International Institute of Communications

Tel:+44 (0)20 8544 8076
Fax:+44 (0)20 8544 8077

social twitter sm  social linkedin sm  social youtube sm  social facebook sm

Innovation & Investment

IIC members discuss sustainable investment models, public private partnerships, progress with broadband plans and multi-sector, intelligent coordination. Debate continues around the best way to incentivise innovation and investment whilst delivering audience protection and plurality in a world where converged communications are changing the rules.

US proposes rural development fund for broadband

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.

  • Monday, 16 September 2019

Key speakers on Innovation & Investment

Alejandro Cantú Jiménez

Alejandro Cantú Jiménez

Adriana Labardini

Adriana Labardini

Alan Knott-Craig Jr.

Alan Knott-Craig Jr.

Alejandra de Iturriaga Gandini

Alejandra de Iturriaga Gandini

Alison Gillwald (PhD)

Alison Gillwald (PhD)

Alphonzo Samuels

Alphonzo Samuels

Talks on Innovation & Investment

Blogs on Innovation & Investment

More InterMedia articles on Innovation & Investment

  • The 'Superfit' Regulator

    MARTIN GEDDES describes how regulators can shape up to meet the realities of the digital age and give users broadband services that are fit for purpose

    July 2018, Volume 46 Issue 2

  • A Policy Playbook for Platforms

    In the second article on platforms in this issue, VICKI NASH and MARK BUNTING take a practical look at the role for policymakers in more effective oversight

    July 2018, Volume 46 Issue 2

  • Follow the Money

    Operators, governments and regulators face new challenges in coming to terms with Africa’s emerging digital services sector, writes RUSSELL SOUTHWOOD

    July 2018, Volume 46 Issue 2

  • Fibre: Taking the Right Steps

    To get the broadband infrastructure and consumer benefit that are needed, regulators have to abandon the short-term thinking that can stifle new entrants and investment, argue RICHARD CADMAN, JONATHAN KINGAN and GITA SORENSEN 

    April 2018, Volume 46 Issue 1

  • The Outlook for Auctions

    Einstein said, ‘Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.’ As MARTIN
    BICHLER and JACOB K. GOEREE discuss, it’s an axiom made for spectrum auctions

    April 2018, Volume 46 Issue 1

  • Signals for Latin America

    ANTONIO GARCIA ZABALLOS of the Inter-American Development Bank discusses shortcomings in Latin America and the Caribbean that could hold up investment.

    January 2018, Volume 45 Issue 4

  • Going for an Asia-Pacific agenda

    How should we define the digital economy and what are its policy implications? MARI PANGESTU and PETER LOVELOCK provide an Asia-Pacific perspective.

    January 2018, Volume 45 Issue 4

  • Is it time to regulate AI?

    Thanks to big increases in computing power, artificial intelligence has now become a legal and regulatory concern. MARC BEISHON weighs up the evidence for intervention.

    January 2018, Volume 45 Issue 4

  • Pricing and Policy in a 5G World

    In future, the revenue per MHz of spectrum used will decline dramatically as we move to 5G, writes STEFAN ZEHLE.

    July 2017, Volume 45 Issue 2

  • Principles for Policymakers

    Today’s media and communications world needs a fundamental set of principles to help policymakers determine public value. ROBERT PICARD and VICTOR PICKARD have just such a global set to hand.

    July 2017, Volume 45 Issue 2

  • Playing Fair

    Traditional audiovisual providers are increasingly concerned about the lack of a level playing field. Grupo Televisa's JAVIER TEJADO-DONDÉ gives his view.

    July 2017, Volume 45 Issue 2

  • Africa's Digital Future

    Digital transformation poses great challenges for developing inclusive, affordable services for all Africans - with regulators now under considerable pressure, reports RUSSELL SOUTHWOOD.

    July 2017, Volume 45 Issue 2

  • Shedding Light on 5G Policy

    In part two of his discussion of the ‘myth of 5G’, WILLIAM WEBB examines regulatory factors, spectrum issues and whether fixed-wireless access will be more than a promise - plus scenarios for the next few years

    July 2017, Volume 45 Issue 2

  • Taking the Wi-Fi Route

    Most of the visions for 5G are not based on what we really need, says WILLIAM WEBB. Here he examines what problems we are trying to solve and why Wi-Fi is as important as cellular networks.

    April 2017, Volume 45 Issue 1

  • Solving the Online Platform Puzzle

    How can policymakers make sense of the impact of online platforms? CHRISTIAN HILDEBRANDT and RENÉ ARNOLD put forward a model that covers the complex dimensions.

    April 2017, Volume 45 Issue 1

  • Include Fibre in Housing Policy

    With so much equity tied up in the world’s housing stock it makes sense to direct a proportion towards stalled fibre broadband rollouts, argues RICHARD FEASEY.

    April 2017, Volume 45 Issue 1

  • Making the Right Moves

    Behavioural economics is becoming popular because it promises to improve competition and consumer outcomes. But asTIM HOGG asks, is it a paradigm shift, a passing fad - or somewhere in between?

