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What are The ITRs?

This page contains information on the ITR Negotitation Process
© iStockPhoto / Internet Society

International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) is a treaty that was developed at the 1988 World Administrative Telegraph and Telephone Conference (WATTC-88) and has not been revised since then.

The ITRs are intended to facilitate “global interconnection and interoperability” of telecommunications traffic across national borders. The ITRs will be updated and changed at a World Conference on International Telecommunications.

Why The ITR Treaty Matters

The ITRs determine how international telecommunications services operate across borders.  The treaty sets rules for things like:

  • Traffic flows between telecommunication network operators.
  • Quality of international services, sufficiency of facilities.
  • International routing, charging, accounting and billing between operators.
  • The priorities that should be given to health and safety.
  • The avoidance of harm to networks and services.

The treaty is under the authority of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It represents some of the oldest regulations of their kind in existence.

The Internet Society, a Sector Member of the ITU, is engaging in the preparatory process for the WCIT with the aim of providing technically-sound information and focused policy briefings on how the Internet works, and on the implications for the Internet of proposals for revising the ITRs.

We're working to help empowered policy and decision makers to make informed decisions to help the Internet stay open and defined by you.

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