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Shape of things to come

How should policy and regulation adapt to times of rapidly changing convergence? Jean-Jacques Sahel shapes the discussion

Shape of things to come

Being actively involved in many activities of the International Institute of Communications (IIC), I have been able to get a feel for the underlying shifts, patterns of evolution and concerns common to the sometimes very different themes explored in our workshops and conference sessions. One underlying question raised regularly is the role of the regulator. Beyond IIC circles, where regulators have long occupied a central role in our international regulators forums (IRFs), there seems to have been an intensification of late in the discussions on their role.

It is no wonder that the role of regulator in the TMT/ICT sectors has come more to the fore in recent discussions, in light of the enormous impact of the internet around the world. It fuels much of our economies, and harnessing its power is a key objective for many governments. Take this statement delivered at a recent IIC UK chapter event:

“It is now obvious to most that ‘digitising’ the UK is a must, both for consumers and for other end users like government and industry: UK GDP and productivity stand to gain tremendously if the nation can embrace digital technologies. Businesses need to be able to thrive in this environment, all end users should be able to enjoy more and better services, and engaged, digitally literate and active consumers are both the trend and a necessity in that successful vision of the future.”

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