Digital Regulation Platform

Policies to promote inclusion

Cross-sectoral policies: digital skills and literacy Universal access (UA) policies have evolved to extend beyond the information and communications technology (ICT) sector itself, more broadly including cross-sectoral approaches that can leverage ICT benefits across multiple economic segments. The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development (the Broadband Commission) highlights the idea of “meaningful universal connectivity,” encompassing broadband adoption that is “not just available, accessible, relevant and affordable, but that is also safe, trusted, empowering users and leading to positive impact” (Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development 2019: ix). The ideas of empowering users and leading to positive impact are arguably the ultimate goals…

Read »

Monitoring and evaluation of universal access impact

A key consideration for the design and implementation of policies aimed at promoting access for all is ensuring ongoing monitoring and evaluation of whether a policy or individual project is meeting its intended goals. This consideration of accountability should be a foundational design component of universal access (UA) approaches, and relies both on clear, measurable objectives and on the ability to measure progress against them. In a sense, this equates UA policies and plans with many other government policies or programmes, for which policy-makers need to design and implement mechanisms for monitoring effects. In addition to transparently disbursing funds in…

Read »
Norway: experiences in regulatory collaboration

Norway: experiences in regulatory collaboration

Regulatory collaboration among sectoral regulators Source: Bergen, Norway. Photo by Mikita Krasiou on Unsplash According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Benchmark of Fifth Generation Collaborative Regulation (G5 Benchmark), Norway is the world’s leading G5 regulator (ITU 2020). The ITU also ranks Norway as one of the top countries in terms of harnessing the value of collaboration in digital markets regulation. This position is shared with Botswana, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Accordingly, Norway’s mature ICT regulatory framework and its ability to consistently develop synergies between digital services and cross-sectoral collaboration have led the ITU to identify Norway as a…

Read »
Singapore: Regulatory collaboration in support of the Smart Nation program

Singapore: Regulatory collaboration in support of the Smart Nation program

Regulatory collaboration among sectoral regulators Singapore is one of the world’s fifth-generation (G5) regulatory champions with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) identifying the country as a digital leader with a mature ICT framework. Singapore has been able to transform the country’s industry and government institutions, harnessing technology and attaining the benefits of digitalization and cross-sector, collaborative regulation. Particularly, regarding collaboration, Singapore leads the ITU G5 benchmark, together with countries such as Botswana, Norway, and the United Kingdom (ITU 2020). Heading towards digital transformation As early as 1980, Singapore started its transformation towards digitalization with the recognition of ICTs as a…

Read »
Emerging approaches of the digital regulator

Emerging approaches of the digital regulator

Australia’s Digital Platforms Inquiry As digitalization progresses, governments around the world are increasingly reviewing how digital services fit into their existing frameworks and whether new ones are necessary. From social media platforms to offering linear broadcasting content online, many governments are seeking to reimagine the sector. Thus, an increasing number of governments are asking which regulatory mechanisms should be used to affect digital services, whether new regulations should be created, and under which regulatory body do these services fall? Efforts to answer these questions are already underway in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland. This section examines how Australia is…

Read »
Regulatory independence: how to achieve it and how to maintain it

Regulatory independence: how to achieve it and how to maintain it

When 69 Member Nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreed to open their markets to companies from other WTO Members in 1997 they also adopted a document that was unique in the annals of international trade negotiations – the Reference Paper on Regulatory Principles. The Reference Paper was negotiated based on an understanding of the nature of telecommunications markets – in particular that, even when opened to competition, it is essential that the market be regulated in order to allow new entrants to compete with entrenched incumbent operators (referred to in the Reference Paper as “major suppliers.”) One of…

Read »
Emergency communications

Emergency communications

Introduction Telecommunications and information and communication technologies (telecom/ICTs) are critical for disaster management and risk reduction as they are used for monitoring the underlying hazards and delivering vital information to all stakeholders, including the most vulnerable societies at risk. The effective management of disaster risk depends on the level of preparedness and communication and information sharing across all levels of government, within communities, and between public and private organizations. In that sense, National Emergency Telecommunications Plans (NETPs) can articulate a strategy to enable and ensure communications availability during all four phases of disaster management: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The…

Read »
Access for All

Access for All

Introduction Digital technologies are increasingly a central part of peoples’ lives, reshaping the way we live, work, and play and creating new opportunities for social and economic development. Businesses are, in turn, using information and communication technologies (ICTs) to fundamentally transform their processes, increase efficiency, develop new products, and enhance their customers’ experience. However, the shift towards an increasingly digital economy can widen the digital divide further between those able to benefit from the digital transformation and those that are not – either because they are in socially and economically disadvantaged sectors of the population or in areas without access…

Read »
The work the ITU Standardization Sector (ITU-T) on artificial intelligence

The work the ITU Standardization Sector (ITU-T) on artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) ITU works on the development and use of AI to ensure a sustainable future. To that end, it convenes intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder dialogues, develops international standards and frameworks, and helps in capacity building for the use of AI. AI and Machine Learning are gaining a larger share of the ITU standardization work programme in fields such as network orchestration and management, multimedia coding, service quality assessment, operational aspects of service provision and telecom management, cable networks, digital health, environmental efficiency, and autonomous driving. ITU organises the annual AI for Good Global Summit, which aims to connect innovators…

Read »
The impact of policies, regulation, and institutions on ICT sector performance

The impact of policies, regulation, and institutions on ICT sector performance

Introduction The current crisis has brought new challenges to the ICT sector. Regulatory frameworks need to be adjusted to stimulate investment while maintaining a moderate level of competition. Markets and consumer benefits are now examined by decision-makers through the lens of financial adversity and uncertain outlooks. Amid disruption, policy-makers and regulators need evidence-based guidance that provides a solid ground for their reforms. A new ITU study has used econometric modelling to examine the impact of the regulatory and institutional frameworks on the performance of the ICT (Information Communication Technologies) sector and its contribution to the national economy as a whole.…

Read »