The International Telecommunication Regulations and Internet Governance: multistakeholder perspectives

6 November 2012 - A Workshop on Critical Internet Resources in Baku, Azerbaijan

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This text is being provided in an unedited format.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings. 



>> If people could get seated.  If you're not trying to get a headphone, please sit down.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Good afternoon.  We are a bit late but we would like to start with our panel.  We're still waiting for one more panelist, Alice Munyua, but she has to run between Sections because her permanent Secretary was held up and he's not here.  But she will join us sooner or later.  We have a very distinguished panel of experts, I suppose you recognize most of them.  To my right is Vint Cerf, who does not need to be introduced.  And to his right is Geoff Huston, the Chief Scientist of APNIC and to my left I have Dick Beaird from the United States Department of State, and to his left, Franklin from the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign affairs.

And to the very left, we have Bill Drake, who is also well known in these circles, U.S. academic who lives in Switzerland.

As we are late, we are officially scheduled to finish by 6:00, but I think we can run a little bit later, maybe 6:15 or so.  And without much further ado, I would like to ask Vint to introduce the subject, please.

>> VINT CERF:  So dearly beloved, we are gathered here ?? I'm sorry, wrong notes.

[ Laughter ]

So it's obvious that this crowd cares a great deal about what happens to the Internet when it comes up against regulations that are ill suited to its operation.  So and so we're here to discuss specifically the potential for the ITRs to interfere with the best quality operation of the Internet, and more generally, the question about regulation and how it should be formulated.

So let me start by arguing that we should have a principle that says:  The stakeholders who are affected by regulation should have something to say about it before those regulations are adopted.

The second thing ?? Channel 2, Channel 2.  The second thing is ?? of course, nobody can hear that if you're not on the right channel.

[ Laughter ]

The second thing is that we should be respectful of the architecture of the Internet when we think about regulation.  It's a layered structure, and we can have big arguments about what the layers should be, and whether there is a strong boundary or a kind of porous boundary between the layers, but the point I want to make is:  Don't regulate for the wrong reason.

So for example, the ITRs should be confined from carrying bits from one place to another.  That's an important function.  You need it in order to move packets around in the Internet but that's the wrong place to worry about things like content and to attempt to regulate, control or intervene in content or application space.  When you're down moving bits around or packets around it's simply the wrong thing to do.  It's inefficient and it has side effects and collateral damage, which can affect everyone.  It can affect us personally in our use of the net.  It can affect business models.  It can affect cross?border issues, and so being thoughtful about where that regulation applies and for what purpose is very importance.

Finally to keep my opening remarks very short we absolutely have to analyze what the effects of regulation are going to be before we adopt them.  One of the worst things that can happen is to discover that the side effects of a regulation are so damaging that it destroys the very system that we're trying to support and enhance and evolve.  So we should be thoughtful not only upon adopting regulations, but periodically or continuously there should be attention paid to what are the side effects.

Part of the reason this is so important is that we live in an environment where the technology is changing all the time.  New technologies come along.  The advent of mobile technology attached to the Internet or able to reach the Internet was very transforming.  It meant that the information window that you used to have in your mobile or in your laptop or desktop was now with you at all times and that changes the way in which the Internet is used.  It changes the way in which communications is supported.

So we have a lot of work to do in the near?term with regard to the World Conference on International Telecommunications and in the longer term these issues are going to arise over and over again.  We have to find a way forward that preserves the Internet's utility and allows it to continue to evolve.

I'll stop there, Mr. Chairman, and invite the next speaker.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you very much.  Bill?

>> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Thank you very much, Markus.  Good afternoon, everybody.  Sorry for the rather chaotic conditions with everything running late.  I just want to point out before I begin my 5 minutes that in case you're not aware, tomorrow morning at 9:30 there will be the main session on critical Internet resources in the main hall.  I'll be co?moderating that session, and we will spend about an hour or so on the WCIT and the International Telecommunication Regulations there, as well.  So if you're interested in this issue, you have a second opportunity as well tomorrow which might be perhaps starting on time and hopefully a little bit less chaotic.

There are of course many, many things that can be said about this subject.  It's a topic of great concern and has received an enormous amount of publicity in recent times, and it's a source of divisive debate.  I don't want to in my few moments here start to plunge into the details of any particular set of problems.  We can do that in the question and answer period.  I'd like to speak briefly to three meta points, because I'm a meta kind of guy that I think are overarching questions that have arisen in the context of the debate.  The first is the existing International Telecommunication Regulations and Internet development.

I raise this point because you may have seen the point come up a number of times in discussions, the assertion has been made the ITRs are somehow responsible for the Internet's development, that they had a catalytic effect on it and so on and I think it's worth just recognizing how this works.

At the level of the International Telecommunication regulations in Melbourne in 1988, there was a long struggle and there was a revision of long?standing language most recently included in the 1982 Convention that ?? ?

[ Audio difficulty ]

To enter into relationships that were outside the ambit of the main focus of the international regulations.  In Melbourne, they expanded to take on Board a recognition that we were in a world of liberalization and privatization, that many large companies were building global private networks and enhanced value networks as we would call them in the United States, value added networks that merged computing and telecommunications, and there was an effort to try to ensure that this whole terrain of digital communications was going to remain outside the focus of the whole accounting settlement system and everything that's the main guts of the ITRs.  The language adopted said that members could authorize administrations recognized operating agencies and any other organisation or person to enter into special arrangements with counterparts abroad subject to National law for establishment of.

[ Off Microphone ]

Systems or applications including the underlying means of Telecom transport to meet their communications needs or those of others.  So that meant these new kinds of digital networks and also the applications that ride over them should remain essentially unregulated.  And members did that as I say focusing in a really in a pre?Internet kind of world on the kind of computing platforms and digital communications that were popular then in the private sector.

This also led to the liberalization in the ITU of recommendation D1 which for a long time had regulated tightly the operation of leased circuits and private networks so this has often been cited as having been a big catalyst of the Internet and indeed, some have argued that, quote, all ?? 

[ Audio difficulty ]

Under Article 9.  Some in Geneva, I will say.

[ Audio difficulty ]

Personally, I'm not ?? .

And I don't know what kinds of conversations they run into.  They sit around together and they say well, wait, is this permissible under Article 9 of the International Telecommunication Regulations?  Oh, yes it is.  Let's peer.

I don't think it's really the case.  So ?? leased circuits may have facilitated it in some way it's a bit of a stretch to suggest that the ITRs are in any way responsible for the Internet's development.  Secondly I'd like to raise the question of the relationship between the revision of the ITRs and Internet Governance because this has been contested as well.

