Best Practice Guidelines
for the Promotion of Low Cost Broadband and Internet Connectivity
We, the regulators participating in the 2004 Global
Symposium for Regulators, have identified and proposed best practice
guidelines to achieve low cost broadband and Internet connectivity. Our goal
is the creation of national regulatory frameworks that are flexible and
enable competition between various service providers using multiple
transport and technology options. We believe the best practices outlined
below will help bring social and economic benefits to the world’s citizens.
An enabling regulatory regime that encourages broadband
deployment and Internet connectivity
We encourage political support at the highest
government levels with such support expressed in national or regional
policy goals. These include an effective, separate regulator insulated
from political interference, a transparent regulatory process, and
adoption and enforcement of clear rules.
We believe that competition in as many areas of the
value chain as possible provides the strongest basis for ensuring
maximum innovation in products and prices and for driving efficiency.
We encourage regulators to set policies to stimulate
competition among various technologies and industry segments that will
lead to the development and deployment of broadband capacity. This
includes addressing barriers or bottlenecks that may exist with regard
to access to essential facilities on a non-discriminatory basis.
We believe that the primary objective of regulation
should be to secure fair and reasonable access for competitive broadband
services, including Internet connectivity.
We encourage the maintenance of transparent,
non-discriminatory market policies in order to attract investment.
We encourage regulators to adopt policies that are
technology neutral and do not favor one technology over another.
We encourage regulators to take into consideration
the convergence of platforms and services and that they regularly
reassess regulatory regimes to ensure consistency and to eliminate
unfair market advantages or unnecessary regulatory burdens.
We encourage regulators to allocate adequate spectrum
to facilitate the use of modern, cost effective broadband
radiocommunications technologies. We further encourage innovative
approaches to managing the spectrum resource such as the ability to
share spectrum or allocating on a license-exempt non-interference basis.
We urge regulators to conduct periodic public
consultations with stakeholders to inform the regulatory decision-making
We recommend that regulators carefully consider how
to minimize licensing hurdles.
We encourage the development of a regulatory
framework that permits ISPs and broadband providers to set up their own
We encourage regulators to provide a clear regulatory
strategy for the private sector in order to reduce uncertainty and risk,
and remove any disincentives to investment.
Innovative Regulatory Policies Must Be Developed To
Promote Universal Access
We recommend that the promotion of access to low cost
broadband interconnectivity should be integrated from “grass-roots”
efforts to identify local needs all the way through the “tree-tops” of
international law. Governments, business and non-governmental
organizations should be involved.
We recommend that regulators adopt regulatory
frameworks that support applications such as e-education and
We encourage each country to adopt policies to
increase access to the Internet and broadband services based on their
own market structure and that such policies reflect diversity in
culture, language and social interests.
We encourage regulators to work with stakeholders to
expand coverage and use of broadband through multi-stakeholder
partnerships. In addition, complementary government initiatives that
promote financially sustainable programs may also be appropriate,
especially in filling in the market gap that may exist in some
We encourage regulators to adopt regulatory regimes
that facilitate the use of all transport mechanisms, whether wireline,
power line, cable, wireless, including wi-fi, or satellite.
We encourage regulators to explore programs that
encourage public access to broadband and Internet services to schools,
libraries and other community centers.
We encourage regulators to implement harmonized
spectrum allocations consistent with the outcome of ITU
Radiocommunication Conference process and each country’s national
interest. Participation in this well-established framework will
facilitate low-cost deployment of equipment internationally and promote
low-cost broadband and Internet connectivity through economies of scale
and competition among broadband vendors and service providers.
Broadband is an Enabler
Regulation should be directed at improving the long
term interests of citizens. Broadband can contribute to this by
improving and enabling education, information, and increased efficiency.
It can reduce costs, overcome distance, open up markets, enhance
understanding and create employment.
We encourage regulators to educate and inform
consumers about the services that are available to them and how to
utilize them so that the entire population benefits.
We urge regulators to work with other government
entities, industry, consumer groups, and other stakeholders to ensure
consumers have access to the information they need about broadband and
Country Contributions (original language):