SYMPOSIUM FOR REGULATORS (GSR)
8TH December 2002
community of telecommunications regulators recommended that the World Summit on
the Information Society (WSIS) include in its action plan consideration of the
key role that national regulatory bodies play in promoting universal access to
information and communication technologies (ICTs).
The third annual Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR),
organized by BDT and hosted by the Office of the Telecommunications Authority (OFTA),
Hong Kong, China, focused on regulating for end-users, especially in achieving
universal access. GSR 2002 unveiled
a series of regulatory models on establishing a fund to jump-start financing for
the deployment of basic and advanced communications services in rural and other
un-served areas. Participants also
discussed means of ensuring that consumers play a more active role in the
regulatory process. It is only by focusing on the needs and demands of end-users
and consumers that businesses will be able to provide valued services--services
customers are willing to pay for.
GSR 2002 offered feedback to regulators from three key
stakeholders: the private sector,
investors and consumers based on three case studies commissioned by BDT. In
addition, the meeting highlighted recent regional regulatory initiatives and
provided recommendations on the further development of the Global Regulators
BDT Director Hamadoun I. Touré welcomed the in-depth discussion the
participants launched on the vital topic of universal access and emphasized the
importance of all stakeholders working together to achieve universal access.
He noted that the global dialogue launched by past GSRs has given rise to
many practical recommendations enabling national regulatory authorities to work
together to find best practice solutions to the regulatory challenges they face.
These recommendations are now enshrined in the Istanbul Action Plan of
the 2002 ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference. In order to achieve
implementation of the Istanbul Action Plan, BDT will increase the involvement of
key partners in its work.
Sri Nuraizah Abdul Hamid,
Chairman of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission,
chaired the meeting. In her closing
remarks, Tan Sri Nuraizah said that she was very encouraged to see that so many
lessons, good practices and workable solutions were brought forward during GSR
2002. She noted that regulators
must play the role of juggler to balance the needs of operators and consumers.
She emphasized that performance indicators are vital so that regulators
can measure consumer satisfaction and quality of service.
The GSR 2002 Chairperson further noted that the financial sector has
called for regulatory reforms to maintain a more sustainable investment
Anthony S.K. Wong, Director
General of OFTA, Hong Kong, China, said that regulators have an important role
to play in narrowing the digital divide by promoting universal access programs
and by adopting technologically neutral licensing mechanisms to promote the use
of alternative technology to achieve universal access.
The GSR 2002 host called upon the community of regulators to discuss the
balance between facilities-based and services-based competition in promoting
The first day of the symposium was open to the private
sector. The second day was reserved for regulators and policy-makers, offering
them the opportunity to discuss experiences and share their concerns.
GSR 2002 was the first paperless ITU meeting, a development welcomed by
fourth annual GSR will be held in Geneva in the autumn of 2003.