Tech policy makers urge governments, operators to foster new digital
opportunities through sharing and innovation
Cloud services based on shared infrastructure
models benefit operators, consumers and the environment
Colombo, 4 October, 2012 – International delegates to ITU’s
12th Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR-12, 2-4 October) recognized the
enormous potential of cloud computing for promoting wider, lower-cost access to
information and communication technology (ICT), while stressing the importance
of close collaboration between governments, industry and consumer groups in
promoting data security and privacy and greater confidence in cloud services.
The annual regulatory meeting, which welcomed a total of 446 participants
from almost 100 countries, sought to forge a common vision around strategies to
promote digital opportunities through new broadband-based platforms, while
getting to grips with the often complex regulatory implications of cloud-based
At the close of the final session this afternoon, delegates endorsed a set of
regulatory Best Practice Guidelines designed to provide a framework for
innovation, investment and competition in cloud infrastructure and services
while at the same time ensuring protection of consumer interests.
They also emphasized the benefits of innovative infrastructure sharing models
based on public-private partnership in driving broadband roll-out in emerging
markets and developing countries. Ubiquitous broadband was recognized as the
essential platform for the growth of cloud services which, by combining low
costs and global scalability, can generate substantial economic returns and
improved efficiency for government, businesses and individuals.
Successful innovations at this year’s symposium included a two-day Global
Regulators-Industry Dialogue (GRID) and a pre-event day featuring specialized
side meetings, including sessions organized by the International
Telecommunication Satellite Organization (ITSO) and by the GSMA, as well as an
exclusive meeting of Chief Regulatory Officers (CROs) from the private sector.
The GRID programme, which began on October 2, saw lively, interactive
discussion among panelists and audience members representing operators, ICT
manufacturers, service providers, infrastructure specialists and regulatory
consultancies. Industry participants stressed the need for predictable,
transparent and flexible regulatory frameworks and technology-neutral policies
that allow new services to evolve in line with consumer demand and the rapid
pace of technological innovation. They also emphasized the importance of a light
Speaking to GRID delegates on Wednesday 3 October, the Director of ITU’s
Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), Mr Brahima Sanou, said the key to
the success of this new component lay in its unique ability to promote open
dialogue and facilitate contact between top decision makers working in a very
specialized field on both sides of the market – government and industry.
Held at the Colombo Hilton Hotel, this year’s GRID/GSR
programme covered a broad range of hot topics, including
net neutrality, international roaming, cybersecurity, IP interconnection, and
new partnership models to promote investment in new network infrastructure.
“This key event for the international regulatory community continues to
evolve in a very positive direction,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I.
Touré. “I believe it has been our most successful GSR ever on a number of
important levels, from the quality of our expert panelists and moderators to the
content-rich programme which ITU develops collaboratively with regulatory
professionals to reflect that group’s specific needs and concerns.”
The final set of GSR Best Practice Guidelines focus largely around the
challenges and opportunities of cloud-based models, and include recommendations
relating to cloud convergence; consumer ‘cloud literacy’ to ensure personal data
protection; transparency in cloud service obligations between service providers;
the development and adoption of international technical and organizational
standards for cloud interfaces and service delivery; data portability in the
cloud; and international cooperation between regulators.
The Guidelines also cover other key regulatory areas like digital capacity
building, net neutrality, regulatory enforcement mechanisms, and measures to
promote broadband roll-out including shared infrastructure strategies,
coordination of civil works across different sectors, and policies to speed
Discussions during the pre-event programme earlier this week also raised the
potential of ‘regional cloud’ models, whereby groups of countries could
cooperate on regional frameworks to promote cloud services, leveraging the
benefits while reducing security, confidentiality and other vital concerns. The
potential of a new sub-regional approach was suggested by one delegate, whereby
regulators’ associations could promote efforts to harmonize regulatory
instruments among member countries.
Spectrum was another hot topic, with delegates discussing potential
strategies for releasing critically-needed spectrum for wireless broadband and
endorsing the need for policies that encourage the harmonization of
international spectrum and ICT device approvals.
Chaired this year by Mr Lalith Weeratunga, Chairman of the Telecommunication
Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), the GRID/GSR was hosted by ITU and
TRCSL under the High Patronage of the President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa,
who presided over the opening ceremony on Monday 2 October.
In his closing remarks to delegates on Thursday, 4 October, BDT Director
Brahima Sanou said the positive response to this year’s GSR confirmed the
event’s continuing relevance to those whose decisions shape today’s and
tomorrow’s global ICT markets, and affirmed ITU’s central role as a platform for
sharing knowledge and building consensus among an increasingly diverse range of
He thanked co-host TRCSL for its support and exceptional hospitality during
the three-day event. “Sri Lanka has proved not just a beautiful and gracious
venue but a very attractive destination for an international event like this one
because of its ideal geographical location between east and west. Our hosts have
been exemplary terms of their professionalism, their generosity, and the
commitment they have shown to making this event a resounding success.”
Since its establishment in 2000, the ITU Global Symposium for Regulators has
earned a reputation as the most important annual global gathering of the
regulatory and policy-making community. Next year’s event will be held in
Warsaw, Poland, from 3 - 5 July 2013, at the invitation of Polish authorities.
The full set of GSR 2012 Best Practice Guidelines agreed at the end of this
year’s event are available at
Outputs from the meeting will also be incorporated into ITU’s annual
Background information, including Sri Lanka market overviews, a new broadband
Case Study on Sri Lanka, speeches of the high-level participants, key global
statistics on broadband, and a backgrounder on ITU’s Connect a School, Connect a
Community project currently being implemented country-wide in Sri Lanka are all
available on the GSR-12 Newsroom at www.itu.int/net/newsroom/GSR/2012/.
Download GSR-12 photos:
View videos from the event on ITU’s YouTube channel at:
Download high-resolution videos from this and other ITU events from ITU’s new
Video Newsroom at:
the event on Twitter at: #GSR12.
For more information,
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information