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Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2018

D-PREF-BB.REG_OUT01-2018-OAS-JPG-E.jpgThis edition of the Global ICT Regulatory Outlook builds on its predecessor first edition. New this year is unique evidence from around the world charting the evolution of policy and regulation in ICTs and, by extension, in the digital economy.
This is an exciting time for regulators – and what they need more than ever, is detailed evidence to support their decision-making, enabling them to lead the way in digital transformation with confidence.
This report is based on inputs from 190 countries and offers an objective/neutral perspective on the latest trends driving ICT policy and regulation. Regulatory topics are explored through factual graphic analysis and complemented by country experiences. This powerful combination enables us to decipher complex, multi-faceted issues and make sense of the rich body of regulatory experience from all regions. While some findings are intuitive, others offer surprises.
One overriding strength of the report – and a source of its credibility – is its direct link to the every day work of ICT regulators worldwide and its bottom-up, empirical approach.
The insights and patterns revealed by the extensive, cross-sector analysis indicate the general direction of regulation over the next years and allow us to chart the trends – sustained or emerging – in regulatory leadership for the digital transformation.​

New regulatory horizons


New technological phenomena will drive and define a new paradigm for regulation – for many regulatory issues, what is coming down the road will cause fundamental upheaval rather than seamless evolution. Many existing core regulatory questions and fixtures will take on a new meaning and will need to be re-tooled (see Figure below).

Figure: Regulatory upheaval for new and emerging technologies
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Regulatory thinking cycle 4.0


A broad framework for exploring new technologies and design principles should form the basis for a revisited regulatory thinking cycle, one that supports collective thinking on new technological paradigms led by regulators.
The cycle we propose covers ten steps (see Figure below).

Figure: Regulatory thinking cycle for collaborative regulation

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Collaborative regulation worldwide – medal winners and missed opportunities


All indications emphatically underline that we need more collaboration – better channels and more bandwidth. Although there has been unequivocally agreement on the benefits of collaboration, progress has been stalled by power battles, lack of resources and misconceptions. In 2019, we will investigate the causes of this limited take-up of collaboration and its impact. However, we have a pressing message for regulators across the board: solid progress towards inclusive and collaborative regulation is needed for the good of all users of digital services, now and into the future.

In preparing this report, we conducted extensive research and have had direct contact with regulators. We gathered conclusive evidence on the breadth and depth of regulatory collaboration. Our  findings are helpful in drawing the global map of regulatory collaboration, allowing us to pinpoint achievements and gaps – and help provide guidance on where to concentrate efforts and resources. The evidence also makes the case for sound collaboration across governments.  

Figure 90: The state of regulatory collaboration in 2018
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More analysis, data and insights


Please check the full report
Electronic copies are free for ITU Members and available for sale for non-Members.
Hard copies of the Global ICT Regulatory Outlook 2018 are available for sale.