    April 2017, Volume 45 Issue 1

  • Shedding Light on Universal Broadband

    Canada has embarked on an ambitious universal broadband policy that could be a model for other countries, as HEATHER HUDSON details.

    April 2017, Volume 45 Issue 1

  • Understanding AI

    Applications of artificial intelligence have profound implications for societies. The US government and academics have been taking a close look.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Uphill Road Ahead for Autonomous Vehicles

    Connected and autonomous vehicles will be leading users of the internet of things and 5G technologies. But almost all of today’s societal and regulatory issues will converge on road transport, as Julian McGougan reports.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Virtual Networks

    Telecoms operators have missed the platforms boat but hope to regain ground with network virtualisation. RICHARD FEASEY discusses the technology and regulatory implications of a powerful but potentially double-edged movement.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Platform or Publisher?

    The US election has brought the debate about whether social media firms such as Facebook are really media players, not technology platforms, into sharp relief, as and discuss.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Facilitating Innovation

    We shouldn’t be complacent that the regulatory approaches of today will be enough to support innovators in the era of the internet of things, says JEREMY GODFREY.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Europe's New Code for OTT

    There are few issues more fraught than how to deal with over the top services. ANDREAS GRÜNWALD and CHRISTOPH NÜSSING examine Europe’s draft code.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Five questions for zero rating

    As a complement to our article in the last issue, Bronwyn Howell and Roslyn Layton pose five key questions to assess each case for zero rating.
    October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03

  • How the internet got Donald Trump elected

    The factors that combined to help elect the new US president have  the internet as a common denominator, reckons Eli Noam - and these  factors are now inherent in an internet-based economy.

    January 2017, Volume 44 Issue 4

  • Seamingly Successful

    Rene Arnold and Anna Schneider explore the level playing field debate on OTT services from a consumer perspective.
    October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03

  • High-flown ideas

    Should we be striving for the ‘level playing field’ with regulation of innovative, next-generation communications? Brian Williamson makes a strong case for setting them free.
    October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03

  • Challenges for Audiovisual Regulation

    How is media policy and regulation developing in a world moving from broadcasting to audiovisual content on many platforms? Joan Barata presents the agenda.
    October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03

  • TV in a mobile world

    Can broadcasting make the step into an increasingly mobile world? Roland Beutler discusses technology and business models in the context of public service remits, mobile network operators and the new world of 5G.
    October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03

  • Business as usual? Not any more!

    The US FCC is proposing a new name and a new regulatory framework for ‘special access’ services, as JONATHAN JACOB NADLER explains.
    October 2016, Volume 44 Issue 03


  • Competition and Big Data

    The legal highlights of a joint report by the French and German competition authorities on the use of data are discussed by Tim Cowen.
    July 2016, Volume 44 Issue 02

  • Friendly foes

    How can network operators and service providers settle value for their wares in a converged world, where services are network agnostic? sumit sharma presents a bargaining framework that could unite all players in a ‘game’
    April 2016, Volume 44 Issue 01

  • Moral Fibre

    Should policymakers 'do what is right' and promote all-fibre broadband networks? Catherine Middleton weighs up the arguments

    April 2016, Volume 44 Issue 01

  • Smartphones: Liberation or limits?

    As more people, especially the less well off, have only a smartphone to access
    the internet, there are signs that a new type of digital divide could develop.
    Ofcom’s Alison Preston describes new research carried out in the UK

    July 2016, Volume 44 Issue 02

  • Stand and deliver

    As the OECD prepares for a ministerial meeting on the digital economy, Jørgen Abild Andersen argues that the highest level of coordination among many government departments is needed to deliver its aims

    April 2016, Volume 44 Issue 01

  • Q&A Ulf Pehrsson

    With ulf pehrsson, Ericsson's head of government and industry relations
    April 2016, Volume 44 Issue 01

  • Dealing with Disruption

    As regulators start to fundamentally review their remits, Chris Chapman, the incoming president of the IIC and chair of Australia’s ACMA, details the extent of digital disruption and possible regulatory response, in this two-part article.
    January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04

  • Dark Clouds?

    Are regulations being applied to cloud computing in a way that stimulates innovation, asks Kuan Hon.
    January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04

  • Things to Regulate

    In part two of this briefing on the internet of things, Ian Brownn discusses the regulatory actions that could be necessary in this diverse technology sector.
    January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04

  • Impact of the Sharing Economy

    The modern sharing economy is small but growing - and enabled by the internet. John Ure discusses its possible impact and where regulation may be heading, with particular reference to Asia.
    March 2015, Volume 43 Issue 01

  • The Sky Is A Limit

    The growing interest in using pilotless drone aircraft is bringing new regulatory challenges, writes Leonidas Kanellos.
    June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02

  • A TMT Agenda

    H Sama Nwana makes a passionate case for promoting TMT and not just telecoms in Africa – a case that could benefit all developing nations.
    June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02

