WTSA-16 preparations

By on 8 Aug 2016

Category: Policy

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APNIC is participating in a series of meetings that form the preparatory process for the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) World Telecommunications Standardization Assembly (WTSA-16).

The world conference will be held later this year in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia, from 25 October to 3 November. The Asia Pacific preparatory process is hosted by the Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT). Consisting of four meetings in total, I have participated in the second and third meetings already, the final meeting will be hosted by the Ministry of Information and Communications, Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, and will be held in Da Nang later this month from 23 to 26 August.

Held every four years, the WTSA itself is largely a review of the objectives and working methods of the ITU Study Group system. These working groups develop standards and recommendations for the global network of telecommunications carriers.

Although this meeting is likely to be less acrimonious than the 2012 meeting just prior to the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), there remain areas of concern to the network operator communities. APNIC’s involvement in the process is to assist delegations from Member States by alerting them to any unintended consequences their decisions may have on the Internet community. The preparatory meetings and conference itself also provide an opportunity for governmental outreach and information sharing about Internet technologies, the addressing system, and the network operator community.

Existing agreements (called Resolutions) defined by the WTSA expand the ITU’s areas of interest beyond international telecommunications standards to include such things as internationalized domain names (IDNs), ccTLDs, cybersecurity, ENUM, SPAM, IPv6 deployment, the intersect of IP-based systems with the addressing and numbering used in telecommunications systems, and much more. There are also agreements under the purview of the WTSA that cover technological response to climate change by telecommunications providers, access for people with disabilities, collaboration with other standards organizations, and so on.

The structure of the conference will see the formation of five Committees: Steering, Budget Control and Editorial are three that provide administrative support to the meeting; then Working Methods, and ITU-T Work Programme and Organization look at how the study groups work and what they work on respectively.

There have been no discussions so far in the preparatory process being run by the APT regarding the DNS, however cybersecurity, CERTs, and IPv6 are being discussed. Resolution 64, titled ‘IP address allocation and facilitating the transition to and deployment of IPv6’ was the subject of proposed amendments. The intent of the proposed changes are to encourage government departments and/or telecommunications regulators to consider issuing a mandate for the deployment of IPv6 by Internet Service Providers.

There were three proposals regarding Resolution 50 on Cybersecurity. One in particular could have significant ramifications. It calls for all participants in a hard/software value chain for a system or solution to be made responsible for its role, and for mitigation and resolution towards the remediation of cyber threats.

Throughout the remainder of the preparatory process and at the world conference itself I will keep the APNIC community informed of the most significant developments, so keep watching this space.

I reported on the Second APT Preparatory meeting for the WTSA.

Photos from the 3rd Meeting of the APT Preparatory Group for WTSA-16 (WTSA16-3)

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.

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