New framework for an open Internet agreed at OECD

Member governments of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other stakeholders have created a new framework to promote a more transparent, open Internet at a two-day meeting in Paris.

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The new principles, agreed by OECD member governments, business representatives and technical experts, aim to advance the debate on Internet governance. They underline the benefits that today’s light-touch, flexible regulation has brought in driving innovation and economic growth.

Meeting at the OECD in Paris, participants underlined the need to maintain the open, decentralised design of the Internet. This model, which includes governments, business, civil society and the technical community in a so-called multi-stakeholder approach, has been key to the Internet’s rapid growth and impact.

“The Internet has achieved global interconnection without the development of any international regulatory regime. The development of such a formal regulatory regime could risk undermining its growth,” according to the communiqué.

Participants also recognised that the Internet economy’s success depends upon the free flow of information, which should be promoted and protected. Governments should improve their efforts to protect personal data, the freedom of expression, and other fundamental rights online.

Looking ahead, they said countries must develop and promote high-speed broadband access to reap the full benefits of an Internet economy. Governments have a key role to play in spurring demand for broadband, particularly in areas such as education, health, energy distribution and transport.