  • Video’s Demands

    Trends in internet video services are becoming apparent, and regulatory and competition agencies need to respond, as Augusto preta reports.
    June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02

  • Focusing ICT On The New UN Development Goals

    How can ICT best be deployed to advance the new Sustainable Development Goals? M-H Carolyn Nguyen and Paul Mitchell review the history and current position.
    January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04

  • Q&A With Mauricio Ramos

    CEO of telecoms and media firm, Millicom
    January 2016, Volume 43 Issue 04

  • Digital Asia

    The goal of promoting digital infrastructure is seeing economic and social progress. peter lovelock takes stock of Asian developments.
    September 2015, Volume 43 Issue 03

  • Facilitation vs Regulation

    Should governments be putting more emphasis on industrial policy and developmental approaches in ICT, ask Morten Falch and Anders Henten.
    September 2015, Volume 43 Issue 03

  • How Things Work

    In part one of this briefing, Ian Brown sets the scene for the regulatory issues that are rapidly arriving for the internet of things.
    September 2015, Volume 43 Issue 03

  • Blockchain and Telecoms

    How will blockchain technology impact telecoms policy? DAVE MICHELS is your guide to this much-hyped technology and its applications.

    December/January 2019, Volume 46 Issue 4

  • Platform Parameters

    BRIAN WILLIAMSON continues our discussion of online platforms by highlighting appropriate policy and regulation that balances benefits and harms.

    October 2019, Volume 47 Issue 3

  • A Tipping Point For Regulation

    With the rise of OTT there's no doubt we are in the midst of transition in telecoms markets - but how best to respond, asks Brian Williamson.
    September 2015, Volume 43 Issue 03

  • Economic Catalyst

    Jerry Power says regulation must change to promote digital ecosystems.
    September 2015, Volume 43 Issue 03

  • How Susceptible are Internet Users?

    Amid the concern about the impact of fake news, echo chambers and filter bubbles, WILLIAM DUTTON and LALEAH FERNANDEZ find there is not such a big problem – and a solution lies in ‘nudge’ theory.

    December/January 2019, Volume 46 Issue 4

  • Get the Whole Picture

    Price, quantity, quality, innovation and choice have been the main ways we measure consumer outcomes. It’s time, says TIM HOGG, to widen the scope to holistic outcomes, including relationships, fairness, truth and privacy – in the ‘sociology of technology’.

    December/January 2019, Volume 46 Issue 4

  • Reviewing the Layered Model

    More than 10 years ago, as the move to digital took off, there was much debate about using a layered regulatory model to mirror the new world. Now, write IVOR KING and DEREK WILDING, it’s making a comeback in Australia. But does it have merit? 

    April 2018, Volume 46 Issue 1

  • Vital Signs

    Stuart Brotman puts forward an index that captures the ‘vitality’ of broadband internet ecosystems in five countries, and which could be a benchmarking model.
    June 2015, Volume 43 Issue 02

  • Brexit and Telecoms

    Nations tend to keep a closer hold of telecoms industry regulation than in other sectors, even in Europe. It’s why the UK’s imminent exit from the European Union won’t impact its telecoms sector too much, as IAN WALDEN explains.

    December/January 2019, Volume 46 Issue 4

  • Internet Myth-Busting More than ever, we need a vision for the next phase of digital development that is not subject to myths about the internet, as MIKE NELSON discusses.

    April 2019, Volume 47 Issue 1

  • Paving the Digital Way

    Regulation in Sub-Saharan Africa has hit a brick wall, write RUSSELL SOUTHWOOD and STEVE SONG. What changes are needed for a data-centric future?

    Julyl 2019, Volume 47 Issue  2

  • Road To The Digital Economy

    How should telecoms regulators pave the way for the digital economy? JUAN MANUEL WILCHES at Colombia’s regulator says a change of mindset is needed. 

    October 2018, Volume 46 Issue 3

  • Taking Stock of App Stores

    App stores are raising concerns about competition and even net neutrality. HENK DON, MICHIEL VAN DIJK and FEMKE NAGELHOUD–DE JONG explain why – and put forward a wider view about introducing an ex ante approach.

    October 2019, Volume 47 Issue 3

  • Where Are We In Gender Equality

    Women have major barriers to reaching the top in ICT careers, and in just accessing technology in some countries – and all women face both offline and online violence, says ADRIANA LABARDINI INZUNZA.

    October 2018, Volume 46 Issue 3

  • Winner Takes All

    There are multiple reasons why technology markets are ‘winner takes all’ and why, once a tech company becomes dominant, it is almost impossible to displace, says PATRICK BARWISE 

    October 2018, Volume 46 Issue 3

  • Australia’s ACCC issues final market report

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues. Read
    Australia’s ACCC issues final market report

Regulatory Watch articles on Innovation & Investment

  • US proposes rural development fund for broadband

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed taking its biggest single step to date toward closing the rural digital divide by establishing the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, which would direct up to $20.4 billion to expand broadband in unserved rural areas.

