INTUG was invited to address a session of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) negotiations at the WTO. The theme of the session was "How TiSA can remove access barriers in Telecoms and Managed ICT Services", thus addressing one of INTUG’s core priorities.
At the event in Geneva, Switzerland, and alongside representatives from CCIA, Sprint and BT, Nick White spoke on behalf of INTUG. He commented: "Establishing on-line business processes is more difficult than it should be, which stifles investment and innovation.” He highlighted several major areas of concern:
- In fixed networks, it is essential that broadband connectivity can be obtained at all locations with a level of service which is fit for purpose. Wholesale broadband access must be available to competing providers with equivalence of input from incumbent or dominant providers.
- In mobile networks, greater consistency is needed in spectrum allocation and an international market of network operators is required to offer services that cross national borders without financial or functional penalty. In addition, there should be more sharing of passive and active infrastructure (“poles and holes”) with a shift towards service-based competition.
Other speakers emphasized the need for better availability of international services and access to wholesale products, especially in the US where there is no regulatory protection. TiSA negotiations are continuing throughout the week in an attempt to use the Basic Telecommunications Agreement within GATS as a mechanism for removing barriers to cross-border communications managed ICT services.