The story behind five generations of regulation – G1 to G5

From traditional telecommunication environment to digital landscape

The ITU has developed a comprehensive model to assess regulatory evolution, which tracks generations of regulation (see figure below). Generation 1 (G1) to Generation 4 (G4) presents the evolution in telecommunication and ICT regulation, starting from the command and control regime typically associated with state-owned monopolies, through privatization and liberalization, the need to encourage investment, and the shift to meeting socio-economic objectives.

Generation 5 (G5) is reflected as the latest generation, but is ‘seen as complementary to the previous generations’, highlighting the increased importance of more flexible and collaborative regulatory frameworks capable of addressing the broad impacts of the digital economy across sectors (ITU 2020).

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Note: Generations 1 through 4 are measured through the ICT Regulatory Tracker. Generation 5 is measured through the G5 Benchmark.

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