GLOBAL SYMPOSIUM FOR REGULATORS (GSR)
8 - 10 December 2004, Geneva, Switzerland
The fifth annual Global
Symposium for Regulators (GSR) was held 8-10 December 2004 in Geneva,
Switzerland, at the invitation of ITU Development Bureau (BDT) Director Hamadoun
I. Touré 1.
The meeting focused on ways to adapt and evolve licensing and regulatory
structures to cope with convergence of information and communications technology
sectors. The chairperson of the GSR was Kathleen Q. Abernathy, a
member of the Federal Communications Commission of the United States.
The GSR was held in conjunction with the Second Annual Meeting of
Regional Regulatory Associations, held 7 December 2004 at the same location in
The 2004 GSR was evidence
that the annual symposium continues to evolve in size, scope and in importance. Since its creation five years ago by the Regulatory Reform
Unit of the ITU’s Development Bureau (BDT), it has grown in terms of the
numbers of regulators attending, the number of countries represented, the number
of sector members attending (invited for the first day) and the array of issues
that have come out of the symposium for further work, by both the BDT and the
participating nations. At this
year’s GSR, there were 350 participants from 106 countries, including
regulators representing 77 countries, as well as 34 sector members and all
existing regional regulators’ associations.
This GSR was notable for an
increase in the number of proposals by delegates for issues and projects to be
carried out before and at the next GSR. This
included a proposal, made possible by an invitation from the government of
Tunisia, to hold the next GSR outside of Geneva.
The invitation to hold the symposium in Tunis in 2005 was warmly
received, supported and adopted by the GSR.
As in last year’s GSR,
this GSR reached consensus on an output document, the Best Practice
Guidelines for the Promotion of Low-Cost Broadband and Internet Connectivity.
The document expresses the view of the national regulatory authorities
participating in the GSR that regulatory and policy decisions can serve to
encourage the growth of broadband networks and services that will improve lives
around the world. The symposium
agreed that the views of regulators on such an important set of enabling
technologies should be expressed to those seeking ways to build the Information
Society. These Best Practices
Guidelines will be presented to the next phase of the WSIS. (The final text
of the document is attached to this report).
year’s symposium consisted of four plenary sessions, focusing on multiple
aspects of licensing and spectrum management, along with two simultaneous
break-out sessions – an innovation for the GSR format – focusing on
“spam” and broadband infrastructure.
Due to growth in attendance at the GSR, as
well as construction going on at other Geneva convention facilities, the GSR and
its allied meetings were held this year at the headquarters of the World