International Telecommunications Union
The Internet Society is a member of two sectors:
- The Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and
- The Development Sector (ITU-D).
The ITU has a wide-ranging work program in these sectors, and is governed by the outcomes of each sector’s World Conferences, and the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference that sets overall strategy and renews the treaty instrument governing the organization overall. These are usually held every four years in a rotating pattern. Sector members can participate in study groups and sector conferences, but only Member States may speak or vote at the Plenipotentiary Conference.
The ITU does not develop the standards that make the Internet work. But the Internet obviously relies heavily on telecommunication networks to transport information using the Internet Protocol.
The Internet Society became a Sector Member of the ITU-T in 1995. Our membership allows us to take part in their work and participate in working meetings, including the WTSA.
The Internet Society plays a positive role in the ITU, encouraging its 193 Member States, as well as other Sector Members (non-governmental members) to do its work in a way that does not conflict with or duplicate work done by the Internet's own standards bodies.
This is particularly important in the ITU, where governments alone make decisions that ultimately affect all stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society and those of us striving to ensure that the Internet is for everyone.