NTIA Press Releases
For Immediate Release
October 6, 2000
Contact: Ranjit de Silva
(202) 482-7002
Art Brodsky
(202) 482-0019

U.S. DELEGATION OBJECTS TO ITU ASSEMBLY ACTION ON INTERNATIONAL INTERNET PRICING

U.S. officials take reservation at World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly on International Charging for Internet Services (AACS) issue

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- The U.S. delegation to the World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly (WTSA) meeting here today said it disagreed with a resolution adopted by the other nations attending the conference on the crucial issue of how charges will be assessed for international Internet traffic. The Assembly, which commenced on Sept. 27 and runs until today, meets every four years to establish work programs for the numerous study groups in the ITU Telecommunication Standardization body. It also approves various recommendations proposed over the previous four-year study cycle.

Malcolm Lee, U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the Department of State and Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information Gregory L. Rohde issued the following joint statement regarding Recommendation D.iii, adopted by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WSA) on Internet charging arrangements:

"The United States opposes the recommendation adopted by the WSA today and enters a reservation for the following reasons:

  1. The U.S. believes that the recommendation was premature and that further studies are necessary with respect to Internet charging arrangements. Thus, the U.S. advocated that the recommendation be returned to an ITU study group for further study prior to the adoption of any such recommendation.

  2. The language of the recommendation contained a number of internal contradictions and ambiguities, which will make its implementation problematic, if not impossible.
  3. The U.S. maintains that Internet charging arrangements are commercial in nature and that it is inappropriate for the ITU to adopt any recommendation at this time, which suggests that certain conditions should be imposed on such commercial arrangements.
  4. While, the U.S. strongly supports the goal of developing telecommunications and information infrastructure globally and remains committed to working cooperatively with all Nations to ensure Internet access to all regions of the world, it is concerned that the WTSA recommendation does not help to advance that goal.
  5. Further, the U.S. noted that the Internet has experienced rapid growth born in large part by strong private sector leadership. The U.S. firmly believes that governments and international organizations like the ITU must tread carefully and restrain from unnecessary regulations or recommendations that might hinder the spread of the benefits of the Internet to all regions.

In expressing its reservation, the U.S. indicated that it will not apply the recommendation and maintains that further study is necessary."

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