Some have argued there's no relationship at all.  The ITRs are not about Internet Governance.  Nobody who's concerned about Internet Governance should be worried about it.  I've had people say why are you doing this panel when there's no relationship between the two?

Now, if you stick to the narrow definition of Internet Governance that people tended to use before the process began where you think of Internet Governance as pertaining just to Internet names and numbers that are managed lie ICANN and the RARs you can say yes there's no live proposals on the table now that would transfer functions from ICANN or otherwise impede the operation of the Internet naming and numbering system so therefore there's no relationship.

But of course,.

[ Off Microphone ]

The WSIS and IGF has been taking a broader view.  We adopted a definition that says the whole range of principles, norms, rules, decision?making, procedures and programmes that shape the underlying Internet and its use for information communication and commerce.  So the point is Internet Governance is much broader than names and numbers.

So imagine then if you do get international multilateral regulatory treatment of the Internet through a treaty.  Does that then constitute Internet Governance?  There are three quick scenarios I would mention.  One, if you have expansive redefinitions of terms adopted as has been proposed during the Council Working Group process that would for example build into the notion of telecommunications and processing, which suggests any kind of digital information processing, or ?? and ICTs, then it would be effectively the case that the entire ITRs and all their various provisions would be applying to the Internet.

Similarly, if you apply the ITRs to all operating agencies of any sort and not just recognized operating agencies providing traditional telecommunications, again you get this kind of expansion so then all language about mandatory standards, defining spam ?? security ?? service, fair mutual compensation for interconnection and so on that's been suggested by various parties would become indeed Internet Governance provisions.

Another scenario that ?? 

[ Audio difficulty ]

Don't get added in that those proposals are not accepted, but nevertheless, you get parties who say, well, let's put some individual proposals in.  We put in some cybersecurity language.  Well, then those dimensions of Internet Governance would be included.  Or ?? and this is I guess a key point neither of the above may happen but what about if governments begin to say we believe the existing definition of telecommunications in international arrangements already covers the Internet anyway, and therefore we're going to apply these provisions to the Internet in our domestic and bilateral relationships with other correspondents.  The result of that could be a patch work pattern of global Internet Governance.

So I guess ?? I'll close by saying that last point points to my third pointed, which is, there's a longer term question that has to be addressed about convergence.  Public switch telephone networks are moving to become IP cord networks.  Everything is being reconfigured on an IP basis so even if you want to say as I happen to want to say that the ITRs should not cover Internet Governance and should not cover the Internet, there are unanswered questions that we're going to have to deal with over the longer term.

How do you draw boundary lines?  We have different solutions in different countries.  In America we call the Internet an application under Federal communication rules.  Other countries have different approaches.  And at some point, the differences between those approaches may become more manifest, raise more issues, and the question is:  Do we just kind of say, it's too much hassle to try to get into this?  Let's just ignore the problem and not put anything into any international agreements because it may do more damage than good?  Which is sort of what they did in the WTO, or do we try to tackle these questions?

I imagine they're going to come up again at the World Telecom policy Forum and elsewhere it's a long?term problem we need to think about.  I'll stop there.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you, Bill.  And in the interest of time, I kept down my introduction but one thing I did want to say, we have tried to set up a very balanced panel, and we have I think geographical balance, unfortunately not much of gender balance but we also invited representatives of the ITU.  We reached out to the Chairman of the process and also to the host country, United Arab Emirates but unfortunately for various reasons, we were not able to have them on the panel.

Now, over to Alice Munyua.  Let me check on your exact title.  You are Chair of the Kenya Internet Governance Steering Committee, which is under the Ministry of Information and Communications.  Please, Alice.

>> ALICE MUNYUA:  Thank you very much, Markus.  And to Bill for organizing this workshop and for inviting us.  I've been hopping between several workshops because our permanent Secretary who should have been here is delayed and so apologies for the delay.

I was asked to present Kenya's position on WCIT and ITRs but the first thing I'll say is Kenya hasn't developed our position yet because we're still yet to hold a multistakeholder meeting that involves all stakeholders so that we're able to develop what we're calling a National position and a few of the stakeholders including industry, I think Fiona and the rest are in this room and they can add on to some of the points I'm going to be making.

However, Kenya has been involved in all of the original preparatory processes that have taken place.  Three meetings to date, the last one was in Ghana and we developed what you're calling the African common proposals.  We've supported them so far, although that doesn't mean that we are supporting and perhaps endorsing them at that level but that means they have to come to the National level and be discussed, because our ?? there's a Constitutional provision that ensures that any policy developed or any ?? when the Government actually gets involved in any treaty making decision it has to be subjected to a multistakeholder discussion so that we can develop a National position.

So I am going to actually present what the African common proposal, some of them and in other instances I'll present Kenya's not really position but in comparison to for example what is currently at the National level, which would probably make it difficult to support some of the proposals, though not all of them.

So we support and I think we held an ITR workshop during the East African IGF this year.  We support the changes related to the ITRs have to take place.  Because of the expansion in significance of telecommunication, in data, the liberalization of markets.  Obviously the emergence of new businesses and the emergence of dominance of IP or IP networks.

Also, we support the revision because there's been convergence between formerly separated media and also technology and business structure and financial arrangements which is a big issue for most African states.  So some of the proposals for example price regulation and roaming in particular, at the National level, the African common proposal is proposing caps on regional and whole prices, roaming, as well as discretion of National governments on the context of bilateral and regional arrangements.

While at the National level what we've done is encouraged operators to take measures that enhance for example consumer awareness, also addressing structural barriers that increase costs by ensuring for example that the Government is actually putting money and resources towards expanding our broadband network.

So price, for example, has been our last resort and having sat on the regulatory body for nearly 6 years it was our last resort out of frustration and noticing that the prices were not coming down, both in terms of accessing the Internet but there are different rates for example being part of the Kenya IXP.

So and going farther, our regulatory framework is technology?neutral so I think we would automatically and generally be supporting ITR as technology neutral.  On the issue of fraud and number misuse and calling line identity, another common African common position, many African states are concerned about, and fraud is defined as criminal in our own jurisdiction although we haven't actually defined exactly what Cybercrime ?? we're currently developing a Cybercrime framework so that is going to come up at the National level.

But I think and it's been said by our permanent Secretary and Minister quite often that the preference would be to instead increase international collaboration on dealing with Cybercrime.  Develop Cybercrime frame works at the National level but also increase international collaboration and cooperation on that.

