Over the next two weeks, the ITU is meeting in Dubai for the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12).
This landmark conference will review the current International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), which serve as the binding global treaty designed to facilitate international interconnection and interoperability of information and communication services, as well as ensuring their efficiency and widespread public usefulness and availability.
Application service providers have mustered all of their lobbying power to preserve the status quo, and overworked slogans are trying to rally public opinion. Don Tapscott writes “The governance of the Internet ain’t broken, so don’t fix it.” Google has been very active and has opened an advocacy website saying “A free and open world depends on a free and open web.”
Despite deliberate misinformation with such language as “Some governments want to use a closed-door meeting in December to increase censorship and regulate the Internet”, the WCIT-12 website shows the process to be pretty open, including media accreditation and webcasting of sessions.
Among the ideas being floated is applying a “sender-paid” pricing model to internet connectivity. Would such a model enable increased connectivity from developing economies? Would such a pricing model facilitate development of lower priced internet access for more budget conscious citizens?