  • Greece gets broadband help from Europe

    The European Commission has approved, under EU state aid rules, €300 million of public support for Greece's ultrafast broadband infrastructure scheme, which aims to provide broadband services to customers in areas with insufficient connectivity.

  • Report finds negative impacts of high spectrum prices on consumers

    The GSMA, the mobile operators body, has issued a report with the main finding that the negative impacts of high spectrum prices on consumers “can no longer be disputed”. The report, titled “The impact of spectrum prices on consumers”, says that countries with poor spectrum policies – which either inflate spectrum or delay spectrum assignments – “are leading to millions of people being left unable to access mobile broadband services or experiencing reduced network quality”.

  • Germany considers competition framework for the digital economy

    A commission of experts on “competition law 4.0”, set up by Germany’s Peter Altmaier, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, and chaired by Martin Schallbruch, Heike Schweitzer and Achim Wambach, has presented its recommendations for a new competition framework for the digital economy to the minister.

  • Egypt opens ICT monitoring centre

    Egyptian ICT minister, Amr Talaat, has inaugurated a national ICT monitoring centre, which is affiliated with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), notes Ecofin. “With this new development, the Egyptian government is confirming its ambition to improve the quality of telecoms and internet services provided to citizens..."

  • France’s regulators draw up data-driven memo; Arcep reports on future networks

    Several French regulators – the competition authority, AMF, Arafer, Arcep, CNIL, CRE and CSA –  have held a meeting to draw up a memorandum on data-driven regulation, which they say “creates the ability to make stakeholders more accountable, increases the regulator’s capacity for analysis and makes more information available to users and civil society”.

  • Singapore launches digital industry and cybersecurity initiatives

    Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), Enterprise Singapore and the regulator, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), have joined forces to establish Digital Industry Singapore (DISG), to better support and capitalise on the growth opportunities for Singapore’s technology sector.

  • Mission to Georgia helped build its regulatory framework

    A 19 month project with over 190 expert missions to Georgia comprising Lithuanian, German and Polish experts has helped define secondary legislation and guidelines on communications in line with EU standards for the country.

  • Germany clears 700 MHz band for operators

    Germany has completed the clearance of the 700 MHz band, which had previously been used by broadcasters, with operators now free to use the bandwidth to improve coverage, reports Mobile World Live.

  • European Commission embarks on pilot phase in AI ethics

    The European Commission has launched the pilot phase of its ethics guidelines for trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI). At the first AI Alliance Assembly, held in Brussels, the High-Level Expert Group on AI announced two developments, including an assessment list for trustworthy AI, developed by a group of 52 independent experts.

  • Mauritania is facing telecoms challenges

    Mauritania's small population and low economic output has limited the country’s ability to develop sustained growth, notes Developing Telecoms, citing a report by Research & Markets. “There are also practical challenges relating to transparency and tax burdens which have hindered foreign investment.

  • Mission to Georgia helped build its regulatory framework

    A 19 month project with over 190 expert missions to Georgia comprising Lithuanian, German and Polish experts has helped define secondary legislation and guidelines on communications in line with EU standards for the country.

  • Opportunity to act on facial recognition technology may be lost in the US

    An article in Wired notes that after revelations about how law enforcement agencies in the US have deployed facial recognition, “Congress seemed, for a moment, galvanised to act".

  • Ofcom issues public service broadcasting measures

    Ofcom, the UK regulator, has announced a range of measures “to ensure that public service broadcasters (PSBs) continue to deliver high-quality content for UK viewers and listeners”.

  • FCC examines broadband access in multi-tenant residential buildings

    The FCC in the US is taking steps to improve broadband deployment and competition in the nation’s apartment buildings, condominium complexes and office buildings (known as multiple tenant environments, or MTEs).

  • Ethiopia adopts telecoms proclamation

    The Communications Service Proclamation has been adopted by the Ethiopian Parliament and introduces a number of major changes into the Ethiopian telecoms sector. Commentary from DLA Piper's telecoms team notes that the most important aspect of the proclamation is that it has liberalised the sector, which has been monopolised by the government for many decades.

  • UK business body calls for a digital economy regulator

    Britain’s Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called for a new, independent regulator that can play “a crucial role in building trust in the digital economy”. It says that current proposals risk falling short of the UK government’s ambition to be the best and safest place to build a digital business.

  • New Zealand embarks on digital economy plan

    A new domain plan to measure New Zealand’s ongoing evolution into a digital nation has been released by Stats NZ and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE). Government statistician, Liz MacPherson, says that the release of a digital nation domain plan is a step towards “making sure that we’re collecting essential data to track and understand how new and emerging technologies are affecting New Zealand.

  • Cook Islands issues competition policy consultation

    The Cook Islands Ministry of Finance and Economic Management (MFEM) has released a draft telecoms market competition policy for consultation. The Cook Islands has been serviced by a single operator, partly-owned by the government, under a legislated monopoly since 1989, with limited independent oversight.

