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CyberForum Archive

April 17, 2002
Preparing for the ITU Plenipotentiary Conference
Welcome to this year's first USTTI Cyber Forum on "Preparing for the ITU
Plenipotentiary Conference." We invite you to submit your views and any
questions to our expert moderators.

Jorge Ciccorossi, Eng, Argentina
In the first place I would like to thank USTTI for allowing me to make a representation in this manner.

Below in detail are some of the matters that I am concerned about and consider require special attention in the next few years.
I also would like to know your opinion about them:

-Backlog in Satellite Network Filings: are the resources allocated and the strategic plan implemented enough to minimize this problem?

-Is Region 2 adequately represented in the ITU in connection with Space Services?

-Equal access and even development in telecommunication services through the leading role of satellite communications: let us not forget that man is social by nature and as such needs to communicate.

-Space applications: increase their use to preserve the planet.

Finally, I wish to thank you for your time and remain at your service to cooperate, should you so require, in the achievement of the above mentioned.

USTTI
Ray Crowell
Senior Advisor to USTTI Chairman

Thank you for your comments, Jorge. Here are replies to each part of your question:

1. The problems surrounding the ITU-R backlog in processing satellite filings for spectrum and orbit locations has attracted much attention and study over the past several years and progress is being made and there are more steps that can be taken to reduce the backlog. But it may well take some changes to the Radio Regs (at WRC-03) to change some requirements to reduce the amount of technical processing required by the Radio Bureau and thereby cut the amount of time needed to process the filings. Attention is being focused on this issue by Council and by the satellite backlog committee.

2. -- Is Region 2 (Americas) adequately represented in the ITU in connection with Space Services?

response: Generally yes; a number of R2 countries operate satellite systems and provide space services; and CITEL PCC III preparations for WRCs are very useful to the countries in the region.

3. Equal access and even development in telecom services through the leading role of satellite communications: let us not forget that man is social by nature and as such needs to communicate.

Response: No question that satellite communications has played and will continue to play a large role in making it possible for all countries (developed and developing) to communicate and to have access to spectrum/orbit resources.

4. Space applications: increase their use to preserve the planet.

Response: Yes, space research services, earth exploration-Satellite service and the many usages of satellites for collecting data and as a means to help manage natural resources is a valuable use of the radio frequency-spectrum for all in helping to preserve the planet.



Almega Yohannes Sera, Ethiopia
What is the ITU role pertaining to the internet matters? and how
The ITU policy and regulation acts on the question of
Who owns the Internet?

Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, FCC
The United States firmly believes that the Internet has prospered precisely because it has been able to function free of government regulation. Therefore, we do not support direct ITU involvement in the Internet and rather view it as a resource best made widely available to the public through private businesses.


Benson Ncube - Zimbabwe
In view of the fast developing communications technologies, the emerging economies are finding it very difficult to keep up with the develoments in the sector. What then is the role of ITU in helping such economies. Furthermore, new concepts are creeping into the developing countries, e.g. Telemedicine. Apperently telemedicine might help to improve the health delivery system in such countries. But it appears there is little dissemination of such information. It is also difficult for the researchers in those countries to get assistance in terms of setting up pilot projects in Telemedicine. What is the role of ITU in such circumstances. E.g. I am currently doing an MBA dissertation on telemedicine within Zimbabwe, but I am failing to have a pilot project that would demonstrate the potential benefits of telemedicine, to the key stakeholders. I would like to see more assistance in this develomental direction.

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
The ITU is currently addressing many of the issues involving telemedicine. At the WTDC held last month in Istanbul, the ITU spent a significant amount of time discussing telemedicine. One of the study groups of ITU-D will be focusing specific attention on teledmedicine. You can get more information from the ITU's web site, particularly if you look on the web pages devoted to the development sector.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Cesar Manuel Lovera ; Paraguay
I remember that the global ITU meeting has been every four years.
- How often is the global meeting today ?
- After each global meeting, the recommedation standards has been published in a specific color cover book. What is the book color cover of last standards ?
Regards.

Nancy J. Victory, Asst. Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the NTIA
This is Jack Gleason of NTIA's Office of International Affairs answering for Assistant Secretary Victory.

The ITU continues to hold Plenpotentiary Conferences every four years. In addition, each Sector (Development, Standardization and Radiocommunications) hold their own Conferences once during this four year period.

The most recent such Conference was just last month in Istanbul for the Development Sector.

Actual technical recommendations (standards) are now available in three ways; they are availabale over the internet; they are available in CD-ROMs; and, they are still availabale in hard copy from the ITU. Incidentally, developing countries are entitled to three free techncial recoomendations each year.


