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|July 8, 1997||
ITU chief concerned about Net being US-centricInternational Telecommunication Union Secretary-General Dr Pekka Tarjanne has warned against any attempt to create a regulatory framework for the Internet. However, he said there is a concern that Internet is too US-centric.
In an interview to an Indian telecom magazine at the Asia Telecom 97 forum at Singapore recently, Dr Tarjanne said despite this concern at dominance by one country ''I see a future, not so very far distant, when developments in other parts of the world, and notably in Asia, will show us that our fears about the dominance of the Internet by the United States will prove to have been unfounded.''
The magazine, Telematics India, carries the interview and write-up on Asia Telecom in its July issue which is to hit the stands tomorrow.
Dr Tarjanne asserted that a regulatory framework for Internet ''Could indeed end up stifling the creative expansion that has been the trademark of the Internet, and prevent it from growing out from America into the rest of the world and becoming a truly global phenomenon.''
Expressing wide support for the privatisation process in telecom going on in Asia and the world, Dr Tarjanne said there would be great ''impact of the wave of liberalisation that will occur over the coming years.''
''By the end of this phase of development,'' Dr Tarjanne forecast ''80 to 90 per cent of the world's operators will be new operators. We should not underestimate the effect this change will have on the industry,'' the official pointed out.
The ITU secretary-general said the ITU's role was not to act as a regulator but a facilitator for agreements among member countries, and to help its members to create open standards, allocate spectrum and resolve privatisation-liberalisation of issues and deal with necessary changes to obsolete systems, in as painless and cooperative way as possible."
About the rapid growth of information highways in many countries, Dr Tarjanne said more important for ITU than defining what information highways should or should not be, was ''to create and set standards which can be universally applied to the benefit of all users''.
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