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WCIT: failure or success, impasse or way forward?

Richard Hill


This paper has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Law and Information Technology, Oxford University Press (forthcoming)


One of the treaties administered by the International Telecommunications Union is the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs), whose purpose is to promote the development of telecommunication services.  The 1988 version of the ITRs opened the way for privatisation, liberalization, and the growth of the Internet and mobile networks.  Given the subsequent significant structure and technological changes, the ITU membership agreed to meet in 2012 to revise the ITRs.  While consensus was found on an overwhelming majority of the treaty text, some provisions proved to be controversial, leading to a split in the membership and sharp criticism of selected provisions.  This paper analyses that criticism and attempts to place it in context.