U.S. Hopeful WCIT Will Avoid Net Governance

But concerns remain about implicit, rather than explicit, threats
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Ambassador Philip L. Verveer, U.S Coordinator for
International Communications and Information Policy, said in an interview
Tuesday that he had reason to be confident there would be "no direct
effort at affecting Internet governance" at the WCIT 12 international telecom
treaty conference in Dubai, though there was still concern about indirect
proposals.

Those, he said, could expand jurisdiction of international
telecom regulations in ways the U.S. would find troubling, including affecting
traffic management, the transmission architecture of the Internet or content
control. Still, he said the U.S. remained optimistic that the conference
ultimately will not "intrude into areas that would be a source of concern
to us."

The U.S. chief concern was that legitimate issues like
extending broadband to the unserved would be used to justify greater government
control over the Net, rather than recognizing the value of a multistakeholder,
private industry driven model.

"I think we are hopeful that the conference will deal
explicitly or implicitly with the very legitimate questions of the availability
and affordability of broadband, but will deal with these questions at least
implicitly in terms of recognizing the advantages of privatized, liberalized
approaches."

He said a successful conference would mean regulations not
vastly different from the existing ones. "We have a winner and we ought to
go with it."

The conference is scheduled to extend through Dec. 14. FCC chairman
Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell are at the conference as
part of a large U.S. presence.

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