, let me say “thank you” for allowing me to speak to you briefly here today, to give you a bit of my personal background and to speak about the importance of the upcoming World Conference on International Telecommunication – or, as we often call it, the “WCIT.”

Let me also express how impressed I am by the effort to organize and host the WCIT here in this region – I think I can safely speak for all future delegates in looking forward to a great Conference in this vibrant city. We are all deeply appreciative of the effort and resources being devoted to a successful WCIT – it says a great deal about the commitment of the UAE, and all of the countries in this region, to the goal of broadening and deepening connectivity throughout the world. Thank you for all you are doing to make us feel welcome in Dubai, both now and in December.

In this 21st Century City of Dubai, with all of its dynamism and diversity, you have really created an environment for success – with all of the elements painstakingly put into place – the business culture, infrastructure, legal and regulatory framework – and most importantly the mindset that is open to new ideas and drive to foster entrepreneurship.

The dynamism of this city really resonates with me, and it’s what I want to speak to you about today: How do we create the environment for success that will propel the global telecommunications and internet industries to greater connectivity, innovation and growth?

Building the Foundation

Let’s start with what I think has to be the foundation: a recognition that our international telecommunications and internet sectors are flourishing, not just in developed countries but around the world. And it is doing well precisely because it is an open platform – with open standards-setting, open markets, open networks and the free flow of ideas, content and commerce that is carried over those networks.

The International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) are a big part of this platform. As a treaty, the ITRs are remarkably short – just a handful of pages – but the ITRs nevertheless provide a consistent, open and flexible platform for commercial innovation and growth.

With the ITRs in place, what has arisen is much like the UAE itself – dynamic, diversified, decentralized and driven by consumer demand and business innovation.

The best example of this approach is the global Internet itself. The innovation we have seen in the Internet environment was not implemented in a top-down fashion by policy-makers. It was driven by multiple players and stakeholders around the world – primarily outside of government. There are thousands of social media companies, Web designers, retailers that market their own e-commerce offerings, analytics companies that break down complex data patterns to drive customer relevant offerings, mobile phone distributors, Internet cafes and community centers – all of them with a role in shaping products and demand.

Let’s be clear about this: the Internet continues to demonstrate the effectiveness and success of the current multi-stakeholder structure – and its own independence. No government or single organization can or should attempt to “control” the Internet.

By the same token, the basic foundation for all modern communications – including the Internet but also many other voice and data applications – is the commercial market for exchange of international traffic. This is the appropriate province for discussion of adjustments to the ITRs.

International traffic is now overwhelmingly governed by international commercial agreements that follows the logic of market supply and demand and enable operators to take advantage of efficiency in routing. Thanks to the flexibility allowed in today’s ITRs, the international telecommunications network has evolved organically over the past 25 years and now does a remarkable job of driving global connectivity.

This does not mean we have no problems or issues in international telecommunications, or that every country has reached a level of sufficient infrastructure development. But we do have a proven model, in terms of the ITRs, that has fostered a rapidly growing and vibrant sector for telecommunications, which has in turn allowed an explosion of mobile communications and Internet innovation.

Sustaining this environment, I believe, offers the best chance to continue achieving our collective goal of making an innovation-driven Information Society a reality all over the world.

In my view, that is our job at the upcoming WCIT: to take what works and sustain it, expand it, so that the benefits of global connectivity, with access to content, commerce and access to one another--is an opportunity for everyone worldwide.

My message to you is that we can do this as partners – and I believe we will.

Background: Mobile Industry

Why do I feel so strongly about this vision? Let me tell you a little about my background in the telecom industry. I began in 1988 working for a company called Pacific Telesis, which was one of the Bell Companies created by the court-mandated break-up of the original AT&T. Pacific Telesis’ wireless businesses were spun off to form AirTouch in 1993, and then later were acquired by Vodafone, the global wireless operator.

Another way of saying this is that when I started out in the mobile communications industry, it was a paging business, which then transformed into a "cell phone" business. That cellphone business then went from a high-end market, initially targeting wealthy individuals, to a mass-market, "must have" service. And finally, it went from a developed-country business into a truly global one.

Many of you can reflect on the same rapid explosion in your own cities and countries: In just 25 years, we have come from no cell phones at all to more than 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide.

• Today, the world’s developed markets have achieved, on average, 116% mobile penetration, and even developing markets average about 70% mobile penetration – a figure estimated to reach 100% in the next 3-4 years.

• Or consider this: roughly 90% of the world’s population – and even 80% of its rural residents – now live in areas that have mobile network coverage.