Another issue is spam.  And we at the National level find it ?? spam is an issue although it hasn't become such a major issue in a way that has led to discussions and again, my colleagues in industry can speak to this.  But the danger of that again from our perspective is that it will be going more towards content regulation, which we have started but only at the broadcast level and that's because of, of course, of our past history so it would mean beginning again looking at revising content regulation at that National level, and making it expand beyond broadcast.

I think those are the main ones.  The cybersecurity, spam, price regulation, that are the main issues for the African states, which obviously is currently supported by Kenya until and when we develop our own National position.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you, Alice, and this deserves to be emphasized that Kenya makes admirable efforts working with all stakeholders and multistakeholder cooperation.  This also allows me to make a commercial for a report is launched, a country case study on Kenya which you can find on our website which describes very much policies in place in Kenya.

And with that, we move over to another country which has an excellent multistakeholder cooperation at the National level, Brazil.  Franklin Silva Netto, please.

>> FRANKLIN SILVA NETTO:  Thank you, Markus.  Thank you for the workshop.  When I was invited to take part, it was made very clear that I could take part as a formal position or I could take part as an official position and then you would allow me to be diplomatically in the middle ?? .

[ Audio difficulty ]

Because I see that in the hearing in IGF, along the whole day today, there is a huge interest, not only the Brazilian position.  I think there is a huge interest in the participants of this Forum on what countries and especially some countries are I think and how they are preparing their positions to WCIT.  And then I would like to take this opportunity to make very clear some points of the Brazilian position which I think will respond to many of the people who approached me and other members of the Brazilian Delegation regarding the positions to WCIT.

The Brazilian final position like is the case of Kenya is not yet set in all the complete array of issues, because we are holding a very comprehensive National process of consultations with all stakeholders involved to prepare the positions to the conference.  And then I see that this is already an influence from the Internet environment to the telecommunications environment because now we have a multistakeholder preparation for a telecommunications conference in Brazil.  As people say that the Internet runs on Article 9, you could say that the opposite is also happening.

And this process, I can come to more detail later if it's in interest of the audience, but it is ?? every citizen in Brazil they can participate either via Internet or via weekly meetings that take place in Brazil in the regulatory agency of Brazil which is in charge of preparation the position for the conference.

I mentioned this to be very clear from the start that the position that will be reflected in Dubai will be a multistakeholder position in Brazil so we will ?? this is a very difficult exercise but we want to reflect their position that's not only from Government but also from the private sector and from the Civil Society.

And we also think that there are many aspects in the ITRs that should be updated.  Of course, it's obvious to say that in 1998, for example, people did not used to carry their phones abroad and now they do because they have cell phones.  And then discussion of roaming, thinking on the public interest of the conference from the Brazilian perspective is a very important issue, and the proposals that Brazil is going to ?? and is presenting to the conference, most of them have to do with this rating aspects of the ITRs especially regarding roaming.

But now does the conference have anything to do with Internet Governance which is the question here?  Well, I would start my initial remarks and then we also could comment in more detail later, this is a very important question because in 1998 when we had the ITRs sign, we still did not have the actual definition of Internet Governance, which was crafted and drafted by the Working Group that worked between the two sessions of WSIS.  And then if you compare the definition of Internet Governance, when they say its rules and norms that sort of shape the functioning of the Internet, and if you think the Internet on this classical layered structure, you see that telecommunications has much to do with infrastructure layer and then from that perspective I would say that it is possible that there are some issues related to Internet Governance and to Internet that also have to do with ITU issues.  We should not also forget that ITU is one of the facilitators of the actual line number 5 of WSIS, but ?? and this is an important point ?? but here I'm talking about ITU and Internet Governance, not about WCIT and Internet Governance.  Because when you consider specifically the conference, Brazil sees this conference as an opportunity to update or to redraft the ITRs, but also to have a treaty of principles, not a treaty that will come into the very specific details of the questions.

And then in this sense, we consider that the result of the conference would be a tax that would deal specifically with the I would say traditional elements of telecommunications.  And here there's an important point because also within Brazil, legally we have a norm that we call informally as norm 4 that separates telecommunications from ICTs and then even legally you cannot have this approach at the conference to bring the concepts and the issues of ICTs into the concept of telecommunication.  This is a very important aspect which is not very well known and then I'm taking this opportunity to make this better known, because as you shape the whole preparation of the conference, I think it's important to ?? because it was said this morning, the Internet is much more important than the computers or the software.  The Internet is a concept.

The Internet is a design and this design and this concept were already developed in 1988, so I think they remain varied today.  So if the ITRs in 1988 did not specifically deal with some issues that today we consider Internet Governance as such, maybe this is one of the principles that we could also have as a guide when the final positions to the conference.

Then I think this is my initial remarks and I'm ready for the questions and for the debate afterwards.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you, Franklin, for that.  And now over to Dick Beaird for the U.S. position, please.

>> RICHARD BEAIRD:  Thank you very much, Markus.  It's a pleasure to be here today with my colleagues on this panel, and particularly with my friend Vint Cerf.  I would like to note that we are ?? we have among us Mr. Mohamed Al?Ghanim from the United Arab Emirates, who will be Chairing the World Conference on International Telecommunications.  If you could kindly raise your hand.  And thank you.

[ Off Microphone ]

We want to thank you very much for your service and look forward to seeing you in Dubai.

Let me begin first of all by indicating that I'm not going to engage in a debate as to whether or not the 1988 ITRs were the foundation for the Internet but I will say as our submission on August 3rd indicated that it was a foundation that enabled and facilitated the growth of the Internet.  But what must be absolutely clear to all of us is that the Internet grew up in a multistakeholder environment, and we cannot forget about the work of the Internet Engineering Task Force, the World Wide Web, the ICANN, the regional registries, and so forth that grew up during this period, and certainly facilitated and made possible the Internet as we know it today.

But it is important, nonetheless, to speak about the ITRs and their importance from the point of view of a foundation for the environment we have today.  Again, having said that, what the United States seeks in the revision of the ITRs is to maintain the distributed nature of what we have come to know as this environment, distributed nature of the Internet, and also to ensure that flexibility is ?? continues to be built into the International Telecommunication Regulations, so that we don't have a situation in which the ITRs could actually work against the continuing evolution of the Internet environment.  And I would look at that in a very broad sense to include for me at least the phrase:  The Internet economy.

So the question becomes for us, then, and I want to share with you, is:  What is the U.S. position?  And I want to summarize our position in a few principles.  First of all, we want to maintain minimal changes to the Preamble to the 1988 ITRs.  This is important, because the only change that we actually seek to make is a one?word change from "supplement" to "compliment," that the ITRs compliment the Constitution and the Convention of the ITU, but buried in that Preamble very importantly is a fundamental principle which is that the sovereign right of each country regulate its telecommunications is fully recognized.

