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WCIT - Preparations From Around the World

Make sure they hear your voice!

In December, governments will meet in Dubai to renegotiate a treaty, the International Telecommunication Regulations.  

The outcome of this negotiation could have implications for the Internet architecture, operations, content and security.  

So, we're wondering:

  • How are governments around the world preparing for this important event?  
  • To what extent is there an open and transparent process where Internet stakeholders can engage with their national governments?   

We asked our Internet Society Chapters and members from around the world to Tell us: how is your government preparing for this meeting?  How are you involved?

Below, you will find comments from Internet Society chapters around the world explaining the situation in their country, and how they are working with their national government.

Want to find out more about the WCIT and how you can be involved? Get the background you need through this great video.


ISOC Armenia
ISOC Armenia and the ITR revision process
ITU Council WG was created the official version of proposals for ITR revision at June 24. 
At 27th of June Armenian MTC has provided this document to ISOC –Armenia in order to receive comments and suggestions.
Taking into account the Matrix, prepared by ISOC team, ISOC-Armenia prepared its position on ITR revision; during this process ISOC-Armenia had consultations with Sally Wentworth and Karen Mulberry.
During preparations a problem has appeared:  who will govern the Internet, because ISOC position is clear – it is not the ITU. Instead of ITU, ISOC Armenia suggests IGF as a forum, where it is reasonable to discuss Internet related questions. 
For that ISOC Armenia had prepared an additional document – Internet Governance Principles, based on ISOC strategy.  These 2 documents were ready at June 10, and were distributed via e-mail among NGO-s, telecom operators and members of Union of IT Companies of Armenia. 
Immediately after this delivery ISOC-Armenia representative had a large press conference with mass-media, where it was presented the known hidden risks of ITR revision.  After the press-conference ISOC Armenia representative had personal meetings with high officials, where ISOC position was presented. 
After 15 days, in July 25, the printed versions of these 2 documents were delivered to the MTC. The MTC had distributed these documents among all ministries, Union of IT companies, and operators.  (15-days is an officially defined deadline for answers)
Some organizations asked ISOC for description of the documents, and after consultations with ISOC Armenia they prepared their answers. 
After 15 days – August 1, the MTC collected all feedbacks mainly with formal messages, like “we do not have any comments”.   As a result, the MTC had a defined position in August, based on public consultations. 
In September 17-18 RCC had its meeting on ITR in Armenia (RCC is a regional community for New Independent States).  In the MTC there was a prepared document – Armenia position on ITR revision. BTW – ITU General Secretary Mr. Hamadun Toure participated in this meeting for a short time. 
ISOC Armenia representative also participated in this meeting during which no any consolidated position was formed, representatives took time-out in order to prepare their positions. 
After internal consultations, at 4-th of October the MTC Armenia has sent its position to the RCC secretariat, this position is reflecting ISOC position.  
ISOC UK England and the English Chapter of the International Institute of Communications held a joint meeting yesterday afternoon (30 October 2012) with several speakers, discussing WCIT issues. Speakers included:
- Markus Kummer, Vice-President Public Policy, Internet Society
- Dominique Lazanski, Tax Payers’ Alliance
- Malcolm Hutty, London Internet Exchange (LINX) and Chair, EuroISPA 
- Desiree Miloshevic, Oxford Internet Institute, Industry researcher and Visiting Associate
- Jean-Jacques Sahel, UK Chapter of the IIC
- Olivier Crepin-Leblond, UK England Chapter of the Internet Society
Simon Towler, UK government representative who will lead the UK Delegation at WCIT in Dubai, was present and intervened from the floor. Many of the participants will be in the UK delegation.
Snacks and drinks were served after over two hours of discussion touching on WCIT, the Internet Ecosystem, why some countries trust the ITU to do a better job than the current ecosystem and what happens after the Dubai conference.
According to feedback from participants, this was a real success.
ISOC Switzerland
In Switzerland we don't have a large margin of maneuver as to influence the government position about ITR revision at WCIT. Decision are taken internally by OFCOM and not open to the public discussion.  Some ISOC Switzerland chapter members participated to the WCIT preparatory meeting of 8th and 9th October at ITU. We also collected some feedback from OFCOM about the Swiss government position about the ITR revision, which we will communicate on the general lines to chapter's members
ISOC India Chennai India's WCIT position has so far not been adequately consulted with the stakeholder groups. Government of India is said to have prepared a draft paper, circulated to select business establishments, possibly including the Telecom companies, but not to Civil Society. It is possible that the Government may make this draft available for Civil Society. One positive move is India's receptiveness to the Internet Society - Federation of Indian Chambers and Industry co-organized India Internet Governance Conference where WCIT issues are to be discussed. It is a first step but there is a long road ahead for India to fully embrace the multi-stakeholder policy framework for Internet Governance.
ISOC Italy

ISOC Italy distributed the Statement on ETNO Contribution 109 to CWG-WCIT12 to the local Internet community and we also translated it in Italian A discussion started within the ISOC Italy Forum as soon as the answer of ETNO arrived.

Added to that we are going to organize a public consultation in the frame of the next IGF Italia that will be held in Torino on october 18-20. In this event we invited also ETNO and Telecom Italia  ISOC Italy will partecipate to a formal response to the answer of ETNO.

ISOC Cameroon
Concerning transparency in Cameroon, the government is not very transparent with the way internet decisions are taken. This is because every thing has to pass through the Cameroon Telecommunications (CAMTEL) which is under the ministry of post and telecommunications. Opportunities are little or not given to the civil societies to air their views on telecommunication technologies and decision making.
For the WCIT, the Cameroon government is doing very little in preparations for this conference. I was suppose to judge the level of preparation from say the number of local meetings held to talk out things. But in my country, none has been held.
ISOC Germany
After the summer break, the German federal economics ministry has reacted on our initiative and has invited a number of stakeholders for an information meeting regarding the WCIT and the IGF, to be held Thursday next week in Bonn. The ministry also provided a link to the Background information, including CEPT contributions, reachable from their public website:,did=360648.html
ISOC Trinidad & Tobago
ISOC-TT has been invited to participate in and contribute to:
National Review of the Draft of the Future International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) in view of the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12)
The Ministry of Science and Technology extends a warm invitation to all interested parties to participate in a two-part Working Meeting to review the Draft of the Future International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs) in view of the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12) to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from 3rd to 14th December, 2012. The objective of this Meeting is to formulate inclusive national positions on the draft future ITRs that will inform Trinidad and Tobago’s stance at the December conference.
WCIT-12 will seek to address a specific treaty, namely the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), which is one of four main treaties underpinning the work of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the current system of worldwide networks and services. The Conference will address many issues surrounding telecommunications business models, some of which can be deemed as out-of-date owing to technological advancement.
The Working Meeting will take place in two instalments from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on the following dates:
27th September, 2012 and 4th October, 2012
The Conference Room
Ministry of Tertiary Education and Skills Training
Level 18, Tower C
International Waterfront Centre
1A Wrightson Road
Port of Spain
ISOC Ghana
I managed to follow up on the WCIT/WTSA process launching at the Ministry of Communication on the 14th August,2012.
I learned from the Ministry of Comms that on the 8th of August, 2012 the WCIT/WTSA process was launched and currently the ministry is inviting the views and comments from all stakeholders, including the Internet Society on the process.There is a Draft of the Future ITRs document from ITU's site at the URL: www.itu-int/en/wcit-12/pages/pubic.aspx from which we are supposed to read and provide our views and comments to the ministry. 
In my view, I think there is level of transparency in the WCIT/WTSA process in Ghana. Thank you.
ISOC Belgrade, Serbia

ISOC Serbia, Belgrade Chapter, is preparing a round-table session with the State Secretary of Digital Agenda in November.

ISOC Romania

Internet Society Romania participated in the first week of September 2012 in a public information meeting with the Ministry of telecom, Ancom (Romanian telecom regulator ) and Cert-Ro (goverment cert), concerning Romania's position during WCIT12.
Mister Dan Nica, minister of telecom, has publicly congratulated Internet Society's positions and made a strong statement "Romania is supporting the independence and neutrality of the Internet. The Independence and neutrality of internet are not negotiable ". 

He was clear that Romania will not support ITU proposed changes concerning the restriction of internet freedom.
Mr Nica agreed to make this position public, starting immediately. 

  • We have been informed in a very structured form about the topics that are on the agenda of ITU meeting in Dubai, and the position of Romania, EU ( Com-Itu) , Africa, APT, CITEL , Arab States and RCC :

  • Cybersecurity

  • Spam

  • Online Fraud

  • Double tax issue

  • Dispute solving

  • International roaming

  • Pricing an accountant principles

  • Numbering Resources

  • ICL (international Calling Line) identification
  • Quality of service

  • Universal and emergency services

  • IP interconnection

Concerning the fight against spam , ISOC Romania has raised the question concerning IPv6/Ipsec and DNSSEC standards.
It should be possible for Romania to make a contribution on this topic, if well documented and sent on time (before October ).

We also obtained from ICI (in charge of .ro ) that .ro will implement DNSSEC in 2013. The registry is already ipv6-aware.

Concerning ETNO contribution, there were remarks only on IP interconnection (points 3.1 , 3.2 and new point 4.10 concerning operating Agencies ) , introduced by Etno in the last day. Internet society Romania has however asked about the point 109 of etno contribution , the minister's position was clear .

The Ministry of Telecom, Ancom and Cert-Ro are open to contributions from private sector and civil society until november 2012 (the sooner the better).



ISOC New York
The U.S. government has a public preparatory process through the State Department's International Telecommunications Advisory Committee (ITAC). A member of ISOC-NY was instrumental in arranging for actual public participation via a mailing list. 
ISOC-NY is expecting to webcast live the 'State of Telecom 2012" conference in NYC on September 24, where speakers include Hamadoun Touré of the ITU, and Lawrence Strickling and David Gross of the United States.
ISOC Australia

The Australian government has reached out broadly to interested parties and made its position available, and its delegates available for meetings.

ISOC Uganda
In Uganda, the process is managed by Uganda Communications Commission (UCC, the telecommunications regulator in Uganda) who have been looking at the ITRs and taking Uganda's position in line with the national strategic objectives. The commission has promised to publish the draft position/views for public/stakeholders comments before end of August and after summarize the responses. This will be shared with the Ministry of Information & Communications Technology (ICT) to have a consolidated national position before the last Africa Preparatory meeting on 25/26 Sept in Accra.
UCC also notes that most of Uganda's positions on the new proposals will be aligned with Africa's position (which will be decided in Accra on sept 26th).
ISOC Quebec
Here is an excerpt from the Canadian Gov.
"A Canadian Preparatory Committee for WCIT (CPC/ITU-WCIT) is being established to enable inclusive and effective participation by Canada in the activities associated with the preparations for the ITU-WCIT and in negotiations at the conference.
The objective of the CPC/ITU-WCIT is to promote and coordinate Canada’s participation in the preparatory and regional meetings of the ITU-WCIT, so that an effective, consistent, agreed viewpoint is expressed by Canada. The establishment of the CPC/ITU-WCIT will also allow the Government of Canada to follow the preparatory meetings of regional telecommunication organizations, such as the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) and the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT), among others.
The CPC/ITU-WCIT will be made up of representatives of Industry Canada, other government departments and representatives of Canadian entities incorporated in Canada that express an interest in the work concerning the ITRs. Canadian experts in the telecommunications field representing telecommunication providers, user groups, manufacturers, universities or other organizations are invited to participate. Consultants and lobbyists participating in the CPC/ITU-WCIT are responsible for ensuring full compliance with the terms and conditions of the Lobbyists Registration Act."

