The proposal is supported by the Ministry of External Relations.
The objective of the presentation is to describe the model of Internet Governance in Brazil, which have been leaded by the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee, a multistakeholder organization composed by different segments of society government, private sector, third sector and academic community that work together for the development of the Internet. Difficulties faced, lessons learned and challenges regarding the future will also be addressed.
1. Country/Institution background
The Internet Governance in Brazil has been a pioneering experience regarding the effective participation of the society in decisions that involve implementation, administration and the use of the network. Based on multilateral, transparent and democratic principles, the coordination and integration of the activities of Internet services in the country are made by means of the Brazilian Internet Steering Committee - CGI.br. Created by an Interministerial Ordinance in May 1995 and reformatted and reinforced by a Presidential Decree in September 2003, the CGI.br is responsible for promoting the technical quality, innovation and the dissemination of the use of the network.. Since July of 2004, the representatives of the civil society are chosen in a direct election process, to participate in the deliberations and to debate priorities for Internet, among with the government. Among the diverse responsibilities of the CGI.br, the main attributions are to propose policies and procedures related to the regulation of Internet activities; to recommend standards for technical and operational procedures for the Internet in Brazil; to establish strategic directives related to the use and development of Internet in Brazil; to promote studies and technical standards for the network and services' security in the country; to coordinate the allocation of Internet addresses (IPs) and the registration of domain names under .br ccTLD; to collect, organize and disseminate information on Internet services, including indicators and statistics. In order to execute its activities, the CGI.br has created a non for-profit civil organization named Brazilian Network Information Center - NIC.br.
2. ICT development and general status
Brazil has a very strong ICT industry and a large infrastructure: there are 39 million main fixed telephone lines in operation, 5.9 million fixed broadband Internet subscribers, and almost 110 millions cellular mobile telephone subscribers. There are also 10 Network Access Points operational in the country, three independent, and 7 managed by NIC.br
3. Internet industry development and general status
In Brazil the Internet is not considered a telecommunications service, but a value added service, and therefore it is not subject to regulation by ANATEL, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Agency. In this framework, Internet Service Providers do not need any kind of license to provide access to the network. Brazil is a large country, with continental dimensions ? 8.5 million Km², a population of 190 million inhabitants, almost 84% living in urban areas, and almost 42 million Internet users. The number of domain names under .br is very significative: almost 1.2 million, one of the largest ccTLD communities in the world, and growing 20% a year. It is also important to mention that almost 90% of the domain names registered in Brazil are under <.br>.
3. Previous/current problems in the Internet sector
In the mid 90ths, when the commercial internet started in Brazil, in order to leverage competition in the segment, it was decided that internet access had to be offered through an Internet Service Provider, and as a value added service, could not be offered through a telecommunications operator. Besides that decision, most of the difficulties faced by the internet sector have been solved by self regulation. The CGI.br, as a multistakeholder organization that has the attribution of coordinating the internet services, has managed to establish norms to overcame domain name disputes, but it does not regulate the sector. Therefore, there are still problems unsolved like:
- Mechanisms to warranty the quality and development of internet services;
- Regulatory challenges brought by convergence (VoIP, Digital TV, etc)
- Interconnection issues
4. Policy measures implemented and being implemented, impediments, issues faced
There are still infrastructural issues that have to be addressed, like the development of a stronger broadband infrastructure connecting all the municipalities in the country, and the overcome of the digital divide, and those issues became part of different policies in the Government. The size of the country, the social and economical disadvantages, and difficulties to establish communication among the institutions inside the government are the main difficulties to be faced. In our days the security issues and the implementation of necessary levels of legislation (cybercrimes, pedophilia, spam, etc) are also a strong concern. Therefore the CGI.br has coordinated the development of an Antispam bill and has being collaborating with the analysis of different bills regarding the Internet sector.
5. Results (previous/hoped for) of policy interventions
- Better representation and participation of different stakeholders in the Internet management at policy level;
- Establishment of a formal channel of dialogue with different sectors and a locus for exchange of opinions and sharing of information about public policies related to the Internet in the country;
- Better articulation and coordination of national positions on themes related to Internet governance at international fora (e.g. ICANN);
- Autonomy from Government on managing resources originated from contributions paid by subscribers to .br
6. Unintended consequences of policy interventions, good and bad
- Unexpected growth of demand for CGI.br participation and position on a much wider array of issues related to ICT, in particular ICT for development;
- Interest from Government and non-Government bodies to be represented at the CGI, creating a challenge to maintain the balance among different stakeholders;
- Demand for financial support to projects related to Internet use, infrastructure, access, diversity etc.
7. Unresolved issues; their locus, how might they be addressed
- Need to establish criteria for project selection and funding;
- How to balance the representativity of the CGI.br members and segments,
- Difficulties faced during the electoral process and propositions of how to address them
- Intellectual property and the reform of the copyright law
- Production and dissemination of digital content in Portuguese
8. Insights gained as a result of the experience, concluding thoughts
The CGI.brs multistakeholder governance model has been a good experience of effective collaboration among government, private sector, third sector and academic community towards the development of the internet sector on a national level. However, it is not clear that this kind of experience could be applied at the international level without extensive modifications The presentation could then give a few hints on how Governments could participate on a local multistakeholder Internet governance model.