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Flexible, light-touch, tech-neutral regulation is the key to
driving global ICT service uptake and innovation

World’s largest annual gathering of tech regulators and policy experts encourages
complementary cross-stakeholder partnerships

Warsaw, 5 July, 2013 – More than 660 of the world’s leading ICT policy professionals attending ITU’s 13th Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR-13, 3-5 July) encouraged regulators, operators, service providers and developers of so-called ‘over-the-top’ content platforms to collaborate on cooperative strategies that can ‘grow the pie’ while helping extend network reach to citizens and bring consumer prices down.

The symposium, held in Warsaw, Poland, under the patronage of Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, was the best attended GSR event ever held, attracting representatives from more than 130 countries representing over 200 government and private sector entities, including 110 chief executive level VIPs.

This year’s programme spanned a compelling range of hot topics, including cross-border regulatory harmonization; the challenge of finding additional radio-frequency spectrum to support ongoing explosive growth in wireless services and applications; migration from IPv4 to IPv6 Internet addressing to ensure sufficient growth capacity for billions of new Internet-enabled devices; the complex regulatory aspects of evolving digital financial transaction models; and strategies to finance investment in new network infrastructure for fixed and mobile broadband.

The event was opened on Wednesday by GSR-13 Chair Magdalena Gaj, President of Poland’s Office of Electronic Communications (UKE). Speaking to delegates at the end of the afternoon today, she stressed Poland’s commitment to helping build a fully inclusive information society, both nationally, and worldwide. “We need to develop broadband infrastructure and promote wider use of ICTs. Our goal is to encourage all individuals and communities to participate in the Information Society,” she said.

At the close of the final GSR-13 session, regulators endorsed a set of Best Practice Guidelines designed to provide a framework for innovation, investment and competition while ensuring the very best deal for consumers. The new guidelines stressed the need to adapt and develop more flexible, innovative and light-handed regulatory frameworks, expanding beyond the traditional core telecom sector to embrace the multi-faceted, multi-stakeholder dimensions of the modern digital ecosystem.

High-level participation

Held at the Warsaw Hilton Hotel, this year’s programme featured exceptionally strong high-level participation, including Poland’s Minister of Administration and Digitization, Michal Boni; Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technologies of the Central African Republic, Henri Pouzère; Minister of Digital Economy, Communication and Posts of Gabon, Blaise Louembe; Minister of Information of Malawi, Moses Kunkuyu Kalongashawa; European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner, DG Connect, Neelie Kroes; GSMA Director-General, Anne Bouverot; FCC Acting Chairwoman, Mignon Clyburn; and Facebook’s Director of Public Policy for EMEA, Richard Allan.

The symposium continued the successful two-day Global Regulators-Industry Dialogue (GRID) innovation begun last year by the Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), Brahima Sanou.

 “Regulating the ever-changing ICT sector is like aiming at a moving target. Developing and using best practices is the best way to fast-track our efforts to adapt to change and embrace new technologies to foster development and business, “said Sanou. “I believe that by working together in identifying best practices we will lay robust regulatory foundations to drive digital communications ahead.”

A Pre-event Day featuring special side sessions, including a meeting of private sector Chief Regulatory Officers (CROs), a meeting of global Regulatory Associations, and a seminar on spectrum auctions organized by the GSMA, was also very well-attended.

 “At this year’s GSR we’ve seen a lot of regulatory agencies, operators, partners, financial institutions and even leading media organizations – there’s an understanding that we all need to work together to resolve the important issues, and the GSR is the only platform in the world that allows them to all share their ideas, proposals and experiences – there’s simply no other forum like it,” said ITU Deputy Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

Next year’s GSR will be held in Bahrain in June, 2014, at the invitation of Bahrain’s Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA). It will be chaired by TRA Chairman, Mohammed Al Amer.

The full set of GSR 2013 Best Practice Guidelines agreed at the end of this year’s event are available at www.itu.int/GSR13.

Outputs from the meeting will also be incorporated into ITU’s annual regulatory report, Trends in Telecommunication Reform.

A series of Discussion Papers on key GSR issues is available here.

Background information, including speeches of the high-level participants, a Polish ICT market overview, and key global statistics on broadband, are available on the GSR-13 Newsroom at http://www.itu.int/en/newsroom/Pages/gsr13.aspx.

Download GSR-13 photos: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/sets/72157634465030796/

Watch GSR-13 interviews: http://bit.ly/19sxrCH

Follow the event on Twitter at: #GSR13.

For more information, visit www.itu.int/GSR-13 or contact:

Piotr Jaszczuk
Media & PR, Office of the Advisor to the President
telephone +48 22 534 9344
tel +48 668 470 803
email p.jaszczuk@uke.gov.pl
Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations & Public Information, ITU
telephone +41 22 730 6135
tel +48 518 787 996 (until 5 July inclusive)
email sarah.parkes@itu.int
Note for media: ITU’s video newsroom provides fast access to broadcast-quality footage and news packages. Register at www.itu.int/en/newsroom/Pages/videos.aspx

 

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