The ITU framework of generations of regulation reflects this evolution, initially from a sector perspective and more recently, holistically – looking at how governments have configured their legal and institutional frameworks for the digital transformation. 

The conceptual framework of the generations of regulation can best be described as a regulatory ladder. Gens 1 through 4 reflect the evolving levels of regulatory maturity, focusing narrowly on the telecom and then the ICT sector while Gen 5 marks a major shift from sector-specific to holistic, cross-sector policies and regulations.

In just over a decade, G4 has become the established standard for ICT integrated regulation led by social and economic goals. Yet, 4/10 countries globally languish in G1 and G2, missing out on development opportunities and global digitization. 

G5 – or the fifth generation of collaborative regulation – is the next frontier in terms of holistic digital regulation.

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

ICT Regulatory Tracker

ICT Regulatory Tracker

Evidence-based tool for decision-makers and regulators in the journey from G1 through G4 Open
G5 Benchmark

G5 Benchmark

Sets new goals for regulatory excellence
in the digital transformation