Statement by Germany on Draft Opinion 1 on Internet-related
Public Policy Matters
at the ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum 2009
Germany is convinced that in view of the utmost significance
of the Internet for the development of the economies and of
societies and culture all governments must assume their
responsibilities for Internet-related public policy matters.
Furthermore, Germany is convinced that the transnational
structure of the Internet requires transnational cooperation of
the governments of the world.
At present international cooperation is – apart from ITU –
possible especially within the framework of ICANN and the IGF.
As regards the shaping of future international cooperation at
government level in order to achieve fair and equitable
solutions, Germany’s approach is based on the following ideas:
In our opinion, the existing
procedures to shape the global Internet have resulted in
quite adequate decisions and results
As far as future decision-making
processes are concerned, Germany would welcome if the
influence of governments on international public policy
matters was greater than having – at least officially –
merely an advisory function. Because this is the only way
for governments to adequately assume their responsibilities
vis-à-vis their citizens.
The establishment and the
expansion of network infrastructures are part of the ITU
core competences; in this field, there are a number of
important initiatives taken by ITU, which we expressly wish
to support. In this context, I want to recall that a large
share of the budget is earmarked for the ITU-D Sector. We
believe that the bridging of the digital divide is an
effective means of integrating the developing countries in
the global economy. Germany continues to support this
Securing the existing
infrastruture from disruptions, but also from attacks, is
one of the significant tasks of governments at international
level. Here, too, we believe that ITU could play an
important role, regarding for instance the exchange of data
on disruptions that have occurred or the establishment of an
information pool of best practices, which may be made
accessible as policy recommendations to the governments of
its Members States.
Cybercrime is another important
political issue which no government can evade. The fight
against cybercrime no doubt requires international
cooperation. However, it is not part of the ITU core
competences, but it can play a role with the development of
technical standards, etc.
The use and development of the
Internet cannot be ordered by governments. It rather
develops primarily owing to decentral decisions taken by
innovative firms, on the one hand, and the demand of users,
on the other hand. The experiences gained in more than ten
years of Internet governance have shown that it is often
very fruitful for the decision-making process to involve
civil-society organisations, non-governmental organisations
and user organisations. Therefore we believe that the
restructuring of various decision-making processes regarding
Internet governance will not get the global political
support that is necessary unless companies, the civil
society and user groups are adequately involved in the
Germany hopes that in the future the various organisations
that are active in the field of Internet governance will
cooperate more closely rather than work side by side or even
against each other. This objective is in line with what we
believe was the objective of the initiatives that were taken by
SG Touré last year at the ICANN Conference in Cairo and at the
IGF in Hyderabad.
Statement by Germany on Draft Opinion 2 on the
Implications of the Advent of Next-Generation Networks (NGNs)
and Advanced Broadband Access at the ITU World Telecommunication
Policy Forum 2009
Germany welcomes this Opinion, which addresses the provision
of high-speed Internet and the bridging of the digital divide.
The German federal government is aware of the need for public
action in this field and therefore has developed a German
This strategy pursues a clear objective: we wish to make
available as fast as possible, i.e. by the end of 2010, access
to efficient broadband services throughout Germany. This means
connections suitable to fulfil the main Internet functions. At
present we believe that this is in general the case with a
bandwidth of 1 Mbit/s.
But we want to go one step further: by 2014 connections with
a bandwidth of at least 50 Mbit/s should be available for 75
percent of all households. As soon as possible afterwards, these
highly efficient connections should be available throughout
We focus with our broadband strategy on a variety of
incentives to accelerate the positive market development.
We aim to make use of synergies for the establishment of
networks. For this purpose, a comprehensive list of all existing
infrastructures is being drawn up in order to facilitate the
shared use of existing infrastructures. We will very soon
distribute the digital dividend (790 to 862 MHz), especially in
order to promote the provision of services in rural areas.
Besides, we advocate regulation that takes more account of
growth and innovation and thus is more future-oriented as is
also called for in the existing draft Opinion. Only where these
measures are not sufficient to guarantee the provision of
services throughout the country public financial means will be
made available to a limited extent.
We believe that the bundling of all these measures is the
only way to reach our objectives. This bundle of measures aims
to promote investments of companies and thus to guarantee the
technology-neutral establishment and expansion of networks by
several providers who compete with each other.
As far as “convergent regulation” is concerned, we do not at
present see any need for action for a convergent legal
framework. In our opinion it is important that all providers
have access to the networks.
For the same reasons, we do not see any need for the
regulation of networks and (media) contents in a single
Statement by Germany on Draft Opinion 3 on “ICT and the
Environment” at the ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum
Germany welcomes the draft opinion on “ICT and the
Environment”. Indeed, in line with the wording of this opinion
Germany pursures policies that encourage market driven
innovation and investment to reduce green house gas emissions.
And another important objective of German policy is to motivate
the energy industry as well as other industries to develop
effective methods to help address climate change challenges.
I would like to make four remarks to comment on this:
First remark: The German Government has already established
three years ago a high-level dialogue process with CEOs from the
IT-industry and important IT-using industries as well as
representatives of renowned research institutes. Last year, when
they came together at the German National IT-Summit, a “Green IT
action plan” was adopted that we would like to share with you.
The Green IT Action Plan comprises voluntary commitments by the
ICT industry and by research institutes in Germany as well as
government measures. I think this plan will give you an idea of
the focus of our actions although additional measures have been
taken in the meantime in the context of the economic crisis. But
I am pleased to provide you with a copy of this Action plan if
you are interested.
Second remark: We think that it is very important to increase
energy efficiency and to use ICT to this end. In six regions in
Germany we have started pilot projects to optimize energy
consumption, energy distribution and energy production with the
support of ICT. This project is called “E-Energy”. It wil also
help us to integrate renewable energies more efficiently by
means of the so called “smart grids”.
But energy efficiency should also be enhanced in other
industries and in the households of the consumers. That is why
we would like to stress the importance of awareness raising
campaigns for private households. According to a recent study,
more than half of the ICT-induced ernergy demand in Germany is
generated in private households.
But it is equally important that other industries collaborate
with the ICT-industry, especially in the fields of logistics,
motorsystems and building technologies. We are convinced that we
will get much better products and services in the future if
engineers worldwide develop new solutions also in cooperation
with IT-specialists. This cooperation will help us considerably
to increase energy efficiency.
Third remark: Besides climate change, ICT can help to promote
environmental protection and to manage scarce resources like
water. Every time we have to monitor, control or manage flows,
ICT can help. Here again, the cooperation of engineers and IT-specialists
is an important objective.
Fourth and last remark: I think that it is of high importance
to consider the use of ICT in response to natural or man-made
disasters. In Germany we have developed new ICT-based solutions
to disaster-management. They may help to save both, the lifes of
victims and the lifes of rescue teams.
Now coming to the future role of ITU. In Germany we think
that ITU could play a very helpful role by supporting the
international cooperation in the field of ICT and the
environment. In particular ITU could forward information on
different policy-approaches to the developing countries and it
could support the transfer of technological know-how to the
developing countries. In this effort we wish ITU any success.