ISOC Liberia

Usually in my country, World International Telecommunication Conferences are attended by Government Representatives, either from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication of the Telecommunication Authority. Thus, the process for preparing for such a Conference, WCIT, is not an opened process; that means there is no open and transparent process. We would be very grateful to learn of some best practices or proactive moves that are been carry out by other chapters in order to  get involve in the process since we are planning to hold an Internet Forum, in October, 2012
ISOC Sweden

In Sweden, we have a multistakeholder group since several years, led by our NRA, where government bodies share information with civil society stakeholders, for review and discussion, in a very open minded and  non-hierarchical way. Very constructive.

ISOC Bangladesh
The government has not started any process in preparation for WCIT yet. However, they will start it very soon. The chapter is negotiating with the government agency (BTRC) that will initiate this. Earlier the chapter has briefed members of the parliamentary standing committee for post and telecom. The outcome of this briefing was reflected in the Chairman's speech at APRICOT 2012.   The chapter is also keeping in touch with foreign ministry officers responsible for the UN agencies. The chapter has also arranged seminars at two universities highlighting the consequences of WCIT.
ISOC Armenia

ISOC.AM have prepared its recommendations, based on the last version of ISOC ITR matrix and submitted these recommendations to the ministry of Transport and communications (MTC). MTC have distributed our recommendations among governmental agencies and main telecom operators at 10 of July 2012. ISOC representative will had a press - conference concerning ITR new proposals on July 17, with invitation of main mass media journalists. There have also been several meetings with high level representatives of governmental agencies, where the ITRs were discussed. Our goal is to work with the MTC to develop an official position on new ITRs before 4th of August that incorporates the ISOC Chapter views.

ISOC Kenya


The process has been open through online discussions and meetings. These were carried to the Kenyan IGF and now the EAIGF and bringing in few stakeholders.  However, there has been questions on missing participation from service providers...    Nevertheless, the process has been successful and we at the Internet Society Kenya Chapter tried to fill in the gaps by raising issues of concern to the public, such as Security, high cost of internet and calls. As co-conveners of the IGF and the EAGIF, we have been fully involved. What we intend to do is to try to increase the participation by bringing in more stakeholders next time.    We also need to devise some methods for engaging the people to increase more awareness in ITRs because most ordinary users out there are not aware of these processes.
The meeting was convened by the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANET) and sponsored by the Kenya Network Information Centre with the support of The Internet Society Kenya Chapter, Africa Telecommunications Union  and Telecommunication Service Providers of Kenya  TESPOK.


ISOC Mexico

There is a limited consultation by invitation to organizations and selected individuals. Contributions are directed to the government unit in charge and not officially published. Only the final position document has been promised (under passwords.) For the consultation, the government made a few ITU documents known to the organizations invited to comment.    ISOC Mexico has submitted a direct comment, based on interactions among members, and will step up communications requesting for a more open and participatory process. Further, we have a preliminary agreement to hold an open meeting which will include debate about WCIT and the ITRs, once the present immediate post-electoral issues are cleared.  

ISOC - Greater Washington, DC area

The U.S. government has a public preparatory process through the State Department's International Telecommunications Advisory Committee (ITAC).  The ISOC DC Chapter has been very active - we have held breakfast discussions and other events on selected WCIT topics.  We are also co-sponsoring the IGF-USA and are planning a WCIT/ITU breakfast roundtable discussion for the end of September and a bigger WCIT/ITU panel event for the last week of October.

ISOC Finland
There is a national multistakeholder preparatory group that includes ISOC Finland. All documents are shared. Other stakeholders are invited to join the delegation to Dubai, of course financially on their own. 
ISOC Nigeria

Government preparation in my country is very low due to non transparent process to peoples. Especially the civil society stakeholders (along side the private sector, the academic and technical community, and governments) who are in the management of information and communications technology, including both technical and public policy issues. All these people need to be duly informed and open to all processes along the way. 