The second principle that is embodied there is that the ITU should promote the development of telecommunications services and their most efficient operation while harmonizing the development of facilities for worldwide telecommunications.  And importantly, this is a reference to international telecommunications.  I start here because this is where, if I may so suggest, you begin, and I like to always bring my ITRs because I think people are often ??

[ Applause ]

Let me put it this way.  This is probably the most talked about and debated document in the world which is also perhaps the least read document in the world.  But it is, if you read it, it is something that I believe in its own technical way, in its own moment in 1988 achieved a precision and a kind of summary of what is important or what was important at that time, and it is our goal in Dubai to try to maintain that high level, that high standard and we will do that of course by maintaining the document at a very high level of principles.

It is the United States goal to maintain the standard of the 1988 ITRs, which consist of 9 pages of treaty text, and we wish also to try to come away from Dubai with only 9 pages of treaty text.

So our principles:  First, don't change the Preamble of the ITRs, but with that one exception.

Secondly, it's terribly important to remember that the ITRs should align with the Constitution and the Convention of the ITU, because the Constitution and Convention lays out very explicitly what is the mandate of the ITU.  So the two documents should be always kept in alignment, and that's the second goal of the United States.

Thirdly, the world of telecommunications is an ever?changing one.  It is different in the ITU from the radio world in which you have Radio Regulations that are revised every three to four years.  It is very important for us to maintain that difference, whereas we talk in the radio side about regulation, we talk in the telecommunications side about recommendations.  Those recommendations should remain voluntary, and we're going to be very sensitive to that in Dubai, that nothing in the ITRs should suggest that the recommendations on the telecommunications side should become mandatory.

Fourthly, and this is I think a very important issue, and unfortunately, it has a bit of granularity to it.  It's a bit detailed but I can't emphasize it enough as an issue that is going to determine our understanding of the ITRs as revised.  The United States believes that we should use, continue to use the term, "recognized operating agency" within the revised text of the ITRs.  And what do we mean by that?  That term is found there but it was also revised in 1988 by the ITU to give us the definition of "recognized operating agencies," and from our point of view, it has three components.

First, a service is offered internationally.  This is what the ITRs are talking about.  It's only border to border.  ITRs do not reach into domestic regulation.  It is border to border.

Secondly, it talks about a telecommunications service which is offered to the public.  We're not talking about private networks.  And the third point is that we maintain this in our revision of the '88 ITRs, it is, we recognize the right of administrations, read that Governments, my words, but essentially a summary of 1.7 in the ITRs to regulate or to license the provision of those services by recognized operating agencies.

So we understand that that's the agency that we're talking about.  That's the particular kind of operator that we are talking about.  I don't have to emphasize that this, of course, keeps that kind of operator separate from a lot of the other kinds of provision of services otherwise known as Internet services that you I know are most interested in.

That's a very important point for the United States to emphasize what is the scope of the ITRs.  It covers recognized operating agencies that has the characteristics that I have described.

Lastly, we propose changes to Article 6 which was the fundamental purpose of the ITRs in 1988, which was to give a method by which revenues could be settled, in what kind of a world?  In a world in which it was seen that there is a circuit.  That circuit is divided at its mid?point and that mid?point is between two operators.  Those operators divide the minutes of traffic between them, and give a value to those minutes, and then they divide the revenues.  That's what the ITRs were principally about, and what Article 6 was principally about.

That does not work in today's world.  That is not the world that we are talking about today, and we essentially eliminate Article 6, and we talk about commercial arrangements.  And those commercial arrangements should retain the flexibility to meet the obviously changing world that is a part of our environment today.

So in summary, that is the U.S. position, and I would be very pleased, Mr. Chairman, to take any questions on that position.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you for that.  And please, Sir, accept our apologies.  We obviously a seem to have had some communication problem but we would have been delighted to have you on the panel and I would like to give you the opportunity to maybe say a few words from the host country perspective once we've made the first round of this panel.

Last speaker then is Geoff Huston.  As I said, Chief Scientist of the Asia Pacific network.  Please, Geoff.

>> GEOFF HUSTON:  Thank you, Markus and thank you all for coming.  It's obviously a pleasure to be here.  I'm older than I feel, because I kind of feel that I'm a child of the Internet, because of course, much of the last 30 years I've been totally absorbed in that particular technology and that particular framework and architecture.  But I'm also old.  And I remember 1988.  I remember it bloody well.

Computers were getting smaller, a few years before that, a decent computer would fill this room.  Though by 1988 you could only fill about half the room with a decent computer and as for telephony, they're all wired.  The only way you ever had mobile telephony is you took this massive battery and this huge hand set and stuck it in your car.  Nothing fit in your pocket.  That was 1988.  Just look at those 25 years.

It's a computer.  It's a telephone.  It's a computer.  It's a telephone.  The industry has managed a massive transformation.  Like all transformations, there are victims as much as there are winners.  So I actually now want to look at telephony as an industry, because telephony was one?half of this massive computing and communications industry of the 1980s.

Everything was a network.  The handsets were dumb pieces of plastic.  They had a speaker and a microphone and a pulse generator.  Everything happened in the network.  There were calls, transactions, the directory was maintained by the network operator.  There was a rich series of bilateral agreements that spanned the globe.  There was this massive amount of money that got funneled.  These were rich companies employing hundreds of thousands of people.  British Telecom at its peak I think had 300,000 people on its books.  These were giants and everything was in the network.  All we were consumers and they didn't call us that.  We were subscribers.

We couldn't even attach our own devices.  That was the world of then.  If you wanted to regulate that industry, would you try and regulate the handset manufacturer?  Well, that's stupid.  You'd regulate the network operator.  So the whole ITRs reflected that architecture.  Now, I have some stunning news for you, or maybe it's not stunning.  Maybe you've figured it out.  Telephony is dead.  That entire industry is dead.

Firstly, we got rid of all the faxes.  They became e?mails.  And now we're getting rid of all the calls.  Because between Skype and Vype and this and that it's all over IP and all that's happening now is we're mimicking the residual functions of PSDN the switched telephony at the application level but all that switched virtual circuit 5ESSs, if I bought out a 5ESS today and asked for bidder, none of you would bid a cent.  It's useless.  Yesterday's technology.  It's dead.

