WayForward@ITREALMS

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Protect internet‘s uniqueness, ISOC urges

This year’s International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) organized World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF), ended in Lisbon, Portugal with the Internet Society (ISOC) urging participants on the need to protect Internet ‘s uniqueness.
This, the group said, made it possible to still be relevant over 20 years of its open-stakeholder activities.

The Senior Manager, Outreach and Coordinated Communication at Internet Society, Mr. Gerard Ross, in a press statement made available to ITRealms Online said it is important to remind the assembly of policy makers on the need to respect and preserve the unique development model responsible for the Internet’s unprecedented growth and success.

He quoted ISOC president, Ms Lynn St. Amour as saying that the ‘Internet model’ of collaborative development has continued to underpin the Internet’s contribution to innovation and creativity, supporting global deployment of innovative and often surprising applications.

Also, Amour said the model, which arose from a need for collaboration and knowledge sharing has propelled the inclusive multi-stakeholder processes, open standards development, and decentralized responsibility for managing the various aspects of the Internet’s technical and management functions.

“The opportunities and advantages of increasingly converged services arise specifically from the Internet’s intrinsic design principles and development model, which together create a vibrant environment of innovation and creativity,” Ms St. Amour said.

Emphasising that likewise, modern Next Generation Networks (NGNs) could be developed and deployed on the existing Internet because of visionary architectural decisions made literally decades ago.

“Indeed, today’s NGNs will become tomorrow’s legacy networks, replaced by applications running on the Internet, designed for as yet unknown future improvements,” she said.

The WTPF, was established as a less formal venue for discussions than regular ITU meetings. It is not designed to produce prescriptive outcomes with the binding force of an international treaty, but rather to foster debate and seek multi-stakeholder consensus on the way forward.

In advance of this event, the ITU Secretary-General produced a report with “draft opinions” on a wide range of topics including: Convergence, Emerging Telecommunication policy and regulatory issues, Next Generation Networks (NGNs), and International Telecommunication Regulations.

These issues became the core of the WTPF’s agenda and the Internet Society has contributed to the discussions by submitting views on key technical and development considerations pertinent to the agenda.

However, such a broad agenda of challenging topics underlines, in the Internet Society’s view, the strong need to include diverse inputs representing a range of expertise.

While the Internet Society welcomes the inclusion of ITU Sector Members in its discussions at the WTPF, it has encouraged the ITU Secretariat General to continue opening its conferences to all interested stakeholders and broadening participation beyond its Member States and Sector Members, to the Civil Society, the Internet community and the research community.

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