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 Friday, 02 May 2008

Identity Management Global Standards Initiative (IdM-GSI) Meeting

Geneva, 14-15 May 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Circular 199 for more information.

IdM-GSI Home

Friday, 02 May 2008 11:26:01 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Next Generation Networks Global Standards Initiative (NGN-GSI) Meeting

Geneva, 12–22 May 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Circular 199 for more information.


Friday, 02 May 2008 11:14:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Internet Protocol Television Global Standards Initiative (IPTV-GSI) Meeting

Geneva, 30 April - 7 May 2008

Registration Form

See TSB Circular 199 for more information.


Friday, 02 May 2008 11:00:57 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 23 April 2008

The ITU/MIC Kyoto Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change closed 16 April with agreement that ITU should play a significant role in the global effort to combat climate change.

A number of actions were recommended for ITU. Among them was a task for ITU’s Standardization Sector (ITU-T) which was tasked with the development of an internationally agreed standard methodology to measure the impact of ICTs on climate change, both in terms of the direct emission of greenhouse gases, and the savings that can be generated in other sectors of industry through the application of ICTs.

Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), Malcolm Johnson, supported the meeting’s recommendation that an ITU-T Focus Group would be an appropriate vehicle to take forward this work. He said that he would propose the formation of a new group to ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group (TSAG) at its next meeting in July. However, to move quickly, he encouraged the submission of proposals on the terms of reference for this group, as well as initial proposals on methodologies, to:

Johnson also proposed that a draft Resolution would be presented at this year’s World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-08), in Johannesburg, October. The document is expected to outline ITU-T’s responsibility in identifying the role that ICTs should play in the mitigation and monitoring of climate change and target reductions for the industry.

Experts agreed that the chairman’s report of the Kyoto event provides an excellent start point for the Resolution which will be discussed in further detail at the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, 17-18 June 2008 in London. More information is also available in the meeting summary and the ITU background report.

The chairman’s report of the Kyoto symposium will also be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial meeting in the Republic of Korea, the G8 meeting in Japan and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, will be held 17-18 June in London, hosted by BT. The London event will also be broadcast as a live Webinar. Register: [more information]

Presentations from Kyoto can be viewed here.

See also climate change news feed for more detailed reports on the Kyoto event.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008 15:15:50 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, 21 April 2008

Fears that a set of next-generation network transport specifications developed by ITU-T could cause interoperability problems have been allayed.

The IETF and ITU will work together to extend IETF MPLS functionality to address the needs of the transport network. The work will move forward recognizing that the sole design authority for MPLS resides in the IETF, and the domain of expertise for Transport Network Infrastructure resides in ITU-T SG15.

ITU-T has been developing extensions to Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) MPLS to address the requirements of the transport network (T-MPLS). However, concerns were raised by the IETF that the approach taken by the ITU-T was incompatible with widely deployed - MPLS - technology. These concerns have been allayed with the agreement that the IETF and ITU-T will work jointly on the development of a transport profile for MPLS technology which will now be referred to as “MPLS-TP”.

The Joint Working Team (see previous newslog entry) consisting of experts from the IETF and ITU-T has recommended that IETF MPLS technology should be extended to meet the requirements of the transport network. The proposal is based on technical analysis that showed that the IETF MPLS architecture can be extended to provide the functionality required by the transport network as defined by ITU-T's Study Group 15. The ITU-T has accepted this proposal and the IETF will develop a transport profile for MPLS (MPLS-TP) with input from ITU-T to ensure that the requirements of the transport network are fully addressed. Details of the proposal and the technical consideration are available here.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said, "Given the complexity of today’s networks it is inevitable that we will, from time-to-time, see divergent approaches. What is important is that we quickly agree on a way forward. The experts in the joint group have worked hard to find a cooperative solution rather than going our separate ways. This is an excellent result and bodes well for the future collaboration between ITU and IETF".”

Russ Housley Chair of the IETF, "I am very optimistic about the outcome, and I see this as a significant milestone in the cooperation between the ITU-T and the IETF."


Monday, 21 April 2008 14:45:41 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The first ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan (hosted by MIC Japan), brings together policy makers and experts from international organisations and consortia, research institutes and the information and communication technology (ICT) industry.

The first session of the Symposium asked: Will ICTs come to our rescue? The Chairman of this session, Mr Art Levin, Head of ITU’s Corporate Governance and Membership Division, outlined the Kyoto process and the latest results of climate research, and referred to the role that information and communication technologies play in climate change, not only in contributing to global warming, but also in monitoring it, mitigating its impact and helping adaptation in some of the most vulnerable parts of the globe. He invited panelists from the ICT sector to identify the fields in which their company, organisation or institution comes to the rescue.

Session speakers all agree on the need but there are different ideas on methodology:

Dr Luis Neves, Chairman of the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), described the objectives of this industry-led initiative as a double strategy:

  1. GeSI members are actively implementing measures leading to increasing energy efficiency and decoupling energy consumption from CO2-emissions.
  2. They offer services to their customers, which increase there energy efficiency as well, e.g. tele/audioconferencing to replace traveling and teleworking to avoid commuting. E-Commerce instead of going to the supermarket, Business-TV, E-Business, E-Learning, E-Teaching, E-Government.