What did we replace it with?  That was the trick, because the Internet is the complete opposite of a network centric model.  This is a remarkable computer.  It's faster, has more memory, and does a whole lot more than that room full of junk that I had back in 1988.  All of a sudden, the network is nothing.

The Internet is so minimal, those 20 bytes of IP header that if you strap it on to pigeons in Norway you still get a working connection because the network now does nothing.  Everything is end to end.  Everything is between the computers at either end.

So what of the network operators?  Well, it's tough.  There's no call.  There's no transactions.  I can't tell what you're doing.  It's just bits.  I'm just shoveling bits.  And if you encrypt it, I have no idea what you're doing.  So I can't charge you for it.  I have no idea even where the packet's headed.  My only job is to get rid of it from my network.

And because the Internet allowed a completely different model of interaction and it was a market based model not a regulatory inspired model, all of a sudden I'd have to care where it's going.  I just want to get rid of it off my network and get it closer to the edge.

So all of a sudden there's no settlements.  There's no call accounting business.  That rich fabric of money movement inside telephony vaporized.  Telephony is dead, dead.

So what now?  The aim in 1988 wasn't about regulating telephony.  That's what came out.  But what went in was a far more noble idea, the idea that we could create an international regulatory framework about telecommunications in general.  But all we knew about was virtual circuits for telephony.  And what came out was a set of regs that precisely and only defined telephony, and nothing else.

The business model of the Internet is actually the business model about applications and services.  It's about Microsoft, Apple, Google and all the other folks, the Netflix and so on who create content from computer to computer.  There is no Internet economy.  There's a computer economy.

It's not about the Internet.  It's actually about the absent services that you and I create in software on computers.  That's where the money is.  Shoveling bits is different.

So if you were going to create a set of regs today that talked about telecommunications in general, and tried to fold in the Internet, what would you end up with?  I'd actually suspect all you'd have is the introduction.  It's a wonderful thing, and countries should encourage it.  But after that, it's not the business of the bit?shoveler.

And all of the pressure that we've seen, and in particular the stuff coming out of ETNO about QOS, reminds me of a very old saying, that when your business model is busted, when other people are driving bulldozers through your poor ideas about networking tariffs, when you've got something that just isn't working, you've got two choices:  One, you can fix your business model.  You can actually create tariffs that work.  Or, two, you can claim that you were always right, and the world is wrong, and if you could just get a regulatory change to change the world, your business model would be brilliant.

But of course, appealing to one country to change the regulatory framework is a waste of time.  Go for the lot in one go.  And that's why we're seeing a lot of these dead and dying telephone network operators appealing to the highest body they know to change the environment to support a business plan that's basically busted.

What we're really seeing is a bunch of folk fighting over the water remaining in the swamp.  And these folk are dinosaurs.  It's finished.  It's over.  What we're seeing is their thrashing tails and I wish they'd go away.

There was a time, a little over 100 years ago, when this new fangled thing called the telephone and telegraphy decided that the international regs of the international Postal Union weren't right, that it wasn't all just letters.  There was a different way of doing it.  They had a number of conventions and conferences and out of it came the ITU.  They split the two models because it isn't the Post, is it?  Telephony doesn't work the way the Postal system works.

Why do we think that there's even a hope of trying to create a single regulatory environment that spans the ghost of telephony and the Internet of today and tomorrow?  Maybe it's time to try and understand what those people were really thinking 110 years ago.  And maybe it's time to understand that in the world of the network, in the world where the computer and computing applications are everything, and the rest is bit?shoveling, maybe it's time to think about how we wish to organise our world, and the instruments we need that perhaps are different from the ITU we have today.

And in the same way as the ITU and the IPU managed what appears go 100 years later a relatively reasonable settlement, maybe it's time we tried to do that again.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you, Geoff.

[ Applause ]

Before opening the floor for discussion, I wonder whether any of the panelists would like to react to what they heard from these introductory statements.  Yes?

>> I liked Geoff's analogy very much though my first reaction is being rolled over on by a dying dinosaur is just as lethal and fatal so we need to get out of the way.  I think you're right, that we have a model that works, and it's been working for quite a while.  We started out ?? one thing I think is important to recognize is that when the Internet was first being constructed, it was a private network.  It was the U.S. Government.  It was building and paying for it but it was treated as a private network because dedicated private lines were being acquired, and equipment was supplied that was owned by the private network operator.

Somewhere along the line, the telephone and cable operators decided that they wanted to be part of this game, as well, and what is quite fascinating to me is that they were able to do it without any special regulation or anything else, because they were no different than the rest of us except maybe they were bigger, but they were allowed to engage in operating pieces of Internet.  That was the theory behind the design.  Anybody that could build a piece of it should be allowed to connect to somebody else if they were willing to do that, purely bilateral agreements based on business decisions that were made by the parties.

So I do find it rather fascinating that the Internet emerged out of this essentially non?regulated environment, and so we need to keep it that way because if we don't, it won't survive.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  Yes, Franklin, please.

>> FRANKLIN SILVA NETTO:  I would just like to make a comment on the provocation made by Bill Drake on if the ITRs are or not responsible for the Internet, I mean, does the Internet run because of the ITRs?  And then I would like to mention Tolstoy.  He never heard of the Internet.  I'm not sure if he ever saw a telephone but he knew a lot about wisdom and then his war and peace book at the end he asks, why does a train move?  What's the answer?

One can say no, the train moves because the driver turn around and move the lever to the front.  And then the other said no, the train most because it has a good coal that's burning and offering energy to it.  And the other say no, the train is moving because there is a schedule that he has to fulfill.

[ Laughter ]

So I mean, the ITU does a tremendous, fantastic work.  Brazil is a very active participant of ITU, but I answer with this about your provocation of the ITRs.  If the Internet moves because of the ITRs or not.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  Other comments from the panel?  Doesn't seem to be the case but then I would?? 

I would like to first give the floor to you, Sir.  Do you have a microphone?  Do we have microphones for speakers?

Sir, why don't you come to the podium.

>> AUDIENCE:  Yes, thank you.  I will be after hearing all of what I've been hearing and for the past year I'm now scared more than anything.  To Chair the conference.

But back on October, we had held a session in Geneva.  That was attended by all the regional groups which represents all the countries around the world, which I assume some or many have done their own consultation within their country.  The regional groups met many times.  They have agreed to their common proposals and they submit the proposals to the ITU for the WCIT.  Now WCIT will start on the 3rd of December and I wish to see all of you guys in Dubai.

