The Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in collaboration with the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL), commenced at the Hilton Hotel Colombo this morning.
Around 500 participants from around the world are participating in the event which has earned a reputation as the preeminent global gathering of the ICT regulatory and policy making community.
Discussions will focus on a wide range of issues, including net neutrality, spectrum policy, international roaming, cloud computing, data protection and privacy, international and regional internet interconnection, and public-private-partnerships to foster network investment.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Lalith Weerathunga, Chairman, TRCSL praised ITU as a role model for public-private partnerships in today’s multi-stakeholder markets. He also thanked distinguished delegates for the trust and confidence that they have placed on Sri Lanka.
In his address to delegates from more than 80 countries worldwide the Secretary General, International Telecommunication Union, Dr Hamadoun I. Touré said that he is very pleased to be in a unified country that is putting economy for the people first.
“This year’s GSR is taking place here in recognition of the very sound regulatory environment that has been put in place in the country, allowing competition, growth and innovation,” he said.
The GSR has historically been a fruitful and positive occasion, bringing together the key stakeholders involved in ICT policy making and regulation, and I am sure that this year’s edition will continue this trend, he added.
Dr Touré said the theme of this year’s event, ‘Why Regulate in a Networked Society?’, focuses on the critical role of regulators worldwide in facilitating the rapid roll-out of broadband, particularly in low-income countries where high-speed networks can serve as effective conduits for essential public services.
“Broadband is a transformational technology, and nowhere is this truer than in the developing world, where it will help connect disadvantaged and isolated communities to services that are often chronically lacking, such as education, health care, financial services and access to government information. This meeting is the place where experts will forge the innovative funding and implementation policies that will help make high-speed networks a reality for all the world’s people,” said Dr Touré.
Sessions began this morning with an interactive High-Level Segment focusing on transnational regulatory issues in a converged digital era.
The meeting continues until Thursday 4 October, culminating in a series of regulatory Best Practice Guidelines. Outputs from the meeting will also be incorporated into ITU’s annual regulatory report, Trends in Telecommunication Reform.