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Jun 05, 2012

ITU sees need for revised international telecoms regulations

Cape Town|Africa|Environment|Indaba|Resources|SECURITY|Technology|Africa|Communication Technology|Services|Telecommunications Regulations|Andrew Rugege|Houlin Zhao|Infrastructure|Broadband|Communication Technology
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The International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU’s) Andrew Rugege on Tuesday suggested a number of proposals in the preparatory process of revising the international telecommunications regulations (ITRs).

Speaking at a Ministerial meeting during an information and communication technology (ICT) Indaba, in Cape Town, he said that the revised regulations needed to examine and incorporate the human right to access to communications; accounting and charging procedures, including tax enforcement measures, international frameworks; and the quality of services, convergence and interconnection and interoperability. He also suggested looking at the protection of critical national resources and security in the use of ICTs.

The ITU developed the draft ITRs in February 2012 and expected to undertake a number of discussions relating to the contents throughout the year.

Rugege said that there was a need to revise the regulations, which were developed in 1988, and implemented in 1990, as many of the 178 countries that signed the initial treaty relating to the regulations had liberalised their telecommunications industry, and the government or State no longer monopolised the industry.

Further, as technology had evolved and dramatically changed, from a technical and policy perspective, over the past 20 years, he believed it was time to revise and update the regulations between all the treaty members. As the industry continued to evolve, all member States and countries continued to change their policy approaches to ensure an enabling environment.

ITU deputy secretary general Houlin Zhao added that there was a need to align policies to ensure competitiveness and sufficient investment in the ICT environment. He noted that about $800-billion was required in investment by 2015 to facilitate infrastructure development for mobile broadband in Africa.

Edited by: Mariaan Webb
Creamer Media Senior Researcher and Deputy Editor Online
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