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ITU-WB Digital Regulation Conversation


​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​Moving the Regulatory Cursor for Digital Regulation

With digital transformation affecting every aspect of our lives, regulatory structures and frameworks that have traditionally been organized on a sectoral or domain basis are evolving to adapt to a changing environment. The pandemic has put universal connectivity at the forefront of world leader's agenda. Today, addressing digital exclusion and closing the digital divide is a must. While the fundamental aspects of ICT regulation remain important, the greatest regulatory challenges arise from the emergence of a data driven economy led by new technologies, applications and associated new business models. Leveraging on the outcomes of the ITU-World Bank Digital Regulation Handbook and Platform, heads of regulators and other ICT stakeholders will join the authors of the handbook to engage in a conversation on tackling emerging questions associated with digital transformation from a regulatory perspective. As we look to the future, a more flexible and collaborative approach will be needed to respond to the issues arising from the digital economy in the new normal.

Provisional Agenda​

​15h00 - 15h10 Opening Conversation Setting the Stage
Ms Boutheina Guermazi, Director, Digital Development, Infrastructure Practice Group, The World Bank (bio)
Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), ITU (bio)

15h10 - 15h50 Conversation Part 1: The evolution of regulation – adapting to change
Guiding questions:
• Do the basics of ICT regulation still apply in light of digital transformation sweeping across sectors? In a data driven environment, are regulatory institutions fit for purpose to address the evolution of digital technologies and their impact on consumers and businesses?
• What regulatory measures are needed to address the complexity of the digital ecosystem in a fair, inclusive and informed manner to nurture socio-economic growth? Is there need for market redefinition in the digital economic space?
• ​A number of emergency measures were taken to ensure the resilience of networks and business continuity during the first and second wave of the pandemic; how might those new imperatives shape regulatory patterns in the future? What long-term impact will this crisis have on collaborative practices across the board – among regulators, between regulators and policy makers, and with the industry? 

Moderator: Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin, ITU BDT Director
• Ms Pamela Gidi Masías, Undersecretary of Telecommunications, SUBTEL, Chile (bio)
• Dr Mohammed Altamimi, Governor, Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), 
Saudi Arabia (bio​)
• Mr Dan Sjöblom, Director-General, Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS), Sweden (bio)
• Mr Balcha Reba, Director General, Ethiopian Communications Authority, Ethiopia (bio)
• Mr Ahmad Bhinder, Assistant Vice President Group Regulatory Affairs, Axiata Group (bio)

Interactive open discussion and Q&A
Authors: Ms Janet Hernandez, President, Telecommunications Management Group (TMG) and Mr David Rogerson, Director, Incyte Consulting​.​

15h50 - 16h25 Conversation Part 2: Disruptive technologies - A case for regulatory change
 Guiding questions:
• Disruptive digital technologies are bringing a host of potential innovation to increase consumer welfare, what are the new regulatory aspects and tools to consider when making regulatory decisions? Balancing consumer protection and safe use with technological and business innovation to address the ever-increasing demand for data services, what are the technologies out there, how to ensure efficiency on the supply side (using regulatory tools such as licensing, spectrum access) and trust on the demand side?
• Why are collaborative approaches needed to support innovation, investment, socio-economic growth and digital development in this new normal we are experiencing? What are the lessons learned?

Moderator: Ms Boutheina GuermaziDirector, Digital Development, Infrastructure Practice Group, The World Bank
• Ms Mercy Wanjau, acting Director General, Communications Authority, Kenya (bio​)
• Mr Konstantinos Masselos, President, Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT)​, Greece (bio​)​​
• Mr ​Omar Mansoor Ansari, Chairman, ATRA, Afghanistan (bio​​)
• Mr Mario Fromow Rangel, Commissioner, Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones (IFT)​, Mexico​ (bio​)
• Ms Jennifer Manner, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Echostar (b​i​​​o​​​)

Interactive open discussion and Q&A
Authors: Mr 
Geraldo Neto, Senior Technical and Policy Adviser, TMG and Mr Ian Walden, Professor of Information and Communications Law and Director of the Centre for Commercial Law Studies, Queen Mary, University of London​.

16h30 End of the Conversation​​