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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2004 > October
Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
October 15, 2004


World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly

The United States delegation to the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, under the leadership of Ambassador David A. Gross, succeeded in building international consensus on the need to ensure telecommunications network security and maintain interoperability between todayís networks and those of the next generation. The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, held every four years to establish the objectives and to approve the work plan for the International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sector, on October 14 approved resolutions that ensure that the Sector addresses the priorities of its membership, remains true to the Unionís core competencies and continues to be the place for global telecommunications standardization work, a prerequisite to ubiquitous and seamless telecommunications services.

As telecommunications equipment manufacturers and service providers strive to bring new and innovative broadband technologies to consumers, the October 14 agreement to establish a Next Generation Networks Study Group will give focus to the International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sectorís efforts to produce globally developed and accepted standards for Next Generation Networks. The International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sectorís Next Generation Networks Study Group will provide a forum for the telecommunications industry to lead the development of high quality international standards essential to realizing a globally consistent vision of Next Generation Networks. Ambassador Gross observed that "at this pivotal time Next Generation Networks related standards are urgently required and the International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sector will perform this crucial task in a manner that recognizes and encourages the continued leading role of the private sector in the development, operations and maintenance of telecommunications networks." Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell praised the result, stating, "I commend the U.S. delegation for its success in establishing a Next Generation Networks group within the International Telecommunication Union where industry and government can concentrate their efforts to develop global standards to address the digital migration."

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly underscored the critical role of the International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sector in addressing telecommunication network security vulnerabilities. The work plan adopted by the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly calls for the continuation of work on telecommunications network security Ė particularly as it relates to Next Generation Networks Ė and to cooperate with other relevant entities in these efforts. Prior to the start of the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, the International Telecommunication Union convened a one-day "Cyber-Security Symposium" where the United States advanced the discussion of this topic and encouraged the International Telecommunication Union to collaborate with other multilateral organizations and standards development bodies.

The World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly also approved the leadership team that will serve under the Director of the International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sector for the next four years. U.S. citizens and companies will serve in the leadership of nine of thirteen Study Groups, as well as the International Telecommunication Unionís Telecommunication Standardization Sectorís Telecommunication Standardization Advisory Group. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information Michael D. Gallagher said, "I am pleased that United States companies will continue to lead the innovation of the global telecommunications market through the work of this organization. Bringing focus to the convergence of existing telecommunications network architectures into broadband, multimedia Next Generation Networks will not only bring exciting new services to American consumers, but will inevitably create jobs in the technology and service sectors."

2004/1114

Released on October 15, 2004

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