Digital Regulation Platform
Regulatory responses to evolving technologies

Regulatory responses to evolving technologies

Introduction The digitization of societies and economies is continuously generating record amounts of data. Digitization is driven by increased and faster connectivity of people and things. Fibre to the home (FTTx) and fast mobile networks provide the opportunity to engage in digital activities, and social media and user-generated content provide the motivation for it. At the same time, more objects become “smart”, i.e. connected to the Internet to receive and send data. As a result of the explosion of data, new technologies have evolved that help to sift through data and derive value from combining and analysing large data sets.…

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Consumer affairs

Consumer affairs

Introduction to digital consumer rights Why care about consumers? Digital transformation of the economy has many facets, including digitization of products themselves, of production processes, of the means of advertising and distributing products, of transacting to acquire them, and of course of communications. Consumers have important interests in each facet, but perhaps especially in communications and the content and other facilities accessed via communications networks and tools. This chapter covers regulatory issues related to consumer interests in connectivity, and outlines consumer issues related to digital content, transactions, advertising, and distribution. Empowering and protecting consumers has become a more important part…

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Data protection and trust

Data protection and trust

Introduction Data are sometimes described as the “oil of the digital economy”[1] while their use in the digital economy is sometimes referred to as “surveillance capitalism.”[2] While the former has relatively benign connotations, the latter directly provokes concerns about the use of personal data.[3] This chapter focuses on regulatory aspects of data with an emphasis on personal data. The digital transformation process has necessarily focused attention on the adequacy of, and need for, legal and regulatory frameworks that govern information products, services, and platforms. Intellectual property laws, especially copyright, have had to be revised to reflect the increasing value of…

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Competition and economics

Competition and economics

Introduction: Regulatory transformation in the digital economy Over the past 10 years there has been significant market and regulatory disruption caused by digital transformation. This disruption, which is set to continue, extends to almost all corners of the economy, and is primarily the result of a transition to data-centric business models based on digital platforms (ITU 2020a). Digital platforms are embedding market power and, in a race for scale and scope, leading to transnational markets. This means that regulation is increasingly beyond the scope of individual national regulatory authorities (NRAs).[1] Elsewhere, NRAs have to work in regional collaboration if they…

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Regulatory governance and independence

Regulatory governance and independence

Introduction The regulatory framework, as well as the regulatory governance and independence of the institution, are key elements for effective regulation. Today, regulators and policy-makers face multiple challenges: they must address the traditional aspects of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and assess their appropriate roles in addressing the regulatory and policy issues arising from new digital technologies and services. In addition to more traditional issues, such as connectivity and infrastructure development, the digital environment prompts consideration of a broader range of sectors beyond ICTs, such as health, finance, education, transportation, and energy. The issues to be addressed include content regulation,…

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GSR best practices guidelines on the gold standard for digital regulation (2020) and to fast forward digital connectivity (2019)

GSR best practices guidelines on the gold standard for digital regulation (2020) and to fast forward digital connectivity (2019)

Regulators participating in the 19th and 20th edition of the Global Symposium for Regulators adopted the following best practice guidelines to set the gold standard for digital regulation and to fast forward digital connectivity. Regulatory best practice guidelines to set the gold standard for digital regulation 1 Demonstrating regulatory thought leadership for digital transformation While recognizing that digital regulation will be led by the core policy design principles outlined in the GSR-19 Best Practice Guidelines to fast forward digital connectivity for all, we identified the following fundamentals for sound, future-proof regulatory frameworks to respond to the challenges of digital transformation…

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Developing a telecommunications/ ICT contingency plan for a pandemic response

Developing a telecommunications/ ICT contingency plan for a pandemic response

(Adapted from the ITU Guide to develop a telecommunications/ ICT contingency plan for a pandemic response) Summary The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated the essential role of connectivity worldwide and the importance of having telecommunications and ICT in place for coordination mechanisms to respond to it. The response has demonstrated the strategic importance of a robust, resilient, and secure telecommunications/ICT infrastructure to social welfare and the global economy. This pandemic is the biggest global health crisis in decades. All government agencies and stakeholders involved in disaster risk management, including government decision-makers and the community in general should deploy coordination mechanisms and…

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Use of shared spectrum at the national level

Use of shared spectrum at the national level

Types of spectrum sharing licensing regimes Shared access regimes are one way for regulators to open spectrum to more users and to facilitate the use of spectrum bands, especially when an exclusive use is not possible in the short term. Spectrum sharing can either be part of a licensed or unlicensed regime. Under licensed shared access (LSA), use is authorized by a licence for a set of different types of services or between users, under conditions defined in the licence to avoid harmful interference. Under an unlicensed or licence-exempt regime, no licence is required, and the number of users is…

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Spectrum pricing and trading

Spectrum pricing and trading

Introduction In an increasingly digital environment, adequate access to spectrum is key to expanding the deployment and coverage of telecommunications networks, and addressing the ever-increasing demand for data services. These networks support a variety of online applications, extending the impact of spectrum management to several sectors of the economy by transforming the way people access resources for health, transportation, education, agriculture, government, and financial services. As a scarce resource, spectrum requires proper management from regulators, to ensure equitable access and an interference-free environment among different users and services, as well as to introduce new technologies. A key aspect is the…

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Overview of national spectrum licensing

Overview of national spectrum licensing

Source: ESA 2013. As a limited natural recourse, national administrations manage and assign the use of spectrum. In order to support the wide variety of different telecommunication services, as well as to mitigate possible harmful interference, regulators issue national tables of frequency allocations and establish licensing frameworks that govern how spectrum will be awarded in the country. Regulators also intervene to mitigate disputes in cases of harmful interference along national borders. This process includes working with neighbouring countries on cross-border frequency coordination, recording frequency assignments in the Master International Frequency Register (MIFR) in accordance with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)…

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