I think Dick from the United States said something which is extremely important.  I think we have been hearing so much about WCIT that we are talking about 11 articles, Dick, am I correct?  11 articles.  9 pages or 10 pages.  And all the regional groups, that's coming from me as the Chairman, hopefully the Chairman of the conference, have agreed that these articles will be high level principles, all the regional groups agreed to that.  And the regional groups in no way intended to get into details of packets or protocols or whatever that is actually reflected in standards somewhere else.

So that's important.  The second important issue is, before I attended the information meeting, I was so worried that this conference is going to go nowhere.  But when we held our first information ?? informal session for all the regional groups, the regional groups, all of them, was very, very much working in a cooperative manner in order to reach consensus into what's going to be the outcome of the ITRs or the WCIT.

But there is a positive atmosphere was in the room, and I encourage the regional groups to continue after October meeting to work in order to reach a successful outcome of the conference that will not hinder the Internet, that will not ?? actually it will push Internet and I'm not sure about whether ITRs are the reasons behind the innovation of the Internet or not.  I think the Internet has grown so much over the past years, and we have seen so much of innovations.

I am so hopeful and I'm so happy out of the meeting.  I think the devil is in the details.  I want to emphasize something:  A lot of things, a lot of issues, has been agreed in the information meeting.  Hopefully there's a few but difficult issues still we need to work them until the 3rd of December.  We have less than a month.  But hopefully we'll have a successful meeting.  I invite everybody to attend this meeting.  My apology I did not receive this invitation.  Otherwise I would love to be here and sitting with you on the panel.

Our philosophy back home in the United Arab Emirates that we are a country who always bring together nations, and we'll continue to do that.  Thank you.

[ Applause ]

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you very much for this, Sir.  And you think you can take the applause as a sign that we feel we're in safe hands.

I understand that Rich Compadela would like to say a few words.

>> Geoff, you have in front of you this.  I'm just here so you're not lucky to have me here.  It's very fascinating to listen because you know all the solutions.  You mow the problem, you know everything.  It's very, very interesting.

And I've listened what you've said but apart this joke, I think one thing that is very clear from this debate and what precisely Geoff has said which is completely different from Vinton, that this system does not work.  It's broken.  It's broken.  It's not sustainable.

Geoff, the European Telecom operators have invested this year 44 billion Euro in the networks.  Someone those pay for this. 

[ Audio difficulty ]

Where we give back the network to the State and use public money, or we continue to believe in the private sector and the private investment.  This is a choice.  We can discuss that.  But someone has to pay for the infrastructure.  Now, I would like also to ask two questions to in particular to the two panelists, Richard and Franklin, because here we should unfortunately for us, this sector is overregulated.  Geoff, you live in Australia, you live in Europe.  Europe is very different from Australia, and we are very ?? and we believe that Europe is very competitive, by the way that the prices in Europe are less than half of the average price for the access of the Internet, in the U.S., for example.

But about that, I would ask Richard one question, regarding the definition of recognized operating agency.  Does this mean over the top recognized operating agency should be in the least of the recognizing operating agency?  This is the first question.  The other one to both you and to Franklin is regarding IP interconnection because one of the major issues related to the proposal is linked to the IP interconnection.

Now, Geoff, according unfortunately for us again to the new framework which exists and we have to follow rules.  In Europe, IP interconnection is a Telecom service, right?  So I would ask Richard, how you see the problem of the definition of IP interconnection, whether IP interconnection is a Telecom service or is something different, and also this to Franklin.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  There are several people put up their hands who would like more, I think but before we go to the floor again, also Vint asked to be put in the queue.  Would you like to come in now?

>> VINT CERF:  Well, actually, now that you've asked your questions, I was going to respond to something else.  I actually think that the model that we are actively using today in the Internet is as close to a private networking model as one could get.  IP interconnection is really a matter of two private operating companies wish to connect their computers together, we'll call them routers for a moment, and they acquire dedicated telecommunications service to link the computers together.  That's all they needed.  They didn't need anything else, and the thing that worries me more than anything is that when we talk about having high?level principles, that sounds good on the surface, except that the higher level you go, the more ambiguity there is, and the potential for introducing language which can now be interpreted or misinterpreted in ways that are potentially hazardous.

So although I accept the idea that high?level principles are a good thing, I do worry about the specifics and about what things are defined in those principles and to what do they apply.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  I will ask both maybe but first to answer the questions but maybe first we go to the floor to have a few voices from there.  There's a lady in the front row.  She is a Professor from the University of Delhi.  Please.

>> Thank you, Markus and thank you for giving me this opportunity.  This is really my first IGF and I feel overwhelmed so I'll start with an existential question.  Thank you Bill, I'm a huge Tarantino fan.  You remind me of him every time you say 8 and the treaties.  My first question is what is it that's broken that we're trying to fix?  I'm also a little confused because for me a platform or a room where I can't be in, and there's no way that I can get in there, which is going to decide and we've begun our discussion with the intervention that Public Policy needs to be for public good, and it needs to take into account people whose lives are going to change as a result of that policy.

So any discussion around the Internet, which is about open innovation, which is about permissionless innovation, where access transparency and recourse are not an option, where I can't be represented, is worrisome for me.  This morning also we had the Secretary?General say that he's not trying to control the Internet, and documents put out by ISOC clearly indicate to the country.  Alice mentioned spam network fraud and the attempt to define them.  The moment we go there, we're clearly making an attempt to go into the content layer and issues related to Telecom, I think that been a great success story in India.

We just put together the first India IGF where we had a great multistakeholder experience and the issues if there are any related to Telecom are clearly domestic issues so I don't know if when you go to a platform like the ITU how that helps the Indian citizen because I represent academia and Civil Society.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you, and needless to recall that which have a very vibrant IGF in 2008.  There was a remote participant and I say two gentlemen.  Remote participant, please?  Microphone, can you ?? can you pass it back there to ??

>> Thank you.  We have a question from a remote participant from Spain.  She mentions the question of ITRs has become part of the IGF and could be considered an Internet Governance matter now thanks to this session.  How can the IGF help or channel the multistakeholder community to impact the result of the WCIT or the final shape of the ITRs?  And that's somehow relate to a question in the front.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  That's a good question.  But that's basically what we are here for.  We're trying to discuss this, also to raise awareness and to have an enlightened discussion, which is hopefully fact?based.

But let's go around.  Khalid Sahid and this gentleman here, please.  Microphone, can you please pass it back?

>> AUDIENCE:  Thank you very much for the microphone, can you hear me?  First of all, a group Chairman of the multilingual Internet group, I think our agenda since the WSIS has gone for a number of years and I'd recognize many of the faces and I'm sure many of the faces who have been there for a long time will recognize the same thing.

