ICC is a longstanding supporter of the liberalized telecommunications policies that have stimulated the expansion of communications networks and services, and has encouraged broad economic growth in countries at all levels of development.
WCIT-12 is a critical opportunity to ensure that the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs) can support the future development of telecoms markets, services and technological innovation. To do this, given the contemporary pace of market change, it is vital for the ITRs to be focused on general strategic and policy issues relating to the provision of international telecommunications services, rather than on specific regulatory and technical matters.
Detailed rules for the establishment and settlement of accounting rate arrangements are no longer relevant in the contemporary competitive international marketplace, and should be significantly amended or removed.
The scope of the ITRs must be carefully considered, to avoid undermining pro-competitive policies that have fuelled the massive growth of the telecommunications industry since 1988. Likewise, changes which might create uncertainty for market participants—such as the development of new ITU arbitration or dispute resolution authority—should be avoided, particularly given the potential unintended effects for end-users.
The ITRs should not address areas of Internet policy, such as international Internet connectivity and the allocation of Internet addresses. Expanding the regulations in this way would not be consistent with the Tunis Agenda agreed by heads of state at the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in 2005—and would risk undermining the multistakeholder model of Internet governance which has underpinned the success of the Internet to date.
In this context, ITU members should remain cognizant of the appropriate limits of the ITRs. Pro-competitive policies should be used to achieve more efficient and balanced Internet interconnection flows, rather than using the ITRs to support regulation that could suppress traffic flows and investment incentives. Moreover, fraud and other criminal matters are more appropriately addressed through national law and regulation.