  • Canada’s regulator makes broadband fund call

    The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has launched a first call for applications for a broadband fund. The CRTC is accepting applications for projects in the Canadian territories and satellite-dependent communities, where there is a great need for improved broadband internet and mobile wireless services.

  • UK citizens get right to ‘decent and affordable’ broadband

    Everyone in the UK will have the legal right to request a decent and affordable broadband connection from March next year, the regulator, Ofcom, has confirmed. “We are implementing the UK government’s ‘universal broadband service’ – a safety net that will give eligible homes and businesses a legal right to request a decent connection.

  • FCC’s broadband deployment report comes under fire

    Ajit Pai, chair of US regulator FCC, has commented on USTelecom’s release of broadband investment figures for 2018, and the FCC’s own 2019 broadband deployment report (which was reissued after problems with data), saying that “the latest evidence reaffirms that our policies are working..."

  • Intellectual Property Data Platform free trials

    The Intellectual Property Data Platform initiative from IP Australia will enable researchers and policy makers to investigate and interrogate data in a powerful cloud-based analytical environment.

  • San Francisco could ban official use of facial recognition technology

    San Francisco officials have voted to ban the use of facial recognition technology by city personnel, in a move to regulate tools that local Silicon Valley companies helped develop, reports Reuters.

  • Singapore launches consultation on regulatory frameworks and policies for 5G

    Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has launched a public consultation to seek views from the industry and public on the appropriate regulatory frameworks and policies for 5G.

  • European Commission awaits legal advice on Wi-Fi connected car proposal

    The European Commission’s plan for a Wi-Fi-based standard for cars endorsed by Volkswagen faces a 2 month delay as EU countries wait for legal advice on the proposal, reports Reuters.

  • Ofcom’s CEO highlights risk of lack of telecoms equipment choice

    Sharon White, chief executive of Ofcom, the UK regulator, has said that the small number of equipment suppliers has created systemic risks to the country’s networks that may need to be addressed with regulation. She made the remarks amid tensions with the US over whether Britain will permit equipment from Chinese vendor Huawei to be used for next-generation 5G telecom services, reports Bloomberg.

  • Dutch regulator focuses on net neutrality and infrastructure implications of 5G

    Dutch regulator, ACM, plans to work on two themes concerning 5G, reports Telecompaper: the application of net neutrality and infrastructure sharing. “A spokesperson for the ACM said the application of net neutrality raises important questions for 5G and infrastructure sharing will become relevant again once operators start rolling out 5G networks.

  • France, Canada, line up consumers for internet quality testing

    Arcep, France’s regulator, has published a draft decision for public consultation on implementing an application programming interface (API), to be installed directly in operators’ boxes, for measuring the quality of fixed internet services.

  • Copper switch off report issued by European fibre body

    The FTTH Council Europe has released a new study on copper switch-off and transition to fibre. It analyses the different stages of copper switch-off in 10 European Union member states and identifies benefits as well as enablers, incentives, challenges and barriers to switching from copper to fibre networks.

  • GSMA criticises European Commission over connected car technology

    Industry body the GSMA has argued that the European Commission (EC) has ignored innovation and choice after the body backed the adoption of Wi-Fi technology in connected cars over cellular connectivity, notes Mobile World Live.

  • Talk continues of a 5G wholesale network in the US

    Kevin Werbach, who was an adviser on telecom policy in the Clinton and Obama administrations, has written in the New York Times about the Trump administration’s short-lived idea for an open wholesale 5G network.

  • Competition review in UK calls for a new digital markets unit

    Tech giants have become increasingly dominant and ministers must open the market up to increase consumer choice and give people greater control over their data, an independent review for the UK government has advised.

  • UK upper house calls for digital ‘super-regulator’

    The UK’s House of Lords has called for the creation of a digital super-regulator to oversee the different bodies charged with safeguarding the internet and replace the “clearly failing” system of self-regulation by big technology companies, reports the Guardian.

  • Philippines approves ICT strategy

    The Philippines House of Representatives has unanimously approved House Bill 3437, which seeks to provide for an “online network establishment” (ONE) policy for the country. Principally authored by deputy speaker Rose Marie “Baby” Arenas, HB 3437 or the “ONE Philippines Act” hopes to minimise the so-called digital divide and speed up wireless communications technology in the country.

  • EU reaches deal on rules for online trading

    The EU says it has reached a political deal on the first-ever rules aimed at creating “a fair, transparent and predictable business environment for businesses and traders when using online platforms”.

  • “Contentious” South African communications bill withdrawn

    Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, South Africa’s communications minister, has withdrawn the contentious Electronic Communications Amendment Bill, reports TechCentral. “The draft legislation, which creates the framework for a wholesale open-access network has drawn severe criticism from Vodacom, MTN and others over, among other things, its proposal to force network operators to provide wholesale access to their infrastructure on a cost-orientated and open-access basis...

