International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized
agency for telecommunications, and infoDev, a multi-donor programme focusing on
information and communication technologies (ICT) for development, today launched
a new online Regulation Toolkit designed to address the complex regulatory
challenges emerging from a rapidly evolving ICT industry.
An update and expansion of infoDev’s influential print publication Telecom
Regulators’ Handbook (issued in 2000), the new web-based toolkit is aimed at
national and regional regulatory agencies, ICT policy-makers, and other
stakeholders with an active interest in ICT regulation. Nearly 140 countries
worldwide now have a national regulatory authority, with the vast majority
having been put in place during the last 10 years. These relatively new
authorities, many of which have been established as part of a broader programme
of national ICT liberalization, have a strong need for reliable and impartial
information on regulatory issues and best practice.
"Today’s regulators and policy makers — especially those in the developing
world — are seeking practical advice and concrete best practice guidelines to
help grow their national ICT markets," said Hamadoun I. Touré, Director of ITU’s
Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). "The new ICT Regulation Toolkit
responds to this demand by providing a first-class product on policy and
Conceived as a permanently evolving resource, the toolkit consists of a
series of modules on key regulatory issues in the rapidly converging ICT sector.
The first module, which went live today, deals with the authorization of
telecommunication services. It addresses such issues as different authorization
approaches and practices, and competitive licensing processes. It also
highlights recent trends toward lighter authorization and licensing practices
that reduce barriers to market entry.
The remaining modules are scheduled to come online between now and 2006. They
will cover legal and institutional aspects of regulation; interconnection, price
regulation and competition; new technologies and their impact on regulation; and
radio spectrum management.
Each module consists of a core document, which provides a high-level summary
of the topic concerned, and serves as the framework for a range of online
content giving more detailed information through hyperlinks. These hyperlinks
allow users to access secondary documents that offer in-depth treatments of the
topic in both text and graphical formats. Users can gain access to reference
documents containing information on best practice and industry precedents. They
can also obtain practice notes that provide summaries, background, context and
practical advice. As well as providing an invaluable day-to-day information
resource, all modules can also be used as training materials in formal training
sessions for regulators or operators. The online version of the ICT Regulation
Toolkit will be regularly updated to ensure that it incorporates the very latest
information on regulatory strategies, best practice and country case studies.
"This new ICT Regulation Toolkit will provide ICT policy-makers and
regulators with practical approaches and instruments to support their
decision-making," said infoDev Programme Manager Mostafa Terrab. "It is a unique
resource designed around three key features: it is an interactive, on-line tool
allowing for user feedback and enhancement; it is dynamic in that its contents
will evolve to reflect new developments in the sector; and it is
forward-looking, foreseeing and anticipating policies and regulations that fully
leverage the potential of new technologies to maximize access for all throughout
the developing world."
The full toolkit will be showcased at the annual ITU Global Symposium for
Regulators (GSR), to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia from November 14 to 15, 2005,
as well as at the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which
will take place in Tunis from 16 to 18 November 2005.
The module that went live today is accessible
here, as well as through
links on the ITU and infoDev websites. The remaining modules scheduled to come
online later will be made available on CD-ROM.
For more information please contact: