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 Friday, January 31, 2003

The World Dialogue on Regulation for Network Economies (WDR) have released their final report (PDF) on their 2002 dialogue theme: Designing Next Generation Telecom Regulation: ICT Convergence or Multisector Utility? (PDF). The report thoughtfully examines various alternatives being considered for next generation telecom regulation.

  • "It is apparent that national telecom policy and regulation both the regulations and the regulators will play a major role in implementing structural reforms. The distinctive network and public interest characteristics of the information infrastructure will require a continuing proactive role for regulation if network development objectives are to be met, and the foundations prepared for the next generation Internet services that will support new network economies (Melody 1999). What is unclear at the moment is how direct regulation by independent regulators can best facilitate the achievement of these objectives. Should industry specific telecom regulators be redesigned as convergence regulators so they can more comprehensively and systematically address the full range of next generation Internet issues? Or should they be redesigned as multisector utility regulators so they can leverage synergies across infrastructures to promote the most rapid information infrastructure network roll-out?"
  • "ICT convergence that is upgrading the capacity and capabilities of telecom networks to information infrastructures raises many issues that next generation policy and regulation in all countries must address. They cannot be avoided. Although the scope of regulation may vary among countries, and all responsibilities for regulation e.g., electronic commerce, information security, consumer protection need not be assigned to the telecom regulator, it is important that the specific role for telecom regulation in helping to manage the information infrastructure for the network economy be clearly defined, especially as many of these issues will require regional and international coordination."

In 2003, WDR's dialgoue theme will be Stimulating Investment in Network Development.