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The Right Question: Ambassador Terry Kramer
Thursday, 20 September 2012 19:32

Ask ITU/WCIT Ambassador Terry Kramer: How does the U.S. convince the world “bottom-up multi-stakeholder” doesn’t really mean dominance by a few large corporations? (The Right Question)

Who: Terry Kramer, a former Vodafone-Verizon executive, officially leads the U.S. delegation to the >World Conference on International Telecommunications in Dubai in December. Many countries including Brazil, Russia, India and China have called for a stronger UN/ITU role in the Internet. The U.S. is saying don’t mess with the current “multi-stakeholder model” because it is working well.
    Kramer, a business executive rather than a diplomat, has opened up the U.S. State Department process. Because of his commitment, ihe State Department ITAC (International Telecommunications Advisory Committee) is open to all and attention is being paid to the discussion. The latest meeting included questions from a skeptic and outsiders including a prominent professor.

Where/When: Kramer is holding a press conference Friday, September 20.
Offices of Wiley Rein LLP, 1776 K Street NW, Washington, DC, Friday, September 21, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EDT.  Teleconference link: 1-888-272-7337 Passcode: 7438143#

Friendly questions that open interesting subjects

What impact do you expect WCIT to have on Internet Security/payments for Internet traffic/international roaming charges/traffic management/significant amounts of investment?

Chosen because Touré of the ITU has discussed each recently.

How can the State Department internalize the principals we're advocating for multi-stakeholder governance? 

Kramer has played an important role.

More intense questions, hopefully not rhetorical

What's it like being a public servant after a corporate career?

Kramer worked for 25 years in the industry, including very senior jobs at Vodafone/Verizon

Toure told the Financial Times “No proposal will be passed without consensus.” Does that mean that major countries like the U.S. have an effective veto? What are the practical implications?

How should the U.S. react to the ETNO proposal to charge companies like Google that send video to broadband subscribers?

ETNO represents France Telecom, Deutsche Telekom and other carriers. Toure has been sympathetic. The U.S. has been strongly opposed, but big U.S. carriers in other fora ask for similar.

President Obama and FCC Chair Genachowski are strong supporters of Net Neutrality but the term is almost absent in the U.S. presentations. Will the U.S. delegation support neutrality? 

Tricky, especially if Obama loses the election, which is before Dubai in December.