Universal growth and social progress can be achieved through a global and inclusive Internet economy. Since its beginning, the Internet has been an extraordinary open platform for innovation. It has enabled information to flow between all stakeholders in dynamic ways, has increased transparency and opened new territories. As a consequence, it has lowered entry barriers to markets, provided tremendous business opportunities and fostered the creation of new business models.
The remarkable growth of the Internet and the limitless variety of Internet applications that have been developed follow directly from the open model of Internet connectivity and standards development. Any individual, organization, or company can develop and distribute a new Internet application and service that can be used by anyone.
To be a key driver of economic growth, the Internet must continue to develop in an open way that allows industries to compete on a level playing field. Any unnecessary restrictions, such as trade barriers, can inhibit growth.
Policy questions that will be addressed include the following:
- What are the main economic benefits of the Internet being an open platform?
- What societal benefits can be obtained from an open Internet?
- How do we ensure on an international level that the Internet remains an open platform for innovation and how do we best make sure to involve all stakeholders?
- How can open and voluntary standards serve as building blocks for services and products targeted at meeting the needs of the economy and citizens, thereby driving innovation?