Committed to connecting the world


Digital Economy


To meet the expectations of a rapidly evolving digital ecosystem, policy makers and regulators need to adapt and develop more flexible, innovative and light-handed regulatory frameworks expanding beyond the traditional core telecom sector to take into account the multi-facet and multi-stakeholder dimensions of the digital world. 

ITU is working on policy and regulatory research, collecting data on the evolution of the Digital Ecosystem and the impact of ICTs on the national and international economy. Recognizing the importance of the new Digital Ecosystem, this portal gathers information on its evolution, key findings from publications and research, country case studies, as well as models to measure the impact of ICTs on the national economy. 

Continuum of possible regulatory responses for the New Digital Ecosystem

There is a continuum of possible regulatory responses/measures which provides options in theory, from minimalistic interventions such as behavioural remedies (lower) to those that are more structural (higher) requiring legislative amendments and/or issuing of subsidiary legislation.


Adoption of specific regulation

55 over 122 countries reported in 2016 the adoption of policies, regulation/legislation related to e-applications and m-applications and their relationship with and across other sectors of the economy.  

 Source: ITU Regulatory Survey 2016, ICTEye

GSR17 Best Practice Guidelines

Regulators have identified and endorsed these Regulatory Best practice guidelines for affordable digital services for all at the Global Symposium of Regulators (GSR17).

The rich potential of the transformative digital economy is within our reach. The digital world offers a host of opportunities in various sectors such as agriculture, health, education, financial services, artificial intelligence and public governance. Digital services can enable economic growth and social development across the board. Regulation has a pivotal role to play to help today’s fast-evolving markets thrive while shaping future markets for digital services that are innovative, balanced and inclusive. More inclusive, incentive-based and collaboration-driven regulation will not only benefit consumers and businesses, but will help fast-track a digital future for the billions who remain unconnected.

During the GSR17, Regulators recognized that there is no single, comprehensive blueprint for best practice, but agree that country experiences can be enlightening and guide us towards regulatory excellence. In the increasingly complex and dynamic digital ecosystem, it is important to agree on common principles and put forward clear and simple rules.

More at the GSR17 Best practices guidelines.