2005 saw the approval of 34 Recommendations bringing the total number approved
under the so-called Alternative Approval Process (AAP) to over 1000.
AAP is a fast-track approval procedure that was developed to allow standards to
be brought to market in the timeframe that industry now demands.
Among the 34 Recommendations that were approved in November were three relating
to QoS in Internet Protocol (IP) based networks, one relating to a new
generation digital cinema technology called LSDI, and one on digital rights
management in home networking systems.
With a majority of its membership from the private sector, ITU’s
standardization arm - ITU-T - understands the crucial balance between rapid
delivery, quality and stability in standards development. AAP is designed to
make sure that draft standards reach approved Recommendation status as quickly
as possible while maintaining the highest degree of transparency. With approved
global standards in place, network operators will have the confidence to
rollout new generation services quickly and efficiently.
Besides streamlining the underlying procedures involved in the approval
process, an important contributory factor to the success of AAP is
computerisation. With this process, once a meeting considers that a draft
Recommendation is ready for approval, it is posted on the ITU- T website, the
membership is informed that the approval process has begun and the rest of the
process can be completed electronically in the vast majority of cases with no
further physical meetings.
This dramatic overhaul of standards-making by streamlining approval procedures
was implemented in 2001 and is estimated to have cut the time involved in this
critical aspect of the standardization process by 80 to 90 per cent. This means
that an average standard which took around four years to approve and publish
until the mid nineties, and two years until 1997, can now be approved in an
average of two months, or as little as five weeks. At present, more than 3100
ITU-T Recommendations are in force and around 210 new and updated
Recommendations are produced each year, that's nearly one for every working
The introduction of AAP also formalizes public/private partnership in the
approval process by providing equal opportunities for both Sector Members
(members coming from industry) and Member States in the approval of technical
More information on the AAP can be found here.