A similar strategy is described in an early study by a joint initiative of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) and WWF with the title “Saving the climate @ the speed of light”. This frequently cited study shows, that in the period up to 2010, the potential savings that can be achieved by ETNO members exceed by tenfold their current CO2 emissions. However, the study raises new questions: What will happen after 2010? What happens outside Europe?

Dr Neves announced the publication of a new study (5 June 2008) carried out by GeSI and The Climate Group. This study examines over a period of 12 years (until 2020) how ICTs can not only deliver energy savings and carbon reduction, but do so in a way that drives even greater economic growth and productivity.

The second Panelist, Mr Tetsuo Yamakawa, Director-General, International Affairs Department, Telecommunications Bureau, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, presented the results of a study of his Ministry, which includes a net energy consumption forecast for Japan, based on current technologies and consumer behaviour: By 2012 the electricity meter would pass the 57 billion kWh mark, which could be reduced to 44 billion, by introducing more energy efficient technologies. However, the broadcasting sector will emit a further 73 billion kWh, and solutions have to be found to reduce energy consumption in this sector. Mr Yamakawa named not less than 19 areas which have been identified by the Ministry for reductions of CO2 with the aid of ICTs. The study will be published in English language soon.

Climate-friendliness as a sales and marketing argument

Mr Jeff Hurmuses, President, China and Japan, of Tandberg spoke on “The potential of video-conferencing to reduce travel”. Studies conducted by Tandberg and Ipsos show the willingness of customers to buy goods and services from “green” companies rather than from companies with no or bad environmental reputation. Moreover, climate-friendliness influences the employment market, as 80 per cent of employees preferred working for a company that uses environmental responsible methods and tools (such as video-conferencing and remote collaboration tools) instead of extensive business traveling.

Prof Jun Fujimoto from the Research Centre for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo, spoke on “Ecodesign of an ICT society”. He presented the results of a study carried out by his institution on the likely effects of ICTs by 2020. The overall effect is a reduction in CO2 emissions of 2-3 per cent, rising to 10 per cent by 2050. However, the effects will not be uniform. If one takes social change into account, it is possible to increase the saving from 10 to 40 per cent by 2050. He concluded that the ICT revolution can have a big impact on assisting the environment.

Dr Tim Kelly, Head, Standardization Policy Division, ITU-T presented the “ITU background report on ICTs and climate change”, which had been especially prepared for this symposium. This background report pulls together some of the studies mentioned before and illustrates the activities of the three sectors and the General Secretariat of the ITU as an international standardisation body and specialized agency of the United Nations.

The title for this session, “ICTs to the Rescue” was phrased as a question. In the view of the panel, the issue should not be framed as a question, but as an affirmative statement. The key is to make the positive effect of ICTs significantly larger than the negative effects.

The use of ICTs is growing and will continue to grow, especially in developing countries. However, in the area of ICTs there are two main positive roles: emission reductions by the sector and emission reduction achieved by the use of ICTs. As to the latter, the sector can also serve as an enabling technology by developing products and services that promote the use of ICTs to reduce emissions in other sectors.

All Panelists agreed that ICTs can only be a part of the solution. The process of climate change cannot be stopped or slowed down by ICTs alone – it needs people, consumers, and users to intervene into current trends fast and energetically, and to act environmentally responsible.

The second day of the ITU Symposium on ICTs and Climate Change (16 April 2008) will be available as a webinar (webinar registration, live audio stream) in order that remote participants can see and hear presentations from wherever they are in the world. Sessions titles include “ICTs as a clean technology” (e.g. remote collaboration, energy-efficient broadband, and other e-Environment opportunities), “Towards a high-bandwidth, low carbon future”, and “Adapting to climate change”.

The concluding wrap-up session will review comments on the draft Resolution on ICTs and Climate Change for WTSA-08. The revised chairman’s report and draft Resolution will be forwarded for review by the second ITU symposium on ICTs and climate change, to be held 17-18 June 2008 in London, hosted by BT. The Kyoto recommendations will also be forwarded to upcoming meetings of the World Economic Forum, the OECD (in Republic of Korea), the G8 (in Japan) and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).


Monday, 21 April 2008 14:41:52 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Six new standards enabling a more secure ICT environment have been approved by ITU. Experts say that the standards represent an important achievement reflecting the needs of business in establishing risk management strategies and the protection of consumers.

Three ITU-T Recommendations cover a definition of cybersecurity, a standardized way for vendors to supply security updates and guidelines on spyware. While the other three focus on countering the modern day plague of spam by providing a toolbox of technical measures to help consumers and service providers.

Malcolm Johnson, Director, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau: “In the real – non-virtual – world risk management is well understood and so the infrastructure has been developed to protect against theft, fraud and other kinds of attack. The virtual world should be no different. And standards can provide the backbone for this risk-management infrastructure.”

Standards give businesses the systematic approach to information security that they need to keep network assets safe. The adoption of multiple – proprietary – approaches is, experts agree, an inherently more vulnerable approach.

