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Digital Economy and Markets

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 and markets, 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

GSR Best Practice Guidelines

Regulators have identified and endorsed every year the GSR Regulatory Best Practices Guidelines​​, addressing speciffic issues related to the acievement of digitial transformation.  

"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." GSR17

During the GSR, 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 about GSR Best Practices Guidelines​

Regulatory Building Blocks

Central to the discussion of the growth and regulation of the Digital Ecosystem, which include the Sharing Economy, is the question of how to balance regulations for established businesses and new, innovative businesses.  
Building blocks for a regulatory and policy framework for the Digital Ecosystem are 
essential: an inclusive dialogue is needed to discuss and define appropriate legal and regulatory provisions; Regulators and Policy Makers must ensure consumer security; Regulatory, product quality and other protections in transactions, while at the same time avoiding over-regulating new collaborative and innovative business models; Competition Regulators will need to be watchful that the economies of scale and scope are not exploited contrary to law.

Source: GSR16 Discussion paper Building Blocks for Smart Societies in a Connected World