Qualifying, Quantifying, and Meeting the Challenge of Internet Access Costs

13 November 2007 - A Workshop on Access in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Agenda

Few economic and social issues facing developing countries today are more important or challenging than finding ways to rapidly broaden access to the Internet.  This workshop will feature participants from different perspectives and geographic regions discussing practical ways of increasing Internet access in emerging economies by reducing end-to-end Internet connectivity costs.  Particular attention will be paid to the:

  • Role of international, regional and domestic peering and transit agreements as a component of overall connectivity costs; 
  • Identification of various “best practice” initiatives (e.g., construction of Internet exchange points, capacity building in skills and expertise) that Internet service providers, government officials and other stakeholders have used in local, national and regional communities to boost Internet penetration rates, particularly in Africa and Latin America; and
  • Proper role of regulation and competition in lowering end-to-end connectivity costs.

Mr. Masanobu Katoh, Corporate Vice President, Fujitsu Limited will moderate the discussion.  Following opening remarks and discussion among the panelists, time will remain for questions and comments from all workshop attendees. The session will be highly informative and provocative for all IGF attendees who have an interest in broadening access to the Internet.  The session will be organized as follows:

  • Mr. Kiyoshi Mori, Japans’s Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs), will provide opening remarks. 
  • Mr. Facundo Fernandez Begni, Jefe de Area Politicas Y Organismos Internacionales, Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones in Argentina will review key access issues from the perspective of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and government authorities in developing economies charged with broadening access to the Internet.  
  • A Senior Representative from Egyptian National Telecommunications Authority will give a description of Egypt’s national initiative to addressing the high cost of Internet access.  
  • Mr. Bill Woodcock, Director of Research, Packet Clearing House (U.S.) and Mr. Nishal Goburdhan, Network Support Manager, Internet Solutions (South Africa) will review various practices that are successfully being used to increase Internet access in emerging economies as well as some that are unnecessarily discouraging more widespread use of the World Wide Web.
  • Ambassador David Gross, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy will be the closing speaker. 

Workshop Participants

Mr. Facundo Fernandez Begni is Jefe de Area Politicas Y Organismos Internacionales, Comision Nacional de Comunicaciones, Argentina and Rapporteur, ICC Rapporteur Group, ITU Télécommunications Sector. 

Mr. Nishal Goburdhan is Network Support Manager, Internet Solutions in South Africa. He is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and he is also on the technical advisory board of the Johannesburg Internet Exchange (JINX). He serves as a volunteer tutor for the African Network Operator’s Group (AFNOG). He is a graduate of the University of Witwatersrand. 

Ambassador David Gross has served asU.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy, United States Department of State since August 2001.  His previous positions include partner in the Washington, DC law firm of Sutherland, Asbill & Brennan, and Washington Counsel for AirTouch.Communications.  Since joining the Department of State, Ambassador Gross has led more U.S. delegations to international telecommunications conferences than anyone in history.  He is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University School of Law. For full bio, please visit http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/46292.htm

Mr. Masanobu Katoh is Corporate Vice President, Fujitsu Limited. Throughout his career he has held a variety of positions in the Fujitsu Legal Division.  He has published numerous articles on intellectual property laws, electronic commerce related laws and telecommunications policy, and is co-author of a book, Interfaces on Trial.  He served as a director of ICANN from 2000 to 2003.  Mr. Katoh is a graduate of the University of Tokyo and University of Michigan Law School. For full bio, please visit http://www.icann.org/biog/katoh.htm. 

 

Mr. Kiyoshi Mori has been the Japanese Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs) since 2007.  Previously he was Director-General of the Telecommunications Bureau in the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.  He is a graduate of the Faculty of Law, University of Tokyo.  For full bio, please visit http://www.ectaportal.com/regulatory07/basic450.html#MORI,%20Kiyoshi

 

 

Mr. Bill Woodcock is founder and research director of Packet Clearing House, a non-profit research institute investigating Internet routing economics.  He also successfully operated several commercial ventures in the Internet connectivity and distribution space.  He is a member of numerous boards of both non-profit institutions and commercial ventures.  Mr. Woodcock is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz.  For full bio, please visit http://www.pch.net

 

Senior Representative from Egyptian National Telecommunications Authority – information to be provided at the event. 

 

Workshop Organizers: 

 

               Nippon Keidanren