  • India turns down proposal for free data for the poor

    The Indian government has turned down a proposal to offer free data to the poor, with the Telecom Commission, the top decision-making body on telecoms matters, refusing to agree to a recommendation made by regulator TRAI.

  • Philippines mandates working at home but ICT needs to catch up

    The Philippines ICT agency has called on telecoms operators to raise their game to provide more reliable internet connections for workers, after the government passed new regulations allowing employees to work from home, notes Mobile World Live. 

  • The internet is fragmenting into four entities

    A recent paper by British academics from Southampton University claims that the internet is splitting into four distinct governance entities. They say that the internet is a fragile construction of hardware, software, standards and databases and is run by an ever-expanding range of private and public actors constrained only by voluntary protocols and subject to political pressure. 

  • India’s regulator speaks on 5G priorities

    India can be a frontrunner in deployment of 5G but much will hinge on bolstering investments in fibre infrastructure, which is currently inadequate and trailing countries like China, RS Sharma, chair of India’s regulator, TRAI, has said at a digital summit meeting.

  • India’s regulator speaks on 5G priorities (Copy)

    India can be a frontrunner in deployment of 5G but much will hinge on bolstering investments in fibre infrastructure, which is currently inadequate and trailing countries like China, RS Sharma, chair of India’s regulator, TRAI, has said at a digital summit meeting.

  • Morocco banks on digital development plan

    Morocco’s head of government, Saad Eddine El Othmani, has said the country “is betting on digital transformation to achieve a qualitative leap in economic and social development,” reports Morocco World News.

  • UN ramps up internet resolutions

    The UN General Assembly (UNGA) has passed a record number of resolutions relevant for internet policy at its latest session, notes the Association for Progressive Communications (APC). 

  • Q&A with Chris Chapman

    Chris Chapman, President of the IIC and the inaugural Chair of the ACMA – December 2018

  • FCC votes to classify SMS as information services

    Wireless operators got what they were asking for when the FCC voted 3:1 to deny requests from Twilio and others to classify text messaging services as “telecommunications services”, which would subject them to harsher regulation, reports FierceWireless.

  • Saudi operators agree royalty fees

    Operators in Saudi Arabia have agreed a change in the calculation of their annual royalty fees with the government, reports Reuters. The companies also said they had reached a deal with the government to settle disputed fees to be paid for previous years up to 2017.

  • China makes moves on blockchain regulation

    According to website, International Law Office, the Chinese government’s growing concerns about certain aspects of blockchain have triggered a number of recent regulatory responses. For example, in June 2018 the government learned of a vaccine scandal in which improper wording was allegedly uploaded to Ethereum (a type of blockchain).

  • FCC goes for incentive auction for 5G spectrum

    The FCC has published more on its plans to hold a major 5G spectrum auction in 2019 by adopting new rules that will promote the availability of high-band millimetre wave spectrum for the next generation of wireless connectivity.

  • Australia reaches preliminary views on digital platforms

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has published preliminary recommendations in its digital platforms inquiry, which is covering Google, Facebook and the Australian news and advertising industries. The report contains 11 preliminary recommendations and eight areas for further analysis as the inquiry continues.

  • European regulators body publishes plan for 2019/20

    BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, has released a number of documents and consultations, including its “highly anticipated” opinion on the EU net neutrality regulation and guidelines.

  • France’s president calls for internet governance reform

    The 2018 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Paris recently saw the first appearance at the annual event of a UN secretary general, and also a speech by Emmanuel Macron, in which he said the internet is “profoundly threatened” by cyber attacks, hate speech and disinformation, and by the internet giants.

  • EU sets out artificial intelligence plan amid concerns

    The European Commission (EC) has published a plan prepared with member states to foster the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe. It focuses on four areas: increasing investment, making more data available, fostering talent and ensuring trust.

  • Europe’s communications code gets final approval

    The European Council has given final sign-off on the EU’s Electronic Communications Code, which imposes price caps, tougher security procedures and spectrum allocation rules that will enhance 5G deployment, notes mobile World Live.

  • LSE proposes online platform watchdog for the UK

    The LSE Truth, Trust and Technology Commission at the London School of Economics has published a report, “Tackling the information crisis”, in which the key proposal is for an independent platform agency for the UK that would be a watchdog – rather than a regulator...

  • Singapore’s PM urges trade rules update for digital

    Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has called on leaders of Asia-Pacific economies to do much more to shape rules for emerging areas in the digital economy, such as electronic payments and digital identity, reports the Straits Times.

  • India’s regulator issues OTT consultation

    The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has re-started the debate on regulating over the top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp and Skype by issuing a consultation paper, “Regulatory framework for OTT communication services”. “This consultation paper seeks to analyse and discuss the implications of the growth of OTT services…

  • Market inquiry into mobile broadband in South Africa

    The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has announced that it will begin a market inquiry into mobile broadband services, reports BusinessTech. “In a statement on 16 November, Icasa said that the purpose of the inquiry is to assess the state of competition and determine whether or not there are markets or market segments within the mobile broadband services value chain which may warrant regulation.

