[At-Large] a take on the ITU-ITR controversy

Carlton Samuels carlton.samuels at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 17:36:09 UTC 2012

Read the oped a couple days ago and yes, a very thoughtful analysis.  I
agree with you: much of the ITU/WCIT conversation is trash talk, designed
for more heat than light.

I do not believe the ITRs were contemplated as the end game here; there is
a larger strategic framework at play. Because any rational analysis will
show that proposals that would exact profound change are coming from well,
shall we say some unexpected places, notwithstanding the constant mention
of the usual bogeymen.   However, while I share some of your concerns, some
of the stark differences you appear to outline are, in my opinion, much
more nuanced.

A couple of few things.  If we think the commercial interests will
dominate, then the needs/aspirations/cultural affinities of Internet users
will become central to all propositions.  They will follow the money....and
act on fact.

The locus for Internet growth is the Asia/Pacific and African regions.
 Ditto the prospects for further development, if only to address the
opportunities presented by this fact. So surely the moves of commercial
operators mindful of their prospects are going to be heavily mediated by
the presence in the space of 2+ billion Chinese and Indians.

Trading on these facts alone, for me, the principal traction in the latest
round of gTLDs is the improved prospects for   Internationalized Domain
Names (IDN) it brings to fore.

I am convinced that continued growth and development demand collaborations
between the interests, North & South, East, West and all points between.
All of the old ideas of a uni-polar world goes with it. The very nature,
the very idea of the Internet is hostile to hegemony and exceptionalism.

I am unanimous  that a balanced multistakeholder approach and process to
matters Internet is best positioned for successful stewardship.

You mentioned two major actions - unbundling software from hardware and
common carriage concepts for telecommunications - as major actions that
inured to the global public interest. Further examination will show one was
initiated by a state actor in a metropolitan country, the other by
commercial actors. So on the balance of the facts, I am not yet persuaded
that state actors are the best if not the only guarantors of the global
public interest.

I have a difficulty with the supposition of the public interest as alien
and mutually exclusive turf to commercial and civil interests.


Carlton A Samuels
Mobile: 876-818-1799
*Strategy, Planning, Governance, Assessment & Turnaround*

On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 11:22 PM, parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>wrote:

> Hi All
> I did a lead oped on the ITU-ITRs controversy in the Indian daily 'The
> Hindu'
> http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/hyping-one-threat-to-hide-another/article4140922.ece
> Thought it may interest some of you.
> parminder
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