Around the world, 3G and 4G services are increasingly available, and millions of users now will likely obtain Internet access -- for the first time -- using their cellphones.

How did the mobile revolution become so successful, so fast?

• A wave of liberalization and competition driven by national regulators who opened their markets to multiple service providers;

• Regulators who moved proactively to make spectrum available for commercial use;

• Industry-driven standards-setting which brought technological innovation to market at accelerated speeds;

• A new, consumer-oriented outlook – adopted by industry and government alike – that drove innovative services and business models, such as pre-paid services, text messaging and handset subsidies; and

• Mobile operators, device makers, internet players and infrastructure providers who all worked together to form a healthy, vibrant ecosystem to deliver customer relevant mobile internet services

Innovation was unchained to meet and promote demand, and the result has been growth at hyper-speed – well beyond what any ministry or monopoly could have planned or directed.

Internet and Broadband

Meanwhile, as the mobility revolution was gathering steam, the Internet also was becoming a global phenomenon, on both mobile and fixed platforms. The adoption of the World Wide Web – as we called it then – gave the Internet a user-friendly interface, while the open and decentralized architecture invited content and easy, cost-effective access.

o And look at the results: There are now about 2.4 billion Internet users worldwide -- a number predicted to rise to 3.5 billion by 2016. At least 1.2 billion of those Internet users today are in developing countries.

o The Internet economy is estimated to be worth USD 4.2 trillion by 2016, in the G20 countries alone, with an annual growth rate of 8%. Growth will be more than double that – 18% annually – in developing countries.

Not surprisingly, we are seeing an explosion in the amount of data – much of it in the form of VoIP and video – circling the globe.

o Roughly 369 million terabytes of IP data were exchanged around the world last year – a number that Cisco predicts will rise by 2016 to 1.3 billion terabytes. Overall, IP traffic is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29 percent from 2011 to 2016.

These are nice numbers, but we should focus on the real beneficiaries of mobile and internet industry growth: individuals and societies all around the world. The Internet creates:

• Economic benefits – Jobs--beginning with mobile network expansion and jobs created through online commerce and content delivery

• Commercial benefits – farmers can use cellphones to link with buyers, check weather conditions and determine commodity prices in real time;

• Social benefits – Health care providers can use mobile technology to do remote diagnostics and treatments as well as training of health professionals. Governments can now make services available online, and people can inform themselves about political events and proposals;

• Human benefits – Groups can organize themselves online, friends can re-establish contact after years of separation, and everyone explores new meanings of connectivity and connectedness.

In a global marketplace battling for growth, telecommunications and Internet industries have acted as multipliers of productivity, translating into greater employment and social benefits.

• In the OECD countries, the Internet now accounts for an average of 4.1% of GDP – and up to 7-8% in the most “wired” countries, such as South Korea or the UK.

• Moreover, a University of Munich study, reported by the ITU, found that a 10% increase in broadband penetration yields an increase in GDP of .9% to 1.5%.

As a critique, we frequently hear that the Internet, and the underlying international infrastructure, have evolved to be “US-centric.” The opposite is true. Beyond its earliest incubation stage, the Internet has exploded as a global phenomenon – and it is growing more international, not less. Internet business ventures, social media companies, and enterprise applications are sprouting up all over the globe. This is not just a phenomenon confined to the United States, or just to Western Europe or the developed economies of the Asia-Pacific region.

In my career with Vodafone, I gained a lot of experience working in many developing markets amd seeing first hand the real innovation happening organically all over the world.Whether it was the “Mpesa” mobile banking innovation in Kenya or Vodacom’s development of fixed/mobile services in South Africa, I became convinced that the mobile and Internet spaces are dynamic, global and unable to be contained or managed from any one place in any standard or traditional manner. There is simply too much innovation – and too many expectations – that have broken through previous paradigms of “developed” and “developing” countries.

In Papua New Guinea, for example, residents of a remote village wanted to preserve their language – spoken nowhere else in the world – on the Internet. Through a “talking dictionary” program pioneered by Swarthmore College in the US, that language (and others) is now preserved and available for those townspeople – by those townspeople -- in perpetuity. The key point here is that these Papuans envisioned the Internet and what it could do for them, before they even saw it.

Consider just a few examples of entrepreneurship within this region:

o The Jordanian start-up VitalTronix has developed an I-Phone app for personal medical monitoring,

o Dubai-based Shoutit has developed a social media portal that allows businesses to reach users with targeted advertisements based on their personal preferences and locations.

o Beginning nearly 15 years ago with an Arab-language email service, Maktoob grew into a full-service Web portal, eventually attracting a buy-out by Yahoo for $164 million.

