The civil liberties-protecting, multistakeholder approach to Internet governance and Internet Protocol version 6 recently took the spotlight at a high-level diplomatic conference, thanks in part to a senior official at the State Department.
Last week, Daniel Sepulveda, deputy assistant secretary of state and U.S. coordinator for international communications and information policy, led a U.S. delegation to the World Telecommunication/Information and Communication Technology Policy Forum in Geneva, Switzerland. The forum, organized by the International Telecommunication Union, sought to adopt six consensus-based opinions on Internet issues, reaffirming the multistakeholder process.
More than 800 delegates attended the high-level forum, including members of the private sector, government, NGOs and other stakeholders interested in Internet governance.
Opinions for adoption included:
1) Promoting Internet Exchange Points as a longterm solution to advance connectivity
2) Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity
3) Supporting capacity building for the deployment of IPv6
4) Supporting IPv6 adoption and transition from IPv4
5) Supporting multistakeholderism in Internet governance
6) Supporting operationalizing the enhanced cooperation process
“We stand at a ‘tipping point’ between the Internet as a vital enabler of social and economic progress in the industrialized world and the Internet as a valuable global resource and a basic commodity of human life everywhere,” Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU secretary general, said at forum’s opening session.
By the end of 2013, there will be nearly as many active mobile phones as there are people on the planet, he said, and nearly 2.7 billion will be using the Internet – with 2.1 billion active mobile-broadband subscriptions.
“But at the end of this year almost 70 percent of people in the developing world will still be offline,” Touré continued, urging delegates to focus on connectivity to address this critical shortfall.