  • RadComms 2018: ACMA Chair's opening address

    “We expect to see unprecedented innovation in the global communications and media environment driven by accelerating advances in technology. This has the potential to deliver great benefits for the Australian community, but also challenges, as new technologies and platforms test the boundaries of our regulatory frameworks...”

  • UK expert panel convenes on competition in the digital economy

    The UK Chancellor has requested an independent review and consultation from an expert panel on the state of competition in the digital economy, to consider what the opportunities and challenges are for policy, both in the UK and internationally.

  • ITU quantifies impact of digitisation on economies

    The ITU has published a study, “The economic contribution of broadband, digitization and ICT regulation” which finds that an increase in both fixed and mobile broadband penetration has a positive impact on the economy.

  • Protectionism in the digital world – report

    Countries which have historically driven protectionist policies through tariff and other trade barriers are now extending their agenda into the digital world, according to research by law firm Gowling WLG.

  • Bidders announced for US 5G mmWave auction

    It appears that three of the nation’s largest cable companies are not planning to bid on millimetre-wave spectrum licences in the FCC’s 5g spectrum auction, which starts on 14 November, reports Fierce Wireless.

  • Ofcom explores blockchain for managing telephone numbers

    Ofcom, the UK regulator, has received £700k from the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to explore how blockchain technology could improve how UK landline telephone numbers are managed.

  • Europe’s telecoms execs call for a new industrial policy

    Europe’s telecoms CEOs have issued their latest vision for Europe’s next policy agenda, via the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO), highlighting that with 5G and artificial intelligence (AI) at the doorstep, “the network and services landscape is about to be revolutionised.

  • Broadband price and speed plan ‘on track’ says Malaysian regulator

    A Malaysian government initiative designed to reduce fixed broadband prices while increasing speeds at the same time is on track, according to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), notes TeleGeography.

  • Global internet access has ‘slowed dramatically’

    The growth of internet access around the world has slowed dramatically, according to new data, suggesting the digital revolution will remain a distant dream for billions of the poorest and most isolated people on the planet.

  • European Commission to back Wi-Fi system for connected cars

    The European Commission is set to approve rules for the use of Wi-Fi in cars, giving Volkswagen and Renault who have pursued this technology the edge over Daimler and others who invested in rival 5G networks, reports Reuters.

  • Comcast deploys gigabit broadband throughout its footprint

    Comcast announces today that they have deployed gigabit broadband throughout its footprint and are now the nation’s largest provider of gigabit service.

  • Data traffic in India cools scope of OTT consultation

    The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has decided to reduce the scope of consultation for the proposed regulatory framework for over the top (OTT) platforms such as WhatsApp and Skype, according to a report by Live Mint.

  • Policy recommendations for platform liability for illegal material

    A report from the Centre on Regulation in Europe (CERRE), “Liability of online hosting platforms: should exceptionalism end?”, explores whether online platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube benefit from a “liability free pass”.

  • Call to unblock data flows in Asia

    Governments in Asia can expand the region’s digital economy and unlock further socio-economic benefits for their citizens by removing unnecessary restrictions on the movement of data internationally, according to a report by the GSMA.

  • New Zealand published issue paper on mobile market

    New Zealand’s Commerce Commission has released an issues paper calling for submissions on its initial assessment of the mobile market that is being carried out under Section 9A of the Telecommunications Act 2001.

  • Deutsche Telekom makes demands about 5G auction

    Deutsche Telekom has outlined its demands for Germany’s upcoming 5G spectrum auction, rejecting calls for conditions to encourage a new operator or plans for regional licences, notes Telecompaper.

  • Global mobile trends from the GSMA

    GSMA Intelligence has published its third annual Global Mobile Trends report. Key takeaways include that the next generation of internet users will be mobile only. By 2025, 3.7 billion people – 72% of the global internet base – will be accessing the internet exclusively via mobile.

  • UK launches 5G testbed in West Midlands

    The West Midlands region has been selected to become the home to the UK’s first multicity 5G testbed. The UK government says the multimillion pound trial of high speed connectivity will pave the way for the future rollout of 5G across the UK, making the region the first in the UK ready to trial new 5G applications and services at scale.

  • Lawsuits take aim at FCC and net neutrality; FCC fires back

    Mozilla, the developer of the Firefox browser, has filed a legal brief against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), accusing the telecoms regulator of abdicating its role, ignoring public comments and failing to understand how the internet actually works, notes the Register.

  • Apple takeover of Shazam approved by the European Commission

    The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Shazam by Apple. The commission concluded that the merger would not adversely affect competition in the European Economic Area or any substantial part of it.

  • Call for OTT TV regulation in Africa

    Spooked by Netflix’s growing popularity among African viewers, the continent’s largest television operator wants the disruptor to be regulated, reports Quartz Africa. “This call for regulation is a common call from established monopolies who find their grip on a local market challenged by a tech disruptor, and MultiChoice is no different.

