Washington

Genachowski Warns Of WCIT Proposals

Says "sender pay" approaches and ITU cybersecurity regime would threaten Internet innovation 10/10/2012 03:58:59 PM Eastern

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski warned an
audience at the Futurecom conference in Rio de Janeiro Wednesday that some of
the proposals being teed up for a December international telecom treaty
conference (the World Conference of International Telecommunications [WCIT]) in
Dubai could fundamentally threaten the Internet, turning a "virtuous cycle
of innovation and investment" into a "vicious cycle of lower
broadband demand and less infrastructure investment."

Genachowksi,
the Obama administration, and even congressional Republicans and Democrats are
on the same page that it would be unwise to move away from the multistakeholder
model of internet governance to a top-down, government-oriented model.

"There
are proposals that seek to impose on the Internet a new layer of outdated,
heavy-handed regulatory structures and to alter how Internet traffic is exchanged
- calling for a so-called "sender pays" approach," he said. "Other
proposals would involve the International Telecommunication Union [an arm of
the UN]in regulating cybersecurity, or could be used by countries
to support monitoring and restrictions on online communications."

None
of that fits with Genachowski's vision of an open Internet. "Proposals
like these will harm broadband-related innovation and investment throughout the
world," eh said, "and particularly in less developed countries. They
will increase uncertainty and raise costs for online innovators everywhere, and
could significantly limit access to Internet content and applications for
consumers in developing countries, which will in turn suppress demand for
broadband."

He
told his audience to reject calls to have the ITU involved in cybersecurity or
for governments to be involved in content control.

"Changes
to Internet governance that suppress innovation will not drive broadband
deployment," he said. "The opposite is true."

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