I want to ask the panelists maybe to reflect and maybe a bit of wisdom, not just the facts because we're now talking about a threat to a supposedly a system that works, correct?  Now, wasn't this issue dead and buried in 2005 when the WSIS closed shop, so to speak?

And I ask if it's really working as well as it is, why is there still that threat?  And I put it to you, we have not done as well as we should have, and I think we need to reflect.

For example, today we talk about the multistakeholder model that works for everyone.  Yes, there has been tremendous innovation, but the innovation has only served few.  We look at the, for example the ICANN process which we're heavily involved in and continue to be in and we supported.  A portfolio of 5 groups have more than in their house, so to speak, more than 1200 applications.  Google are a major player.  You look at the percentage of IDN applications that came into that space, and it's less than 5% of the total applications.  There's a multitude of what I would call things that could have been done better.

Then I take you back to the early days of 2003, 2004, when back then, we alienated Governments that they had no place into the process, and tried to let them know that this is now how it's going to be.  And I think back then had we made it a bit more cordial, more respectful, and perhaps going back to the issue of the dinosaur today, we would probably not have been facing the threat again.

And I leave you with a thought:  Keep in mind that we need to reflect not only what works, but how it could have worked a lot better, perhaps.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  Can you pass on the microphone?

>> AUDIENCE:  Hi, I'm from Pakistan.  I wanted to say I've been sort of in the Arab region in the UAE et cetera for instance and I find the way the TRA for instance has tried to do engagement in the region and being open to people from brotherly Muslim states not just Government representatives but others and also business sector has been an interesting change.  I think that was something I can say I would definitely encourage.  This is in response to the question that was, or comment made by the lady from New Delhi and so I see that the Dubai Government is trying to be a little more open.  I see the ITU is trying to put some documents out for the first time which is a huge change.  And keeping in mind the fact that His Excellency just made the point he would like to see all of us in Dubai, I would imagine he would like to see us participate.

I would just ask whether he can confirm that all of us whether we are part of a state Delegation can actually participate because that would be the leadership that has already been shown.  Maybe that can continue in December.  I hope that can be confirmed, that will be lovely.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  Can you pass on the microphone?  Yes?  Please introduce yourself.

>> AUDIENCE:  I'm Ali Hussein, coming from Kenya.  I run a digital agency in Nairobi.  I think I really don't need to say the kind of multistakeholder arrangement that is going on in Kenya, which I think is quite representative, but we find that at some point, we tend to kind of push the Government side to come to the table, and we have had quite a good engagement.  The point that I'm trying to make is probably what Jamil here has kind of said.  It's almost kind of like a broken telephone record because we get to a point where we then have to let the official team to go and kind of represent.  So that's one issue which I'm really wondering where the Forum is where we can kind of get a lot more involved than we currently are.

My next comment or question is probably to the gentleman there who talked about the European telco.  I think from an African perspective, we have talked and agitated quite a bit about how telcos are rolling out new and new networks.  You find that, for example, in Kenya, you've got four big telcos in the mobile sector, and you've got ISPs, and each and every one of them is busy digging up the whole country.

And I personally have tried to talk to them about an interesting American model, a new one called frenemy.  These guys come together and become friend and enemy at the same time.

[ Audio difficulty ]

Why does do you have to invest 3 billion shill links in a network.  Then consumers are left to actually pay a huge amount of money.  So my question is, is the telco model as we know it a really dead business model?  Is something ?? can they kind of reinvent themselves?  Or as Vint talked about here, are we going to find ourselves being trampled by a collapsing dinosaur?

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  We are at risk of running out of time.  Can we give a microphone to Bill Smith?  But that's the last speaker from the floor.

>> AUDIENCE:  Bill Smith from PayPal.  First, I don't know that I have a question.  I want to thank Markus for assembling such a great panel.  We have academics, scientists, asking the typically proverbial and controversial questions, engaging with the audience and the Government representatives being diplomatic, as they should be.

I guess the question is:  How will we bridge the gap between academia, Civil Society, science, business, and Governments in the WCIT?  Because I think that is what we need to do.  And I believe, I am hopeful, that we will be able to do that in the conference in Dubai in December.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  I would like to ?? Bill, could you not walk away but maybe give the microphone to the Chairman of the conference straight away?

Sir, would you like to say a few words and also answer ?? I think this is a good question, so maybe you're well placed to answer...

>> I think the question that was addressed to me regarding the participation of the different parties into the conference, as you know, the ITU has got a process.  Member States, they have their own accreditation process where companies can participate along with their ?? through their Governments and their Delegations so we see Delegations that they have private companies with.  UAE for example we have private companies participating with the official Delegations including academia, as well.

So you guys have to go through your Governments in terms of the accreditation process that is approved by individual Governments.  I'm sure you asked for example they have lots of companies, they participate under the U.S. Government, probably some other countries, they do the same.  So you have to go through that.

But we truly encourage private sector, Civil Society as well as academia to basically be part of this process alongside the governments in order to engage everybody in the process.  So that's my answer.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  And the other question on how do you think we'll be able to bridge the gap?  How are we able to bridge the gap, as you will be Chairing the conference?  Would you have any comments?

>> That's a good question.  As I told you, we went through all the issues during the information meeting, the first information meeting.  What we will be doing is we are engaged now between the 6 regional groups, in order to focus on the issues that we know that is going to be contentious in the conference.  We will try at the first days to basically get rid of all the issues that is agreed, and focus on 9 days on the issues that is contentious.

We are hopeful that we will reach to a positive conclusion that will be enormously ?? anonymously agreed by all parties participating in the conference.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  With that, I think I would like to turn to my panel and ask for final comments.  Shall we just go from left to right and start with Bill on the very left?

>> WILLIAM DRAKE:  Thank you, Markus.  It's been very interesting panel and I'm glad we were able to pull this together.  I guess I just want to respond to the Indian colleague being the academic on the panel and the Civil Society person.  I guess I would start by saying with regard to participation, I'm certainly an advocate of reforms that would allow all stakeholders to be able to participate in all relevant international processes.  I would also argue that at the National level, much is to be done.  I don't know if you've seen the Indian Government's proposal for the work of the conference.  But clearly, given what you've said about your predilection, I would suggest you get with them around these issues and bring together like minded colleagues as well.  I'll leave it there.  I won't bother with having provoked Franklin.  My only point was to say we would have the Internet perspective but not having that is different from enabling.

So okay, that's it.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  Franklin?

