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World Conference on International Telecommunications
International Telecommunication Regulations

One of the treaties administered by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) 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 convence the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) . Material concerning that conference and that treaty is found below. This material is provided free of charge for non-commercial use only. Any commercial use is subject to the agreement of the author.


  summary published by IP-Watch

         Presentation made at the 2013 EPFL Congress on Surveillance and Privacy

         "Cybersecurity and spam: WCIT and the future" (with Shawn Powers), World Cyberspace Cooperation Summit IV, 5-6 November 2013, Silicon Valley, California, USA

         Book The New International Telecommunications Regulations and the Internet: A Commentary and Legislative History (2013) Schulthess/Springer
Available in Switzerland at:

Available elsewhere at:

Review by prof. Shawn Powers, International Journal of Communications, vol. 8 p. 749 <http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/2732/1098>
Review by prof. Milton Mueller, IGP Blog
<http://www.internetgovernance.org/2014/03/13/what-did-the-wcit-really-do-a-review/ >


  Proposal regarding accession to the ITRs

European Council document DS 1335/13: Outcome of the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT)

Note: the following statement on page 6 of that document is not correct:

"That said, there are provisions in the final text such as the right of ITU Member countries to access telecommunications services (mentioned in the preamble) and the extension of scope of the whole treaty to all operators (rather than "recognised operating agencies" as in the previous 1988 Treaty) which represent additional burdens on signatories in comparison to the 1988 Treaty."

As shown in the  International Journal of Law and Information Technology article cited above, there is no extension of scope and the preamble does not create any new rights. These provisions do not represent additional burdens on signatories in comparision to the 1988 Treaty.


 Submissions to the ITU Council Expert Group on the International Telecommunications Regulations (EG-ITRs) convened in 2023:

         EG-ITRs-1/2: Overall considerations, with 15 addendums reviewing each article of the ITRs and possible gaps

         EG-ITRs-1/3: Proposal for working methods and work plan of EG-ITRs