Keeping govts off the internet infrastructure


One of the major issues being discussed at the ongoing ITU meeting is internet infrastructure and whether governments should be allowed to regulate or have a role to play in the internet infrastructure business.

ITU says it has nothing to do with internet and is only concerned with telecommunication business and how national telecoms infrastructure will go on after the internet. I had a discussion with a senior ITU official on this but it didn’t make much sense to me ūüôā sounded like they want the higher powers yet claim they don’t want.

Here is the text from the 51-E document published today, please note the exchange points part, the guy told me that it means telephone traffic ūüôā

31E            3.9            Member States should create an enabling environment for the implementation of regional telecommunications traffic exchange points with a view to improve quality, increase the connectivity and resilience of networks, foster competition and reduce the costs of international telecommunication interconnections.

For many people within internet infrastructure business, the text above includes the phrase “traffic exchange points” which is a pointer to Internet Exchange Points.¬†Some countries opposed the inclusion while others felt that it should stay. Its easy to guess the countries that opposed.
Another contentious text is:
31D   3.8   [Member  states  shall,  if  they  so  elect,  be  able  to  manage  the  naming,   numbering,  addressing  and  identification  resources  used  within  their  territories  for  international   telecommunications.]

According to arguments made against, “this text could interfere with the work done by existing multi-stakeholder bodies, such as ICANN, which is already responsible for coordinating numbering, addressing, and naming resources. If a member state is managing its naming, numbering, and addressing resources in a way that conflicts with ICANN, it could limit the ability of users to access information.”

The politics part is that some countries feel that the US has a lot of control on address and number resources and that some countries have had issues with the numbering and addressing but I think if it relates to telecoms only (read telephones) then it might be easier.

The discussions still dragging through the night….