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Telecom Regulators as a Possible Model

  • To: <principles-comments@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Telecom Regulators as a Possible Model
  • From: "David Archbold" <david.archbold@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2006 20:31:34 -0500

As I've noted before in discussions, ICANN may have some unique
attributes but it also has many similarities with independent
telecom/ICT Regulators throughout the world.  Most such regulators have
a Board appointed by their government but are usually difficult to
dismiss without cause.  They are funded by the industry they regulate,
but are responsible to all consumers for the development and stability
of the technical infrastructure, the promotion of sustainable
competition, the representation of the "public interest", and the
resolution of disputes.  Their decisions can be appealed to the courts.

As a result, regulators have developed over the years "best practice"
concerning accountability, transparency, the treatment of commercially
sensitive information, public consultation and the application of
natural justice.  Much of this is codified in rules, regulations,
legislation and operating procedures.  Their web sites give many
examples of these rules and procedures in operation.  They include many
of the recommendations made in the GACs contribution to this
consultation.  

I strongly recommend that ICANN examine these regulatory best practices
to see what can be adapted to meet ICANN's requirements and
circumstances.  There is no need to reinvent the wheel.  As a start, I
would suggest looking at Canada's CRTC web site at
www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/statutes.htm,  www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publicpro.htm, and
www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/dno.htm, UK OFCOM's site at
www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/  and, for a simpler approach, Cayman's ICT
Authority site at www.icta.ky/da_publications.php and
www.icta.ky/da_public.php. 

There have been many examples of ICANN failing to properly comply with
its own procedures or accepted "best practice".  The appointment of an
experienced "compliance officer" with a regulatory background also
should be considered.

David A Archbold
Managing Director
Information & Communications Technology Authority
& .ky Domain Manager
david.archbold@xxxxxxx
www.icta.ky




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