The future of the Internet was in doubt heading into December and the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT), writes Scott Bradner. Those who want to control the Internet as well as those who want a more hands-off future did not get the result they wanted. The final revised treaty is mired in traditional telephony assumptions, holding that the carrier is directly involved in providing voice service to the customer. Still, there is no technical requirement that the carrier that delivers Internet service has to be at all involved in the services that run over the network, services that could include voice communications.
As for the new year, those that want to make the Internet fit the mold established by telephone companies will continue their efforts. Eighty-nine out of 150 countries attending signed the WCIT documents, and most did so with some reservation. The countries that ratify the treaty will have an additional blessing to limit the Internet.
Nevertheless, Bradner says the Internet will remain a force for technological and business change, at least until the International Telecommunication Union's 2014 Plenipotentiary Conference in Busan, Korea.
From Network World
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