The ITU plans to consider revisions to its International Telecommunication Regulations this December. Concerns are growing that some Member States will seek to assert regulatory authority over the Internet through the ITU, and that such states might use any such authority to adopt policies harmful to the development and global reach of the Internet. A recent proposal by ETNO, an association of European telecom operators, confirms that the risks are dramatic.
ETNO’s proposal seems to urge fundamental changes to the way the Internet works. Our analysis concludes that while the ETNO proposals might benefit large, incumbent telecommunications operators, it will not likely expand Internet access in countries that need it most. Indeed, the ETNO proposals might even harm Internet users, impacting most heavily on those in less developed countries by limiting their right to access information, ideas, and knowledge and raising costs of offering their own content and services in the global online marketplace.