When we launched the i2Coalition, we outlined our list of priorities in supporting private investment to drive the “nuts and bolts” of the Internet for continued growth, including providing a unified voice for our industry goals. To effectively advocate, it is critical that we have a global reach as the public policy voice of the Internet’s infrastructure, which is why we have made connecting with the international community a focus.
In line with that goal, i2Coalition participated in the ICANN conference recently held in Toronto. ICANN’s primary principles of operation have been described as helping to preserve the operational stability of the Internet; to promote competition; to achieve broad representation of the global Internet community; and to develop policies appropriate to its mission through bottom-up, consensus-based processes. They are doing so, for the most part, without the bulk of the Internet Infrastructure community at the table. And as we learned, without a seat at the table, many decisions are being made about Internet governance that affect our businesses without our perspectives being taken into consideration.
We went to ICANN to determine whether a strategy is needed to get our voices heard in the ICANN process. We met with most of the GNSO Council, the heads of the ISP and Business Constituencies, developed lines of communication with the Government Advisory Council, and learned a lot about the multi-stakeholder process of Global Internet Governance. We are hard at work at building the right plan of long-term engagement. In addition, we met with a number of new potential partners and members, and were thrilled at how well our presence was generally received.
In addition, we are also focused on the International Telecommunication Union’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates that will be held this December. We met recently with leaders locally about WCIT in a meeting run by Ambassador Terry Kramer. They announced that from well over 100 applicants from civil society and industry, they put together a WCIT delegation to Dubai of 91 delegates from civil society, industry and government – mostly government. While we’re not delegates, they want to actively work with us on insights heading into December as well as on outreach activity. Collaboratively, we are for Internet freedom, broadband investment, open platforms, and voluntary standards.
Moving forward, we must continue to reach out to international leaders to help ensure the future economic growth and innovation of such an essential industry. Developing market-based standards to drive innovation for the Internet infrastructure industry on a global scale is vital to our efforts.