De-funding the ITU

Owen DeLong owen at
Mon Jan 14 08:39:17 UTC 2013

On Jan 13, 2013, at 1:47 PM, Barry Shein <bzs at> wrote:

> Even if there were no ITU we'd have to invent one, to paraphrase
> Voltaire's quip about God.
> There'd have to be some organization to negotiate and oversee
> international settlements and other, similar, regulations.

Why? The internet has operated just fine without such for quite some time

> And it would probably end up being about the same because who'd be
> involved but about the same people and organizations (particularly the
> PTTs et al)?

Which is a good argument that such an organization has, in fact, become
an anachronism.

> If you sincerely wanted to get rid of the ITU or pieces thereof the
> only way would be to form some alternative organization, perhaps with
> different policy and process rules, and use it to supplant them.

If you don't believe that the internet is in the process of supplanting
traditional telephony, you aren't paying attention.

The internet has had such organizations for some time now.

The petition specifically focuses on moving US funding from the ITU to
those organizations (which does give me pause… I think I prefer the
organizations in question not being purchased by the USG).

> Actually, no matter how you got rid of the ITU that's what you'd end
> up with because much of what they do would happen somehow, but without
> a real plan probably by even worse means like shadowy inter-PTT
> organizations arising without any accountability or transparency.

Such organizations would be scattered and far less effective. I would
rather take my chances against them than the current ITU structure.


More information about the NANOG mailing list