You are here: Home Knowledge Base Polity Internet Governance Structures Solutions International debate and agreements must determine how to prioritize whose principles matter most when it comes to Internet governance.
Symposium 2011

Solution for Internet Governance Structures

The Challenge

The rapid development of the internet has prompted a debate about how to shape internet governance, a project that is still very much in its infancy. It can be assumed that whoever controls the basic ...

The rapid development of the internet has prompted a debate about how to shape internet governance, a project that is still very much in its infancy. It can be assumed that whoever controls the basic structure of the internet (what are known as “critical internet resources”) also has the power to exercise control over content.

International debate and agreements must determine how to prioritize whose principles matter most when it comes to Internet governance.

The Internet is governed as a multistakeholder model, but its selforganizing culture clashes with traditional policy-making processes. On the Internet, decisions are made from the bottom-up; in governments and companies, decisions are made top-down. The strongest voice on the Internet has so far been its users, an organically grown group whose core belief is that the Internet must be open to all. They recognize that the Internet is a “best endeavors” environment—no organization is capable of providing guarantees that the Internet will work, and yet it does.

But problems occur as regards, for example, internet infrastructure issues. Traffic in mobile and fixed networks is growing rapidly. To preserve the current networks’ performance levels, new business models are needed to ensure adequate and efficient investments in internet infrastructure. A compromise between the needs of internet infrastructure providers to recover their investments in new internet infrastructure and users´ interests in accessing the internet at low cost and under the principle of “net neutrality”—the concept that all internet traffic is equal—has to be found.

What makes it so difficult to adopt commonly agreed-upon models are the different and sometimes conflicting needs and wishes of the several stakeholders in the system, that is, the complexity and the dynamics of what is now commonly defined as “the Internet ecosystem.” All these conflicting needs and wishes have their own validity when considered in

isolation. But when considered as whole, the only solution is international agreement on how to prioritize whose principles matter most in determining the future of Internet governance.

    Related Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Develop an “Internet constitution” to take account of the interests of all stakeholders and guarantee essential freedoms. Equip this constitution with new instruments and institutions of governance allowing for decentralized ...

    Develop an “Internet constitution” to take account of the interests of all stakeholders and guarantee essential freedoms. Equip this constitution with new instruments and institutions of governanc ...

    Develop an “Internet constitution” to take account of the interests of all stakeholders and guarantee essential freedoms. Equip this constitution with new instruments and institutions of governance allowing for decentralized decision-making and collective action.

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Improve ICANN’s transparency and accountability by taking account of the different views of all stakeholders.

    Improve ICANN’s transparency and accountability by taking account of the different views of all stakeholders.

    Improve ICANN’s transparency and accountability by taking account of the different views of all stakeholders.

    Polity, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2011

    Formally place security and privacy issues at the heart of future Internet innovation.

    Formally place security and privacy issues at the heart of future Internet innovation.

    Formally place security and privacy issues at the heart of future Internet innovation.

    Polity, Business