Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OECD Council Recommendation on Principles for Internet Policy Making

13 December 2011. The Seoul Declaration on the Future of the Internet Economy adopted at the 2008 OECD Ministerial on the Future of the Internet Economy recognised that the Internet provides an open, decentralised platform for communication, collaboration, innovation, creativity, productivity improvement and economic growth. Building on the Seoul Declaration, the OECD’s High-Level Meeting on The Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth, held in June 2011, highlighted that the strength and dynamism of the Internet depends on its ease of access to high-speed networks, openness, and on user confidence.

In the context of this High-Level Meeting, we, the representatives of OECD Members, Egypt and of stakeholders including the Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD (BIAC), and the Internet Technical Community (ITAC), agreed on a number of basic principles for Internet policy making as an important step in ensuring that the Internet remains open and dynamic.

We recognised that the Internet allows people to give voice to their democratic aspirations, and any policy-making associated with it must promote openness and be grounded in respect for human rights and the rule of law.

We recognised the essential contribution of stakeholders, including business, civil society, the Internet technical community and academic institutions, to the ongoing development of the Internet and the enrichment of society using the Internet.

We stressed that more ubiquitous access to and use of broadband Internet networks, which are available in a competitive market and at affordable prices, will help foster innovation and drive the growth of the Internet Economy and of the economy in general.
We emphasised that, in certain cases, public support and investment may be needed to ensure the greatest practical availability of these networks in our countries, in particular in rural and remote areas, and that such public intervention should support market competition and promote private investment initiatives.

We underlined the importance of generating demand and the significant role that governments can play in this regard by stimulating the use of broadband Internet networks in areas such as science, education, health, transportation and smart electricity grids as well as promoting the use of Internet for an ageing society.

We recognised that new and evolving technologies and protocols, with their enabling effect on broader opportunities and innovation such as IPv6, the Semantic Web and cloud computing, are emerging as a general engine for economic and social development. In the context of recent natural disasters we recognised that a resilient network can play a crucial role in ensuring information sharing and facilitating rapid aid distribution.

The Internet has grown and diffused extremely rapidly across the globe, and continues to bring significant benefits to economies and societies. Individual innovators, and a co-operative multi-stakeholder