Washington

ITU: Progress on ROAs vs. OA Debate at WCIT-12 Conference

Expected to be taken up in general session Tuesday in Dubai 12/11/2012 09:50:32 AM Eastern

There has been some progress on the debate
over whether to expand the definition of recognized operating agencies (ROA) to
include operating agencies, according to an ITU official briefing reporters
Tuesday on the WCIT-12 treaty conference in Dubai.

The
U.S. has been firm on its
position that the definition remain ROA so that the entities to treaties cover
are not expanded beyond telecom networks into broadband content providers and
beyond telecom into Internet governance, as some countries have pushed for.

Paul
Conneally of the ITU said that while discussions continued on ROA vs. OA,
"I do believe we can say that progress has been made on that, with more
countries one of the propositions." He did not say which one was getting
more traction, but that was expected to be taken up at a plenary session
Tuesday. "We may even have a conclusion to that [Tuesday]," he said.

The
U.S. was also concerned that the members of the conference would try to use
concerns about the cost of data roaming to get into price controls, but
according to Conneally there was initial consensus on text that would simply
say that member states "shall encourage competition for international
roaming," with a view to keeping user prices down.

The
conference is scheduled to end Friday.

March