An overview of the Fifth World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF)

The European Internet Foundation organized last month a preparatory meeting for the Fifth World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) that will take place in Geneva on 14-16 May. The aim of this preparatory meeting was to gather different stake-holders together to debate and exchange views on the process, the European position as well as on the desired outcome of the event.


The WTPF is a high-level International event organized by the International telecommunications Union (ITU) to exchange views and information, enabling policy-makers worldwide to develop a shared vision on issues arising from the emergence of new telecommunication/ICT services and technologies. In addition, it allows the consideration of any other policy issue affecting ICTs which would benefit from a global exchange of views leading to the adoption of opinions reflecting common views. In particular Internet Governance will be one of the main topics discussed at the WTPF and the outcome of the discussions will have to be looked at in the broader context of the WSIS+10 process. This outcome will also influence the debates of the upcoming ITU events in 2014: The Plenipotentiary Conference (PP14) and the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC 14).


The key-note speaker at the preparatory meeting, Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, remembered that the WTPF is a forum for discussion of policy matters, not a treaty organization. The discussions will be framed by an only working paper produced by an expert Group convened by Mr. Touré that includes the contributions and opinions of ITU member states and industry members. Participants will discuss the opinions included in the working paper but not the working paper per se.


The forum will serve as an opportunity to comment the outcomes of the WCIT-12 in which ITU Member States failed to reach an agreement. In addition, the conference will discuss other topics such as the promotion of Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as a long term solution to advance connectivity, the importance of an ‘investment-friendly’ environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity, the need of capacity building for the deployment of IPv6, the importance of the multi-stakeholder model of Internet governance, the support of the aim and process of “enhanced co-operation” and discuss the role of the ITU as a uniquely qualified organization to provide Member States with the necessary and adequate support to ensure broad government participation among others.


Telefónica will attend the World Telecommunication Policy Forum due to its interest on all these topics. More precisely, Telefónica promotes a competitive environment as well as the need to involve all stakeholders on a voluntary basis. In addition, we support the search of ‘friendly-environment’ ways to boost the investment in broadband – Telefónica is currently performing the transition from IPv4 to IPv6. Last but not least, it would be useful for all to clarify the term of “enhanced cooperation”, so everybody can give it the same meaning.


We will post the outcomes of the forum on the blog, so stay tunned!



Claudio Barahona / @claubarahona

Country Manager de Wayra, Innovación Abierta de Telefónica

 Juan José Haro Seijas / @jjharoseijas

Director de Políticas Públicas y Negocio Mayorista Hispam, Telefónica