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Government opposes proposed changes to ITRs

The Federal Government is opposing proposed amendments to International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs).

The regulations assist in the operation of telecommunications networks across national borders.

They are under the spotlight at the International Telecommunications Union's (ITU) World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) which runs from December 3-14 in Dubai.

The Australian delegation to the conference is led by Minister for Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.

Sone of the amendments to the ITRs being considered by WCIT seek to extend the ITRs to cover Internet governance.

At present, this is the job of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Numbers and Names (ICANN), which has input from industry stakeholders, governments and the public.

"ICANN's multi-stakeholder model has played a significant role in the success of the internet, and is essential for ensuring that the internet remains a central point for innovation and a driver of economic growth," Conroy said in statement.

"Australia wants to make sure that any amendments to the ITRs do not undermine this model or fundamentally change the way the internet operates.

"Australia does not believe a case has been made for change."

Conroy said Australia's position was that the ITU should continue to focus on developing technical telecommunications standards that deal with the interoperability of public networks and capacity building, and that ICANN should continue to oversee the global Domain Name System.

"There appears to be little value in either organisation seeking to encroach on the responsibilities of the other," he said.

"Given the increasing importance of communications networks in our day-to-day lives, governments should continue to play a role in developing and protecting this vital infrastructure from harm -- either from deliberate attacks or natural disasters.

"Nations should work together to develop coordinated and flexible ways to respond to significant service disruptions."

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