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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Regulators explore 6 degrees of co-sharing

The eight annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR-08), ended in the city of Pattaya, Thailand with the theme on ‘Six Degrees of Sharing: Innovative Infrastructure Sharing and Open Access Strategies to promote affordable access for all focused on stimulating growth in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) investment.

GSR-08 organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and NTC of Thailand, was presided over by the Chairman, National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) of Thailand, General Choochart Promphrasid, to explore new regulatory measures aimed at encouraging investment and growth in ICT.

Top on the agenda was on liberalizing international gateways so as to open access to submarine cable networks, passive sharing of mobile towers and rights of way for fibre backbones to reach rural users reduced costs through promotion of active and passive network sharing in a competitive environment to provide real consumer choices the goals and role of functional separation regulating international mobile roaming rates.

The six degrees of sharing, according participants at GSR-08 include basic and passive infrastructure sharing; open access to international capacity; business-sharing; active infrastructure sharing; end-user sharing as well as policy and regulatory harmonization.

Speaking at the occasion, Secretary-General, ITU, Dr Hamadoun TourĂ© noted that sharing of views, experiences and best practices among regulators is the only way to address the challenges posed by today’s technological and market developments.

Dr TourĂ© added that it’s only by working together that smart policies and practices emerge.

“It is only by working together that smart policies and practices can be put into place to ensure that the target of connecting the world to ICT within the next seven years can be met,” he said.

He emphasized that connecting the world would lead to sharing the benefits of the Information Society by all.

He pointed out that this year’s GSR explored how regulatory reform could reduce the high investment costs associated with the deployment of new technologies.

“We will examine a range of sharing strategies designed to cut the costs of network rollout, and each one has a role to play in ensuring that countries meet their development goals by 2015,” he said.

For the chairman of the occasion, General Promphrasid, the six degrees of sharing would help build an enabling environment through modern regulation and policy harmonization.

“This gathering of heads of national regulatory authorities from both developing and developed countries will foster the substantive sharing of views and experiences through an open dialogue between regulators,” he said.

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