All roads point to more collaboration, better channels and more bandwidth. But while the case for collaboration is irrefutable, progress has been stalled by power battles, lack of resources and misconceptions. Good progress towards inclusive, collaborative regulation is needed for the good of all users of digital services, now and into the future – a need borne out by four fundamentals:
- Digital transformation is a game changer ICTs have moved far beyond the realm of simple ‘communications’. They have become the foundation for every economic sector and a sine qua non of business performance and national growth.
- The new digital world needs a new take on regulation ICTs can dramatically transform education, health care, environmental management, agriculture, trade and entrepreneurship, the provision of government services – and so much more. But enabling frameworks of policy and regulation, the right networks and services – all of these need to be put in place.
- Holistic and harmonized approach can deliver greater impact. Silo-style ICT sector regulation isn’t viable in the digital world. G5 regulation will mirror the interplay between digital infrastructure, services and content across industries and national borders. It will also harmonize rules and ensure consistent implementation of policy and regulatory frameworks that have evolved independently in many sectors over the years.
- Development and inclusion have become a primary focus of regulation. Collaborative regulation is people-centred regulation – it looks at sustainability and long-term gains as opposed to industry profit maximization and exclusive economic growth. G5 champions are also engaged in connecting marginalized individuals, persons with disabilities, low-income communities, communities challenged by educational impoverishment, and remote or isolated populations which may also lack basic infrastructure such as electricity – so we need to be much more innovative and much more collaborative in our approach to policy-making.