Many national initiatives have been launched to support the continued growth and adoption of broadband and mobile Internet in the context of the global economy. Will policy makers view the structure and processes of Internet governance as a barrier or facilitator of these national initiatives? Can Internet governance initiatives help foster the worldwide diffusion and utilization of the Internet, or the diversity of production, in ways that contribute to economic development?
Will the new economic context change the dynamics of debate over governing the Internet? Will the changing perspectives on regulation in the financial sector spill over to the Internet, and views on the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)? Will economic constraints pose a risk to meaningful participation by civil society in Internet governance institutions and processes? Is there a need for change in the ICANN multi-stakeholder governance model?
These general questions will provide a framework for discussing specific issues that have arisen in the context of the financial crisis and recession:
- Will the new economic context change the dynamics of debate over governing the Internet?
- Will the changing perspectives on regulation in the financial sector spill over to the Internet, and views on the role of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)?
- Will economic constraints pose a risk to meaningful participation by civil society in Internet governance institutions and processes?
- Does the economic crisis provide any concrete, practical guidance for the need or maintenance of transparency in the delivery of Internet services or the conduct of governance and coordination?
||Welcome and Introductions by William Dutton, Desiree Miloshevic
||Innovation in a Downturn
How can nations harness Internet innovation and broadband deployment in the present context to address the economic downturn? Will initatives such as ‘Digital Britain’ falter or flourish in this new climate?
||Risks of Internet Stagflation and New Government Regulation
Is this the end of the Internet’s ‘Golden Era’ and is the risk of ‘Network Stagflation’ looming in the near-future? What changes will emerge in the management of critical Internet resources as institutions seek to adapt to the new economic environment? Could the international push toward greater regulation of the financial sector spill over into the arena of the Internet? Will we see moves to assert more national and international regulation and government control of the Internet? Tom Vest will provide introductory remarks.
||Internet Governance: State of the Practice
What is the current state of Internet governance structures and processes, such as the Internet Governance Forum? What pressures have been felt from the changing economic and regulatory climate? Is private sector leadership sustainable in this context? Is Civil Society represented meaningfully, and can participation be sustained?
Introductory Remarks: Bill Graham; Moderators: David Maher, Leslie Cowley
||Initiatives for the New Context: Maintaining and Enhancing the Vitality of Internet Governance
What should be done to ensure the continued vitality of Internet governance and processes? Is there a need for changes in existing Internet management and co-ordination arrangements? Should cross-network, such as arrangements across Internet Service Providers) or cross-national relationships be reformed? How should the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) evolve?
||Closing Points of Summary and Discussion
Invited participants to the forum are encouraged to submit a brief (1-2 page) position paper that presents their key points of view on the implications of the new economic climate for Internet governance, and the challenges it raises. These papers may be sent to the OII or posted before the forum on a conference blog at: http://people.oii.ox.ac.uk/dutton/
These position papers will be made available to all participants before the forum, and be used to finalize the agenda for the day. The availability of position papers will enable us to minimize the number of prepared presentations, and open it up for more roundtable discussions. Transcripts of the discussions, along with the position papers and background literature, will be used to produce an OII forum discussion paper.
We are grateful for support from Afilias