Omondi Daniel KENYA
what is ITU in conjunction with FCC doing or planning to reduce the cost of wireless communication gadgets and production in this global village?

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
As you are aware, the ITU and the FCC work closely together on many issues. The ITU has been focusing on many technical issues that, as they are adopted, promote the development of low-cost wireless phones. The FCC focuses on encouraging countries to establish independent regulators around the world that, together with private sector investment in wireless telecommunications facilities and other growth-oriented initiatives, result in lower cost wireless equipment and services. We think that the development of 3G services in the near future will also lead to lower costs for consumers around the world.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Viorica Buzdugan, Romania
First of all I want to thank for coming back with this forum. During the last year the questions and answers helped me for clarifying a lot of things in telecommunications field.

Could you please to explain the role of ITU in standardization in telecommunications’ world?

Who are the ITU Plenipotentiary?

Thank you for your time!

Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, FCC
Each country generally has its own either government or independent standard setting bodies that work in close coordination with the overall standard principals that are set forth by various ITU working groups. One of the reasons why the United States as well as other countries devote significant resources to working with the ITU on standards issues is that it forms the framework for the independent work that takes place in each country. These standards ultimately form the basis for the development of telecommunications equipment worldwide.

All member states as well as sector members are entitled to attend the Plenipot as observers.


Wasim Tauqir, Pakistan
What is USTTI doing in the interest of weak economies to regulate illegal international call termination using IP, mobile technology and satellite technologies? Please note that all these three are difficult to locate and intercept.

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
The USTTI has a robust series of courses that regulators from around the world can attend that focus on technical, regulatory, and legal issues. Those who take these courses are in a good position to help effectively enforce their countries' laws. However, you should be aware that in most countries, IP telephony is lawful and is an effective way of lowering costs to consumers.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Omondi Daniel Kenya
My question is what type of task forces and monitoring stratagy do ITU have in developing world where communication is desperatly poor?

Nancy J. Victory, Asst. Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the NTIA
Hello, this is Jack Gleason of NTIA respsonding on behalf of Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory. Thank you for your good question.

Each ITU Region has a regional office for the Development sector (ITU-D). If my memory is correct - and, it may not be - the African regional office is in Zimbabwe. I know when I was in Zimbabwe a few years back there an ITU office just outside Harare.

More to the point, the ITU-D publishes an annual report on the state of telecommunications and reform in developing countries' telecom sector. This is a very useful Report and I'd encourage you to get a copy from the ITU since it can provide you a number useful comparative staticts and, as well, give you a pretty good picture of how different countries are dealing with the issues associated with national telecom development.


Eng. Yahya Kahtani, Saudi Arabia
Thank you for keeping in touch, Can you please give me more details about the upcoming ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Morocco and possibility of me attending it?

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
The ITU's Plenipotentiary Conference will be held from September 23 - October 18, 2002 in Marrakech, Morocco. I expect that there will be an active delegation from Saudi Arabia at this very important meeting. I would suggest that you contact the appropriate government officials in Saudi Arabia who are organizing the delegation to become a member. I hope to see you in Marrakech.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Shaul Katz, Israel
I am writing you in regards to the concerns raised by transmitters operating in illegal (allocated to other services) frequency bands.

Recently, while attending a USTTI Spectrum course, a question was raised by one of the participants concerning long-range wireless telephones (not cellular telephones). It seems that in his country large quantities of those telephones are seized, on the basis that they are interfering with lawfully operating systems. This type of equipment is problematic here also.

I believe the ITU needs to adopt a strict policy, requesting the Member States to prohibit the manufacturing, advertisements and sale of this type of equipment in their territories. Such a policy will prove to be beneficial to all in protecting the spectrum source, and relatively easy to address through mutual cooperation lead by the ITU-R.

In my opinion, this issue should be dealt with increased attention. Not only does this consitute a form of electromagneti "pollution" but also such action endangers the operation of systems associated with safety of life.

I kindly ask to raise this issue in the forum, in order to discuss what shall be an effective way to achieve this goal.

Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, FCC
Under the International Radio Regulations all counties that are parties to an ITU treaty are bound to take steps to ensure that there is no interference from their equipment to equipment used in other counties.
This does not address specific issues regarding in-country interference and that is why each county has its own internal rules regarding harmful interference. It would be difficult for the ITU to develop country specific standards. The ITU should, however, continue to work on interference standardization issues as a framework for country specific standard setting.