ISOC Belgium

Till today, Belgian government has not expressed any intention to submit a Belgian point of view on WCIT. We had already contacted responsible department, a meeting was scheduled but has been postponed due to other urgent requirements (parliamentarian debates and decisions - separation BHV and approval new constitution law). We still intend to get input from our government as soon as possible.

ISOC Bulgaria

The Bulgarian ministry of Transport, IT and Communications has published the ITU draft of the future ITRs for comments - and I believe everyone is invited to send comments to them.


Our main interest is how the European Commission and the CEPT are preparing for the WCIT.  We shall address our concerns to the European Commission in the coming weeks.

ISOC Philippines

First a short backgrounder on government agencies that would have input into the Philippine position on WCIT ...     The lead agency is apparently the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC, the statutory telcoms regulator). The former CICT (Commission on Information and Communications Technology) despite pending legislation which would promote it to department-level, was downgraded a few years back to an office -- the Information and Communications Technology Office (ICTO) under the Department of Science & Technology (DOST).  There is also the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).     

Private telco representation at the ITU will be from the former (private) monopoly the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and the smaller Globe Telecommunications (Globe). The lead agency for WCIT is the NTC and they intend to convene a public consultation on WCIT.  No movement or further details yet.  Aside from the NTC's Engr. At the community level (or even with other ICT orgs), there is very little awareness of or concern about WCIT.  

ISOC Somalia

Preparation for the WCIT is not high priority of the government at this stage. However, there are some activities underway and consultation with operators and other stakeholders are taking place. The process is reasonably open, and our involvement is mainly supporting role and increasing awareness among the stakeholders.

ISOC Slovenia

The new law of Electronic Communication was submitted last month for adoption to Slovenian Parliament. The Slovenian government is supporting the Intenet Neutrality. Control of the IP traffic by the tele operators is possible only in special situation.Slovenian chapter is acting via its chair who is member of the State Council for electronic communication (SEK). This body has issued comments regarding "special cases" in IP traffic control and requested these to be considered during the Law adoption in the Slovenian Parliament. Other comments and request for adoption are in the area of data privacy protection in the part addressing bill issued by the tele-operators.

Canada - Individual ISOC member The Canadian Government will be represented by Industry Canada's International Telecommunication Policy group, although several federal government departments are engaged. The government is holding periodic consultations and welcoming input from the private sector and organizations with an interest, through a Canadian Preparatory Committee (CPC). Several ISOC members are members of the committee. The government shares information and documents with members of the CPC on a confidential basis, and seeks suggestions and comments on the Canadian position for the WCIT. Non-government CPC members will be permitted to attend the WCIT  at their own expense as members of the Canadian Delegation.
ISOC Mauritius

Well I suppose the minister of ICT will be readying a paper or to present something. The process is not transparent and no consultation whatsoever exist with the civil society.

United Kingdom

The British Government, through the Department of Culture, Music and Sports (DCMS) is actively preparing the WCIT, being one of the major actors.    It is actively involved in receiving input from UK stakeholders including Industry and Civil Society by having an invite-only portal where stakeholder representatives can consult all pertinent documents and bring input to the process.    The ISOC England leadership Team has had regular meetings with the DCMS. 

Several members of the Lead Team of ISOC England have been issued with login details on the government portal in order to relay our membership's points of view. Transfer of information the other way around is somehow more difficult and has to be presented on a case by case basis since the confidential classification of ITU documents is unclear.   

Cuba - Individual ISOC member

In Cuba the government has not started any process in preparation for WCIT yet. The WCIT has made nearly no appearance in the press so far. Usually all this kind of events are attended by Government Representatives Thus, the process for preparing for such a Conference, WCIT, is not an opened process, the public is not aware of it and no consultation whatsoever exist with the civil society.   Actually we have a group of people dedicated to Internet Freedom and accessibility and we want to start an ISOC chapter. We also would be very grateful to learn of some best practices or proactive moves that are been carry out by ISOC chapters around the world in order to get involve in the process. since we are planning to propose a national multistakeholder preparatory meeting that includes our group as ISOC Cuba.  


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