Document WSIS-II/PC-2/CONTR/14-E

14 February 2005

Original: English

International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO)










Contribution of the Director General of the International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO)



The WSIS Action Plan leading up to the second phase of the WSIS (WSIS-2), to be held in Tunis in November 2005, contains the following actions related to broadband satellite services, especially for underserved areas:

    "Develop and strengthen national, regional and international broadband network infrastructure, including delivery by satellite and other systems ... Support technical, regulatory and operational studies by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and, as appropriate, other relevant international organizations in order to:

      i) broaden access to orbital resources, global frequency harmonization and global systems standardization;

      ii) encourage public/private partnership;

      iii) promote the provision of global high-speed satellite services for underserved areas such as remote and sparsely populated areas;."


These actions are based on a contribution from the Director General of ITSO to the first phase of the Summit, entitled: "Global Broadband Satellite Infrastructure Initiative" or "GBSI Initiative." This initiative is modeled on the GSM (Global Standard for Mobile communications) initiative, in that they both call for a public-private partnership to create a global market. In the case of the GBSI Initiative, it calls for the creation of a consumer satellite broadband market in which the economies-of-scale in providing services and producing equipment would lead to affordable broadband services. The GBSI Initiative consists of the following three components:


Following WSIS-1, the Director General of ITSO proposed a "Memorandum of Understanding" ("GBSI MOU"), as a framework of cooperation for industry to contribute to the implementation of the GBSI Initiative. The GBSI MOU already has been signed by a representative group from the satellite industry (including operators, service providers, manufacturers and industry associations).

Two meetings of the industry signatories of the GBSI MOU already have taken place in Madrid, Spain on October 2004 and in Rome, Italy in January 2005.

In their first meeting in Madrid, the industry signatories decided to set up working groups for spectrum, regulatory and standardization issues, in order to produce a policy paper to be considered at their subsequent meeting.

In their meeting in Rome, the GBSI MOU industry signatories decided to consider the possible use of specific spectrum for consumer satellite broadband services. They identified a comprehensive road map for evaluating the regulations of these services in various countries and regions, in order to develop and present specific regulatory proposals to the second phase of the WSIS in November 2005. The meeting participants also recognized that a single open and global standard for satellite broadband communications could have an important impact on attracting the research, development and production capacity investments needed to make consumer broadband satellite services more affordable. In order to better assess the GBSI development model, the meeting participants decided to undertake a detailed financial analysis of the long-term GBSI business concept. The next meeting of the industry signatories is scheduled in April 2005.