Wasim Tauqir, Pakistan
Experts claim that competition can bring down tariff and enhance customer satisfaction.
In Pakistan, we have observed that competition among three multinational cellular operators could not bring down the tariff (majority multinational shareholders changing hands overseas without regulators involvement) but introduction of a fourth cellular operator (subsidiary of majority govt. owned incumbent) was instrumental in breaking the cartel and bringing the tariff down.
If this is the scenario in other countries too then, does it needs to be addressed jointly in the Marakech to keep the spirit of privatiztion and de-regulation alive?

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
Thank you for the very interesting information about the state of wireless competition in Pakistan. In the United States, we've found that the entry of the third wireless carrier had a substantial impact in lowering costs to consumers. Not surprisingly, it appears that the number of competitors in a market that result in effective competition may vary from place to place. We believe that it is important for countries to share information about their experiences regarding privatization so that the appropriate decision-makers can continue to promote effective competition and further successful privatization. This type of information can be successfully shared both in multi-lateral settings such as the ITU sector D and the Plenipotentiary, as well as in bilateral discussions between nations. An independent regulator and effective enforcement of competition law principles are keys to successfully increasing customer choices and lowering rates.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Wasim Tauqir, Pakistan
Adjacent AMP (800Mhz)& GSM (900Mhz) services (without a band gap) cause terrible interferences. Although some countries could afford to abondon AMPs altogether but leaves other nations in a dilemma. How would USTTI or FCC like to address this problem, especially that such situation is not repeated in IMT-2000 scenario, keeping in mind that even todate complete harmony doesn't appear to exist?

Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, FCC
This is really a spectrum allocation issue and each country must decide how best to allocate that resource to create a minimum level of interference. The United States is addressing this problem through the deployment of newer technology that will be capable of operating in both the GSM and the amps spectrum. You are correct that it appears unlikely that complete global harmonization will be possible for IMT-2000 and that is why the ability to produce handsets that access multiple parts of the spectrum will become more critical over time.


Moussa DABO SENEGAL
First of all I would like to express my satisfaction towrds your initiative to give me and my colleagues the opportunity to particpate at this international forum.
in our country we are now facing upcoming new private TV chanels. What can do UIT-T to increase the frequece disponibility.

Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, FCC
The ITU provides a global framework for frequency allocation that ensures countries do not create unacceptable interference to each other. It is then the responsibility of each government to adopt their own spectrum allocation policies within the framework adopted by the ITU. In the United States, for example, we continually look to accomodate multiple users within the spectrum on a non-interfering basis. Therefore, your country has significant flexbility to design a spectrum allocation plan that provides for the addition of private TV channels consistent with the ITU framework.


Doru Dumitru, Romania
We all know that nowadays telecommunications is a powerful force, which can bring together almost all of the mankind activities: finance, commerce, medicine, etc. It is a great challenge to regulate the players acting into the new and fast growing areas like e-commerce, e-finance and so on (based on 3G tech). Will the Conference address such matters and in what extent?

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
You are certainly correct that telecommunications is changing the way we live and work in remarkable and positive ways. These issues are being actively discussed in various fora of the ITU, including the D sector. These issues were actively discussed at the recent WTDC in Istanbul and is always the subject of lively discussion at the ITU's independent regulator forum, held annually. There are, of course, many other places where these important issues are being actively discussed within the ITU as well as in bilateral meetings between countries. I spend a significant amount of my time at the ITU and in our bilateral meetings addressing the issue of how to effectively use new technologies to make people's lives better. It is a very exciting time for everyone, and I know that in Romania there has been tremendous progress in this area. I hope to see you at one of the upcoming ITU or other meetings where these issues will be discussed.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Mr. Cristiani-Argentina
I would like to know your opinion about our view: Reform of ITU (doc. 084 (GTR) of Argentina. (I send this document to Kelly O´Keefe - USTTI-)Thank you.

Nancy J. Victory, Asst. Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the NTIA
Dear Antonio, this is Jack Gleason of NTIA sitting in for Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory who was called away for a few minutes.

Thank you for your good review of possible elements of ITU reform. I have had the privilege of hearing your presentation (most recently, I believe, in Slavadore, Brazil) and appreciate your innovative and creative approach to reforming the ITU.

In fairness,, I don't think there is sufficent time to exchange views on each element you have presented and, indeed, the United States continues to formulate additional views on reform right now.

As I believe you are aware, the current reform package for the Plenipotentiary to consider is somewhat limited - but, that simply reflects the interests and priorities of the Working Group on Reform participants.