The US Approach to the WCIT

This brings us to the WCIT, which is the International Telecommunication Union’s first conference to review the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) since 1988.

As we look back on what the delegates accomplished that year, we should appreciate the environment for success that they created. The true accomplishment was to create a framework for interoperability and connectivity. But they did so without over-burdening the ITRs with rigid “fixes” for specific issues or perceived inequities. Within the scope of the ITRs, the 1988 delegates created the architecture for innovation, flexibility and broad-based consultation.

The United States believes the changes that have occurred in the global communications sector since 1988 can be addressed and accommodated with limited revisions to the ITRs.

It is important that the ITRs continue to reflect high-level principles that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate existing and future technological and market changes. In addition, the existing ITRs are currently in force and so are the most relevant starting point for negotiations on their revision.

In addition, the revised ITRs should continue to be a “stable treaty,” with no need for regular or frequent updating. Moreover, the ITRs must continue to recognize the sovereign right of Member States to regulate their own telecommunications sectors.

In its initial contribution, submitted on 3 August, the United States proposed:

• Minimal changes to the preamble of the ITRs;

• Alignment of the definitions in the ITRs with those in the ITU Constitution and Convention, including no change to the definitions of telecommunications and international telecommunications service;

• Maintaining the voluntary nature of compliance with ITU-T Recommendations;

• Continuing to apply the ITRs only to recognized operating agencies or RoAs; i.e., the ITRs’ scope should not be expanded to address other operating agencies that are not involved in the provision of authorized or licensed international telecommunications services to the public; and

• Revisions of Article 6 to affirm the role played by market competition and commercially negotiated agreements for exchanging international telecommunication traffic.

Addressing WCIT Issues

Over the past months several proposals have been made for the upcoming WCIT that, although seemingly well-intentioned, do not fully acknowledge the reality of an open-platform, multi-stakeholder, liberalized and consumer-driven telecom sector and what is required for future success.

The United States strongly favors establishing national policies and a flexible international framework for investment in infrastructure. But we have significant concerns about proposals which seek to mandate a sender-party pays pricing mechanism, such as that being proposed by the European Telecommunications Network Operators (ETNO).

o The proposal appears to be an attempt to take money from (or tax) content providers – which could dampen innovation and choke off the Internet’s free flow of information.

o It would be massively complex and expensive to devise a “sender party pays” system to track and monitor packetized traffic.

o Any global “fix” would soon be outpaced by arbitrage and routing work-arounds – as the accounting rate system already has been.

o And there would be unintended consequences: Internet “black-outs” could result for developing countries if ISPs and content providers refuse to pay termination fees for downloads. Take, for example, a non-profit NGO that researches and provides specialized treatment information on a rare medical condition. If that NGO were forced to pay its ISP for every download that occurred from anywhere in the world, that non-profit may be forced to choose between cutting back on research and programming or restricting access to free downloads. That, in turn, would result in limiting the spread of vital information that might be downloaded from that non-profit’s website in developing countries or remote communities.

Similarly, the United States believes that least-cost routing is a standard business practice that has resulted in much lower costs for consumers to make international calls. This could be jeopardized by proposals to mandate and track traffic routing and management practices.

o This could cripple operators’ efforts to route traffic efficiently and cost-effectively

o It could increase consumer prices, impede innovation and undercut investment

o In any case, the Internet comprises more than 40,000 networks, exchanging traffic on more than 425,000 distinct global routes, and connecting more than 600 million websites – all of them connected via commercial agreements among network operators. It would be impossible for any government to track and monitor routing and management practices throughout such a complex network of networks.

o It would open the door to Deep Packet Inspection (DPI), potentially disclosing customer information to other operators and governments.

The United States also recognizes that many countries are experiencing growing frustration with hacking and cyber-crimes. Indeed, there are, reportedly 67,000 malware attacks every day around the world – which represents a doubling of attacks since 2009. But the ITRs are not an appropriate or useful venue to address cybersecurity.

o Existing multi-stakeholder processes are better adapted to address Cybersecurity and related issues. Groups such as the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and 3GPP, for example, are actively developing standards and specifications for network and device security – drawing on rapid innovations in engineering technologies.

On global mobile roaming, the US supports policies that foster consumer choice and transparency in setting and advertising of roaming rates. But the US does not support adding provisions to the ITRs that would address the actual level of roaming rates.

In general, proposals to control content transmitted over networks are outside the scope of the ITRs and, further, appear to run counter to the foundation of a free and vibrant telecommunications and Internet society.

