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 Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The high cost for developing countries in accessing the Internet ‘backbone’ was a hot-topic at a recent, Geneva, meeting of ITU-T’s Study Group 3, Tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues.

SG 3 will submit a paper, outlining its activities and future work plan on international internet connectivity (IIC) to the Internet Governance Forum meeting to be held in Athens, autumn 2006.

It has been claimed that some charging arrangements for IIC disadvantage smaller networks and developing countries. In June 2004 an amendment to ITU-T Recommendation D.50 was made to set out general considerations for parties to negotiate Internet interconnection. These considerations can be used to assist two parties to an interconnection agreement to negotiate in a more harmonized way.

The area is a key concern for ITU as it was mandated by WSIS to examine the topic. Paragraph 27 – C of the Tunis Agenda:

27.  We recommend improvements and innovations in existing financing mechanisms, including:
C      Providing affordable access to ICTs, by the following measures:

i.        Reducing international Internet costs charged by backbone providers, supporting, inter alia, the creation and development of regional ICT backbones and Internet Exchange Points to reduce interconnection cost and broaden network access;

                ii.         Encouraging ITU to continue the study of the question of the International Internet Connectivity (IIC) as an urgent matter to develop appropriate Recommendations.”