In large part, it seems in this era that the ITU ought to concentrate on its core missions associated with its three Sectors. Moreover, we see the ITU as Member-driven and that the ITU ought to be primarily responsive to the concerns and priorities of its Members. As long as the ITU remains consistent to the principle of responsiveness to its Members, then form will follow function and ultimately the ITU will evolve its structure and procedures to meet the emerging needs.


George Mauponga, Tanzania
Which issues related to the ITU-D sector do you anticipate being most highly discussed at the Plenipotentiary Conference? We would like to hear you thoughts on this topic.

David A. Gross, Dep. Asst. Sec'y, Coordinator for Int'l Comm. & Information Policy, US Dept of State
There are a substantial number of important issues invovling digital opportunities, telemedicine, e-learning, and other critical issues that the recently held WTDC sent to the Plenipotentiary Conference. Those resolutions should be available on the ITU web site. In addition, you might want to review the Istanbul Action Plan that was adopted at the WTDC, as well as the proposed strategic plan for the D sector. Those documents are also available on the ITU web site. As you know, the Plenipotentiary lasts for about four weeks, so there should be plenty of time to discuss all of the important development related issues. In addition, the ITU Council starts its annual meeting this upcoming Monday, and some of these issues will be discussed at that time. During the past 20 years, the USTTI has been at the forefront of addressing many of these important development related issues and has provided invaluable assistance to regulators and others around the world.

Thank you for your question, and if you would like more information, please feel free to contact me at grossda@state.gov.


Cesar Manuel Lovera ; Paraguay
Is it possible that some non profit institutions, for example National Universities, dedicated to research and developements can obtain some Telecommunications Standards downloading the file o getting the CD ROM at very low price or for free ? Is there any web page available ?

Nancy J. Victory, Asst. Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the NTIA
Good morning, this is Jack Gleason of NTIA sitting in for Assistant Secretary Nancy Victory who had to leave us for a few minutes.

ITU-T technical standards are generally available in three forms; CD-ROMs, hard copy and over the ITU website. If you are not yourself a Member of the ITU, these standards may be available to you through your Ministry. Incidentally, developing countries are entitled to three free copies of standards each year.

Alternatively, you could consider an Associate membership to participate in one Study Group of the T-Sector. The Assocaite membership costs a good deal less than full membership and m,ight be a usseful choice if you can identify a study group which deals with the particular standards of interest to you and your organization.

Thanks for your good question, I hope this reply has been helpful.


Wasim Tauqir, Pakistan
A new entrant to this forum.
Developing countries are faced with the problem of 'limited available telecom managers, consultants, researchers and technology experts'. This leads to:
Absence of dynamic national telecom policies, adequate provisions in the telecom ACTs, lack of proper and effective legal framework and enforcement policies, spectrum mismanagement, improper or unavailable interoperability regulations, lack of motivation on the part of monopolistic incumbent wireline carrier, inadequate technical criteria to evaluate new major license applicants, etc.
ITU or most other WEB sources does not provide enough guidance on the above mentioned critical topics - in detail. However, there is a great emphasis on de-regulation and privitization.
My question is that, what is planned in the forthcoming plenipot to assist developing nations in the above scenarios and really work hand-in-hand to minimize the digital-divide?

Kathleen Abernathy, Commissioner, FCC
The Development sector of the ITU is charged with responsibility for assistance to developing nations and I refer you to the web sites of the Development Sector. The Plenipot then reviews these efforts. They will soon be reviewing the strategic plan established by ITU Development Sector and by ITU Council (that starts on Monday) to ensure that these issues are being adequately addressed. Many of the Development Sector recommendations are consistent with the goals and efforts of the USTTI over the past 20 years. Lastly, resolutions are adopted out of the Plenipot that directly affect development in other countries and they are then the focus of the ITU Development Sector efforts.



USTTI
Ambassador Michael R. Gardner
Chairman

Thank you for participating in today's cyberspace chat regarding the upcoming ITU Morocco Plenipotentiary Conference. It's been very helpful to us here in the United States to have such insightful input form our colleagues throughout the developing world about your concerns and goals for this conference. While we have not been able to answer all of your questions, we will attempt over the next few weeks to respond, so please keep checking the USTTI web site for additional information. Importantly, we look forward to working with you and delegates from your country when we get to Marrakesh so that we can reach a consensus on the issues that are important to our collective progress and to ensuring modern communications for every country of the world.

In the meantime, keep checking the USTTI web page for more information about USTTI courses and events of interest to you. Before the beginning of the Morocco Plenipot Conference, we will also have more details on our plans for the USTTI's 20th anniversary celebration at the Morocco ITU Plenipotentiary Conference in Marrakesh.


 

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