Recommendations on spam are a direct response to a call from the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA), the quadrennial event that defines study areas for ITU-T. Members asked that ITU-T define technical measures to tackle this plague of the digital world following growing global concern at additional costs and loss of revenue to Internet service providers, telecoms operators and business users.

Herb Bertine, Chairman of ITU-T’s Study Group 17 that looks at cybersecurity: “ITU-T is in a unique position given its international scope and the fact that it brings together the private sector and governments to coordinate work on standards and influence the harmonization of security practices worldwide.”

The Recommendations in brief

ITU-T Rec. X.1205 establishes a definition of cybersecurity noting that this understanding is needed in order to build a foundation of knowledge that can aid securing the networks of tomorrow. Network protocols, it says, were developed in an environment of trust but today cybersecurity threats are growing. ITU-T Rec. X.1205 provides a classification of security threats from an organization’s point of view. It gives a layered approach to security enabling organizations to create multiple levels of defence against threats.

ITU-T Rec. X.1206 is designed to make it easier for systems administrators to manage patches/updates from multiple software vendors. The work was driven by concerns that the number of different methodologies used to deliver software updates was becoming a headache for companies. The Rec. gives a vendor-neutral framework for automatic notification of security related information and dissemination of updates.

ITU-T Rec. X.1207 gives guidelines enabling users to identify spyware and for vendors to avoid their products being mistakenly identified as such. The Recommendation promotes best practices around principles of clear notices, and user’s consents and controls. Authors of the Recommendation say that it develops and promotes best practices to users on PC security, including use of anti-spyware, anti-virus, personal firewall, and security updates of software on client systems.

ITU-T Rec. X.1231 sets out the requirements for combating spam and will serve as the startpoint for all further anti-spam standardization work. It gives an overview of methodologies to counter spam and describes the general characteristics of spam whether for e-mail, SMS, VoIP or other emerging forms of spam. It also outlines key ways to counter spam, and a hierarchical model to establish an efficient and effective anti-spam strategy.

ITU-T Rec. X.1240 is aimed at end users and focusing just on e-mail spam, brings together various mature spam combating technologies in order that users can select the most appropriate.

ITU-T Rec. X.1241 promotes greater cooperation between service providers in tackling spam. In particular the document provides a framework enabling a communication methodology for alerts on identified spam.

Monday, 21 April 2008 14:13:54 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ITU-T IPTV experts Ghassem Koleyni and Simon Jones will lead a live web seminar (webinar) on IPTV standardization, May 7 at 1600 CET.

Click here to register, for the webinar hosted by industry analyst Heavy Reading. By registering you will be able to listen to and take part in discussion as well as view presentation slides.

Koleyni and Jones will present standardization from an ITU perspective with experts from other standards bodies, including the DSL Forum and ATIS, explaining how they have worked with ITU to produce the first set of global IPTV specifications, available here. Malcolm Johnson, Director ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau said: “I encourage anyone involved in the deployment of IPTV services at any level to take this opportunity to learn about this important set of standards as well as quiz our experts on the topic.

We have already seen first generation IPTV services and as these mature we may see a change in regulation or market demand that will require interoperation between service and/or network providers. A potential outcome of this will be that a customer can go into shop, buy an IPTV box, call their network operator and sign-up and then access services from a range of third party service providers. It is to meet that need that the value of ITU’s work on standardisation will be realised. ”

If you can’t join the live event registration will give access to an archive file of the event.

Monday, 21 April 2008 09:04:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, 18 April 2008

Following an ITU-T workshop on accessibility last year at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Rio, a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD) has been established by ITU-T. The DCAD will facilitate interaction between relevant bodies and ensure that information and communications technologies (ICT) accessibility and tools to facilitate it are included in the key debates around Internet governance.

DCAD aims to help build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to communications and online information as well as the ability to participate in IGF discussions and seminars. The initiative takes into account the fact that all communities can benefit from ICTs and improve their quality of life, a view supported by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

The coalition is currently composed of eight organizations, and is open to any entity or individual working in the field. If you wish to be part of this effort please contact the Dynamic Coalition Secretariat.

Further information on ITU and ICT accessibility can be found here.

Friday, 18 April 2008 15:14:31 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, 16 April 2008

The first set of global standards for IPTV have been published in an online compendium.

The proceedings of the IPTV Focus Group (IPTV FG) are collected in an online document including a preface from the ITU Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) and the Chairman of the IPTV FG. They are the result of 20 months hard work by the Focus Group which has now been passed on to the IPTV-GSI (global standards initiative).

Malcolm Johnson, Director of the TSB says in the preface: “The results of the work of the IPTV Focus Group will lay the foundation for an area of ICTs that is predicted to attract up to 100 million subscribers in the next three years. It's easy to see why so many of the world's leading ICT companies have been keen to progress this work.”

As well as the 21 deliverables, the publication gives an overview of the Focus Group, its management team and the group's activities and achievements focusing on: architecture and requirements; QoS and performance aspects; service security and content protection; IPTV network control; end systems and interoperability aspects and middleware, application and content platforms.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008 15:26:42 (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |