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USTTI's 2013 Training Begins and Inaugural Board Member Blog
April 2, 2013

Snowflakes and cold temperatures greeted USTTI scholars for the first day of our 31st year of tuition-free training. Inquisitive officials from Latin America, South-East Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa are beginning the year with the intensive two week course "Radio Frequency Spectrum Management", sponsored by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). During their training scholars hear from the NTIA's subject matter experts who will address spectrum management principles, national spectrum planning, standards and engineering analysis.

During the month of April the USTTI's curriculum will continue with US Government and ICT industry experts from The Federal Communications Commission, The Department of Homeland Security, AT&T, IBM, VeriSign, Intel, Cisco and Voice of America conducting important courses in cybersecurity, spectrum monitoring and TV studio design.

To date, we have already received 7,009 applications from 1,744 individuals in 110 developing countries. Course sponsors are still in the process of accepting applications for popular second trimester courses in Rule of Law, Management, ICT Policy and Regulation, Mobile Broadband, Distance Learning and Satellite Communications.

Board Member Blog

In order for USTTI graduates and applicants to benefit directly from members of the USTTI Board, we have added our Board Member Blog feature to allow our alumni to read the views of individual board members on subjects that are important in the global ICT marketplace. The forum is intended to provide a valuable new source of information for USTTI graduates to consider as they work to achieve increased, affordable ICT access for your fellow country- men and women.

This month's Board Member Blog is written by Hon. Lawrence Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information and Administrator of the NTIA, U.S. Department of Commerce and provides his insights about multi-stakeholder internet governance.

Moving Together Beyond Dubai


I am honored to offer the inaugural contribution to the United States Telecommunications and Training Institute (USTTI) blog. USTTI has been an important institution for cooperation and the mutual sharing of expertise to meet our shared challenges with respect to communications technology. The United States Government remains committed to this example of enhanced cooperation and the friendships and cooperation that result from USTTI programs.

Today the world's citizens are benefitting from the growth and innovation of the Internet. The Internet has flourished because of the approach taken from its infancy to resolve technical and policy questions. Known as the multistakeholder process, it involves the full involvement of all stakeholders, consensus-based decision-making and operating in an open, transparent and accountable manner. The multistakeholder model has promoted freedom of expression, both online and off. It has ensured the Internet is a robust, open platform for innovation, investment, economic growth and the creation of wealth throughout the world, including in developing countries.

For these reasons, the United States Government is committed to the multistakeholder model as the appropriate process for addressing Internet policy and governance issues. We believe that the Internet's decentralized, multistakeholder processes enable us all to benefit from the engagement of all interested parties. By encouraging the participation of industry, civil society, technical and academic experts, and governments from around the globe, multistakeholder processes result in broader and more creative problem solving than traditional governmental approaches.

I appreciate that some of you may have other perspectives or experiences regarding existing multistakeholder institutions. At NTIA, we have made it a priority to work with colleagues so that these institutions are more welcoming to all governments and provide governments a meaningful role in decision-making processes. One example is the substantial reform made over the last three years at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to make its Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) more responsive to government needs and more effective in ensuring that decisions of ICANN's Board take public policy concerns into account. We recognize however that more needs to be done and that these efforts need to seek the engagement of all nations. The same can be said for the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), where we are committed to getting the necessary funding and staffing to allow the IGF to flourish as a venue for all stakeholders, including governments, to participate in meaningful problem solving discussions.

In Dubai, I had the privilege to hear first hand from many of you about the real and practical challenges you face on issues such as maintaining sustainable investment in communication infrastructure and online problems of spam, child pornography and the like. We have many, if not all, of the same challenges in the United States. The environment of tense, politically charged treaty negotiations did not serve as a venue for constructive dialogue and unfortunately, we could not reach consensus with respect to the final outcomes of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT).

The Dubai experience in no way lessens our desire to listen and understand the needs of the developing world and to work collaboratively on meaningful solutions. In fact, it is just the opposite. Luckily, venues like USTTI, the IGF, and bilateral meetings allow us to sit down for frank and honest exchanges, in the way friends can do, to find practical and informed solutions as well as methods for sustained capacity building. As we move forward, the United States is fully committed to engage in these dialogues and if we need to consider new, flexible mechanisms to solve problems, we are committed to work with governments and other stakeholders to do just that.

Decentralized control over the Internet involving innovators, entrepreneurs and experts is far preferable to a top-down government approach that has political dealmakers charting the future of the Internet, especially for citizens of countries in the developing world. We need to work together to chart a course beyond Dubai that considers these matters in suitable multistakeholder venues so that discussions are well informed by the voices of all interested parties. Our shared commitment should be to ensure that our respective citizens benefit from the Internet and our USTTI bonds provide a solid foundation for us to chart a path forward together.

Lawrence E. Strickling is U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, and Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). NTIA is the executive branch agency principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues.


Alumni Update

USTTI is proud to highlight some of the professional success stories from our alumni in our monthly updates:

Mr. Ndukwe Collins (Nigeria), 2011 alumnus of the USTTI's Mobile Broadband training: Mr. Collins was recently hired by Google as Program Manager (Infrastructure) for Emerging Markets. In this new role, Mr. Collins is focused on developing and facilitating broadband access across emerging markets, particularly throughout Sub Saharan Africa. Mr. Collins' goal is to help Google facilitate a broad change to the Sub Saharan African Internet ecosystem, expanding broadband access by removing consumer and business barriers to broadband access.

Mr. Collins credits his USTTI Mobile Broadband training with providing valuable skills that not only helped him through the rigorous Google interview process, but which have also prepared him to successfully execute his daily operations at Google.

USTTI always welcomes success stories from graduates. Whether you have received a recent promotion or embarked on a new project, please keep us updated as you enjoy success after your USTTI training. Please send all alumni success stories to USTTI Curriculum Coordinator, Mike Beirne at mbeirne@ustti.org or USTTI Curriculum Coordinator, Liam Quinn, at lquinn@ustti.org.

 

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