  • Europe and China taking over from the US internet rules

    The US is losing ground as the internet’s standard-bearer in the face of aggressive European privacy standards and China’s draconian vision for a tightly controlled web, reports Politico. “The weakening of the American position comes after years of US lawmakers and presidents, including both Donald Trump and Barack Obama, backing the tech industry’s aversion to new regulations.

  • Algeria’s regulator takes new name

    Algeria’s telecoms regulator has changed its name from the Authority for Regulation of Post and Telecoms (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms, ARPT) to the Authority for Regulation of Post and Electronic Communications (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Communications Electroniques, ARPCE).

  • Microsoft calls for regulation of facial recognition software

    Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, has called for regulation of facial recognition software in the US, reports VentureBeat. “In a democratic republic, there is no substitute for decision making by our elected representatives regarding the issues that require the balancing of public safety with the essence of our democratic freedoms.

  • Caribbean community to fast-track ‘single ICT space’

    Former chairman of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), Keith Mitchell, says Caricom is soon to launch a multistakeholder partnership to fast-track specific elements of the “single ICT space”, notes the Jamaica Observer.

  • India untethers internet telephony but termination charges still apply

    India’s Department of Telecom has issued a notification on Tuesday saying that internet telephony services are “untethered from the underlying access network”.

  • Zimbabwe cuts mobile charges ahead of election

    The Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) has reduced local mobile data and internet charges after concluding a cost modelling exercise for telecommunication network services in the country covering mobile, fixed and internet access networks, reports AllAfrica.

  • Isle of Man legislates on comms bill, appoints new CEO of regulator

    The Isle of Man – the territory that lies between the UK and Ireland – is taking a new communications bill through its legislative process.

  • Critics say Europe’s e-privacy regulation will cut revenues

    On the heels of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Europe is gearing up for its next big privacy push, this time taking aim at data collection within messaging apps. But critics contend the proposed law goes too far, potentially stifling innovation and hurting profits, according to an article in OWI Insight.

  • Ofcom publishes on wholesale broadband, and universal service

    UK regulator, Ofcom, has issued two documents of wider interest. The first is an assessment of competition in wholesale broadband access markets, under which services in these markets are bought by telecoms providers to supply retail broadband services to residential and business consumers.

  • Facebook comes under fire for flagging journalism as ‘political’

    An ”archive of ads with political content”, which Facebook made public in May, has become the latest contested piece of territory between platforms and publishers, writes Emily Bell in the Guardian.

  • EU fast tracks cross-border data freedom

    EU negotiators have sealed an agreement to allow non-personal data to move freely across the bloc and ban national laws that require companies to store data within a country’s borders, reports EurActiv.

  • Q&A with Dr Stephen Collins

    Director, Public Policy EMEA, Snap Inc

  • Chaos of Mother’s Day sale investigated by Taiwan’s regulator

    Japan Communications says it has received Japan’s first regulatory certification under both the Radio Law and Telecommunications Business Law for an unlicensed LTE (u-LTE) base station – and JCI chairman Frank Seiji Sanda says, “u-LTE is the first step in the obsolescence of legacy mobile operators.”

  • South Africa’s regulator responds to call for data price cuts

    South Africa’s regulator, ICASA, has published end user and subscriber service charter regulations as the start of a three-pronged process to address concerns about the cost of data services.

  • GSMA finds mobile development lagging in Central America

    Deployment of 4G is lagging in Central America and the region needs to up its game or risk putting its future economic development at risk, the GSMA has stated in a report.

  • ECTA joins in with warnings about European Electronic Communications Code

    The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ECTA) has sent an open letter to the EU to share its concern that the EU’s vision for a connected digital single market “risks being stopped dead in its tracks before it can effectively take off”.

  • Japan Communications has go-ahead for unlicensed LTE base station

    Japan Communications says it has received Japan’s first regulatory certification under both the Radio Law and Telecommunications Business Law for an unlicensed LTE (u-LTE) base station – and JCI chairman Frank Seiji Sanda says, “u-LTE is the first step in the obsolescence of legacy mobile operators.”

  • FCC approves satellite broadband launch

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a plan by Elon Musk’s SpaceX to build a global broadband network using satellites, reports Reuters.

  • US agencies band together for radar consolidation

    Four agencies looking to band together to create a combined radar system want more information from commercial spectrum users and the public on their plan for the project, notes FWC.

  • Australia’s ACCC issues final market report

    The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has published the final report of its communications sector market study, which includes 28 recommendations and actions on competition and consumer issues.

  • Cross-border data flows examined in Asian study

    A paper published by Brookings looks at the importance of cross-border data flows, taking Asia as a model, and why they need regulating to stimulate the digital economy.

Stay up to date with the IIC

Tell us how you'd like to stay informed about events, interviews and more from the IIC. 

My IIC Preferences

Follow us on Twitter