The ITRs serve to set an international framework for linking international telecom facilities. They should not be inappropriately stretched to cover any aspect of content routed over those facilities.

So, given that approach, the United States would be concerned about any proposed changes to the ITRs that (1) restrict the free flow of content, (2) broaden the scope of the ITRs, however subtly, to impinge on the Internet’s natural growth and evolution, or (3) impose uneconomic pricing or transfer-payment obligations on Internet content providers or operators.

I also would like to draw your attention to the CITEL PCC.1 meeting that will take place in just a few days in San Salvador, El Salvador. I will fly immediately from our meetings here to attend the CITEL meeting, which will be a culmination of many months of WCIT preparations by the members of the Organization of American States. We have submitted WCIT proposals capturing our views and approach to the Conference, much as I have outlined them here, and we will be working, on the basis of those views, to gain consensus on several Inter-American Proposals (IAPs) to bring back to Dubai in December. We very much value – as I know you do – collaboration with our regional partners.

Conclusion

So I would like to invite an approach to the WCIT that is based on a recognition that the existing environment today works amazingly well, and it is empowering communications – and human -- development by quantum leaps. In cases where imbalances occur, they can be addressed through market forces and consumer-focused national policies that empower local content development and stimulate local and regional traffic and demand.

So what should be the focus of our unique opportunity to drive a new set of ITRs at the WCIT?

o To reaffirm our belief in what will drive future market success;

o To recommit ourselves to the goal of maintaining and promoting global telecommunications connectivity in the 21st century;

o To create an unfettered, free flow of ideas, information and commerce;

o To establish high-level principles that foster an open and secure Internet and network operating environment; and

o To be pragmatic in understanding that telecom and Internet economies are too large, too distributed and too diverse for any one organization to control.

o So, in summary: we should congratulate ourselves on the 25-plus years of success in building a vibrant telecom and Internet economy, driving economic growth, and empowering individuals with information, connectedness and commercial opportunities. Our challenge now--more than any other -- is to maintain that environment for continued success, and to expand it around the globe, in all countries.

Again, I would like to express my appreciation to our hosts here in Dubai, and to thank all of you for this opportunity to exchange views and ideas about issues that are so important to individuals and countries around the world. We are here with an open mind, ready to engage in a dialogue in pursuit of our shared vision of greater connectivity and sector development. If we follow the principles that have gotten us this far, I believe we will enable the telecommunications and Internet phenomenon to become our lasting legacy and platform of success for future generations.

Thank you.

 

The world needs a good news source on Internet and telecom policy. I hope to create one. Catch a mistake? Email me please.  Dave Burstein

Latest

Professor Noam's "Many Internets" http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Until about 2010, everyone agreed the Net was a "network of networks," not a monolithic entity. There was a central authority, ICANN, keeping track of domain names, but that was a minor administrative function.
Columbia Professor Noam suggests we might be better off accepting that some nations or groups might want to organize their networks differently. It's easy to see demand for an Internet with much more effective filters against material some think harmful to children. (Any 10 year old can easily find porn today. Many do.)
Internet translation is getting better very quickly. You might want an "Internet" that translates everything into your language. Google Chrome translation isn't perfect but I was able to research most of this story on Russian language sites. With a few more years progress, I might welcome an alternate that brings me everything in English, including caching for better performance.
De facto, Internet news is already split, as hundreds of millions only get their news from Facebook. Google AMP pages, including for news, also favor selected parts of the net
Centralizing the DNS doesn't prevent censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. There are many Jewish and Muslim fundamentalists who want to block what they consider blasphemy and limit free speech. See http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/21/nyregion/ultra-orthodox-jews-hold-rally-on-internet-at-citi-field.html . More from Noam http://bit.ly/ManyNets