>> FRANKLIN SILVA NETTO:  Thank you.  Well, I'm finishing my words trying to respond here very quickly the questions that were written.  About bridging the gap on the WCIT, I very much appreciate the information that has been brought about the possibility of companies taking part in the Delegations, and I think this certainly is a very clear sign that the conference aims to reach other stakeholders.

But of course I would like to offer the Brazilian experience like I said, the preparation of the Brazilian position is being made by a very open process where all the stakeholders are being heard.  Of course, this is a difficult process and at the end, some individuals or sectors will not be fully happy but like I think it was JFK that said that the path to failure starts to trying to leave everybody happy.

[ Laughter ]

About if the telco model is burning out or not, even if this were true, we know if you go back to our economics classes years ago that the fundamentals of any economic system apart from the currency, from the goods, from the Natural Resources, is the entrepreneurship.  And this will not be broken.  Even if this model is facing huge challenges and transformations, I'm pretty sure that this entrepreneurship, the capacity and the will of the companies, they will find a way to own this new environment.  About how the IGF could help the WCIT process.  This is a good example, here we have the Chair of the meeting listening how we say from the horse's mouth many of the positions of the countries that will be represented in the conference.  I think what the IGF offers is not only help for WCIT but other meetings.

Responding to the young lady from India assuming your question has to go with the IGF what is broken and must be fixed, I, like I said, from the public interest perspective and especially regarding to Brazil we consider that the current system of tariffs, of cost, is very unequal, especially with the question of roaming.  In Brazil, many people they travel abroad and when they come back they have this, when they receive their bills.  So this is one matter of huge interest in Brazil.  One of the aspects that we think could be fixed by the new ITRs.

And responding to others, I comment you.  Ugi has been very active in Europe including in contact with the Brazilian representatives in Europe, specifically the question about the IP interconnection.  Like I said, it states that services related to the Internet are value added services.  They're not tariffed as telecommunications.  Thank you very much.  It was a pleasure to be here.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you, Franklin.

>> Thank you very much, and thank you again Markus for inviting me to participate.  Let me address specifically my friend Luigi's questions.  The first question, are over the top providers recognized operating agencies from the U.S. perspective?  The answer is:  No.

Secondly, with respect to Internet connections, we see those as commercial arrangements, not regulated.

On transparency, I think this is a very important point and it's a theme of this conference, and it reflects the world that we now live in, and that's appropriate.  The United States has approximately 103 participants in its Delegation.  It is evenly divided almost between private sector representatives and Government.  I'm pleased to say that Mr. Bill Smith of PayPal is a member of that Delegation, and Mr. Bill Drake from his academic affiliation is also a member of the U.S. Delegation.  And we have conducted extensive consultations to prepare our positions, but I would encourage you all, as you are maybe members of the Civil Society, to participate in your National Delegations and to come to Dubai.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you for that.  Vint?

>> VINT CERF:  Just a short observation.  I think that given the potential hazards, the smartest outcome for this WCIT would be the most minimum change possible to the existing regulations until we can figure out how to make a real multistakeholder deliberation happen.  I don't disagree that there are good inputs coming into National Delegations but in the end, it's still Governments that are in the driver's seat.

I don't mean that to be any personal criticism at all.  I just think that if you're going to have a multistakeholder system, every stakeholder has to have an equal role to play.  So I hope for very minimal outcome to give us some breathing room to try to get this right.


>> ALICE MUNYUA:  For me it's to thank you again for organizing this workshop.  On transparency, again, mentioned the fact that the Kenyan Government, through the Communications Commission of Kenya, that's the Regulatory Authority that is coordinating our National position, and it's the organisation that represents Kenya on the ITU, has already made available some of the documents and has made available the Africa Common Position for Kenyan stakeholders to either agree or not so that we can develop a Kenya proposal.

So from a transparency perspective that is ongoing and we're waiting to see.  Before we come to Dubai, we'll have probably developed our concrete Kenyan position.  But also to mention that we have, in Africa, communication networks deliver many types of services, including the Internet is one of them.  And so for us, all of these issues presented by the Africa Common Position matter and not least because they impact on investment in broadband networks, so it is in my opinion and our opinion that is unlikely or I'm hoping or we're hoping that it is unlikely that the outcome of the WCIT conference is actually going to be detrimental to consumers or to the development of the Internet in Africa.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.  And Geoff?

>> GEOFF HUSTON:  You know, as humans, communication is everything.  It's what we are, what distinguishes ?? our ability to communicate is everything, and the way in which we communicate alters our own society.  The telephone fundamentally changed the world when it was introduced.  And the Internet is doing exactly the same thing all over again.  It's changing us, our business, our economy, everything we do.

You're in the middle of one of these dramatic shifts, a real revolutionary change.  We have no idea how it's going to turn out.  We have no idea what wins and what loses.  We have a rough idea that putting copper in the ground is probably a loss.  And we had a good idea that if you funded Mark Zuckerberg's flight from Boston to San Francisco, whatever, you're on a real winner.

The WCIT couldn't have come at a worse time unfortunately.  We're right in the middle of a massive change without a clear idea of true outcomes.  These things are going to shrink further.  Bandwidth is going to increase.  What's happening will change.  It's just software.

The problem with the regulatory structure is that you're stuck with it for decades.  They're difficult to get to agreement and they tend to be sticky.  So we're asking, from our Delegations, the ultimate in prescience, the ultimate in the ability to get just the right touch.  What we have now is historic.  And if we said right at the front, this is about the telephone industry and virtual circuits we could walk away, great idea, it's all about telephony, let's just walk away but if we're going to get a set of regulations that carry us for the next two decades through all of telecommunications, then I think the best we could ask for our Delegations is to get rid of Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.  Is there 8?  And just leave Article, which basically says:  This is a really, really good thing.  And as all nation states, telecommunications should be encouraged in every possible way because that's the way we, as humans, live, work, breathe, and play.

And if we just did that, we would have done enough and given enough of a goal, because I think beyond that, none of us, industry, academics, scientists, none of us have any idea of precisely how the industry is going to play out in the next 10 years.  This is the middle of a massive revolution.  Thank you.

>> MARKUS KUMMER:  Thank you.

[ Applause ]

I will not try to even attempt to summarize.  I will say this was an extremely interesting discussion, and I would like to thank all the panelists and above all, Bill Drake who did much of the heavy lifting in preparing for this panel.

Thank you for your participation and your attention, and I would like to ask you to join me and give the panelists a big hand.  Thank you.

[ Applause ]

[ End of session ]


This text is being provided in an unedited format.  Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is provided in order to facilitate communication accessibility and may not be a totally verbatim record of the proceedings.