In reponse to your article (“Battle lines drawn ahead of debate on internet rules”, 6-12 September), it is fair to say that nobody questions the huge benefits the internet has brought to society and the economy over the past decades, nor do they dispute the importance of keeping an open and transparent internet.
People recognise that e-communications markets are undergoing a fundamental shift and ongoing investments by telecoms operators in network capacity and robustness have made internet innovation possible.
However, today traffic and revenue flows need to be realigned in order to assure the economic viability of infrastructure investment and the sustainability of the whole ecosystem.
The revision of the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) at the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) 2012 offers a unique opportunity to realise this.
The aim of a proposal by ETNO – the European Telecommunications Network Operators association – is to contribute to the achievement of a more sustainable model for the internet by encouraging commercial agreements between players. ETNO is not asking for increased regulatory intervention; on the contrary, it wants to avoid decisions that would prevent new business models from emerging or that would hamper differentiated offers.
As highlighted by the European Commission, operators should not be prevented from developing differentiated offers based on customer needs. New business models will ultimately create more choice for consumers and further encourage internet innovation.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the only globally recognised telecoms organisation in which all countries are actively involved. The ITR treaty is therefore the only truly global treaty on telecoms and as such, ETNO sees the ITR treaty as a fitting ‘home' for the principles it wishes to see introduced during the revision process.
Luigi Gambardella ETNO Executive Board Chair Brussels