Russia Orders Alternate Root Internet System http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS
It's actually practical and not necessarily a problem.The Security Council of the Russian Federation, headed by Vladimir Putin, has ordered the "government to develop an independent internet infrastructure for BRICS nations, which would continue to work in the event of global internet malfunctions ... This system would be used by countries of the BRICS bloc – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa." RT
Columbia University Professor Eli Noam and then ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé have both said such a system is perfectly practical as long as there is robust interconnection.
Actually, the battle over ICANN and domain names is essentially symbolic. Managing the DNS is a relatively insignificant task, more clerical than governing. ICANN Chair Steve Crocker pointed out they had very little to do with policy.
Some will claim this is about blocking free speech but that's rhetoric. Russia doesn't need to fiddle with the DNS for censorship, as the Chinese have demonstrated. The wonders of the Internet will continue so long as the resulting nets" are robustly connected. The ICANN and U.S. policy goal should be to help create that system for interconnection.
I expect contentions that “The Russians are taking over our Internet” and “They are splitting the Internet.” The Internet is a “Network of Networks.” It is not a monolith so what would “splitting” it mean or do?
After the WCIT, China realized that ICANN and the DNS are side issues not worth bothering about. They have been building alternate institutions including the World Internet Summit in Wuzhan and the BRICs conferences.  The Chinese have put their main work where decisions that matter are made. Wireless standards are set by 3GPP, where nothing can be approved without China's consent.
The American battle at ITU is proving to be a historic mistake.
Why does Russia want an independent Internet?
They fear that Western sanctions on Russia could cripple the Russian Net. Communications minister, Nikolay Nikiforov, worries about, "a scenario where our esteemed partners would suddenly decide to disconnect us from the internet." I think that's highly unlikely but Nikiforov points out, “Recently, Russia is being addressed in a language of unilateral sanctions: first, our credit cards are being cut off; then the European Parliament says that they’ll disconnect us from SWIFT."
It makes sense for the Russians to be prepared for such a contingency as the Cold War has been warming up on both sides. "Britain's top military chief Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach just made headlines warning Russian subs "could CRIPPLE Britain by cutting undefended undersea internet cables." Much more http://bit.ly/RussiaDNS

ICANN Continues Excluding Russia & China From the Board http://bit.ly/CEOPromises
No wonder Russia wants an alternate root. Three years ago, ICANN CEO Fadi Chehadé promised "a seat at the table" to Chinese Premier Li. ICANN welched and this year added two more Americans.
Almost all the ICANN board is from the U.S. and close allies; only about 4 of the 18 board members are from countries on the other side of the North/South divide in Internet policy.  Claiming ICANN represents the Global Internet is inappropriate. China is 1/3rd of the Internet but has no representation on the board.
I know many of the board members. They are all basically honorable but generally share a strong opinion on North-South issues.
Larry Strickling of the U.S. government knew just what he was doing with the IANA transition. He handed over to a board with similar positions as the U.S. government.
"The system is unsustainable while it excludes half the world," I have been saying since 2012. More, including the transcript of Fadi's statements,http://bit.ly/CEOPromises

Sorry, Ajit Pai: Smaller Telcos Did Not Reduce Investment After NN Ruling http://bit.ly/SorryPai
Pai justifies his NN choice with the claim, "The impact has been particularly serious for smaller Internet service providers." #wrong (Actually, NN has minimal effects on investment, up or down, I’m convinced. Competition, new technology, customer demand and similar are far more important.)
The two largest suppliers to “smaller ISPs” saw sales go up. Adtran's sales the most recent nine months were $540M, up from $473M the year before. 2016 was $636M, 2015 $600M. Calix the last nine months sold $372M, up from $327M. The full year 2016 was $459M, up from $407M in 2015. Clearfield, a supplier of fiber optic gear, was up 8% in sales in the smaller ISPs.
There is nothing in the data from others that suggests an alternate trend. Anyone could have found this data in a few minutes from the company quarterly reports.
The results in larger companies are ambiguous. I can "prove" capex went up or went down by selecting the right data. The four largest companies' capex - two/thirds of the total - went up from $52.7B in 2015 to $55.7B in 2016. The result remains positive after making sensible adjustments for mergers and acquisitions. That's as close to "proving" that NN led to increased spending as the facts chosen to prove the opposite.
Actually, whether capex went up or down in 2016 tells us almost nothing about the choice on neutrality. Everyone knows a single datapoint could be random or due to other causes. Much more, including the source of the errors http://bit.ly/SorryPai

Elders Bearing Witness: Vint, Timbl, & Many More http://bit.ly/VintTim
Vint Cerf, Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak and more than a dozen true Internet pioneers wrote Congress to protect Neutrality. The best Congress money can buy didn't listen but I wanted to reproduce their letter.
I hope they are wrong believing "is an imminent threat to the Internet we worked so hard to create." My take is the impact will be moderate in the short run.
From the letter:
We are the pioneers and technologists who created and now operate the Internet, and some of the innovators and business people who, like many others, depend on it for our livelihood. ... The FCC’s proposed Order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology. These flaws and inaccuracies were documented in detail in a 43-page-long joint comment signed by over 200 of the most prominent Internet pioneers and engineers and submitted to the FCC on July 17, 2017.
Despite this comment, the FCC did not correct its misunderstandings, but instead premised the proposed Order on the very technical flaws the comment explained. The technically-incorrect proposed Order ... More, including the full list, http://bit.ly/VintTim