SPEECH published on 03 Sep 2014 • Department / Unit Technology & Innovation Legal & Policy CommunicationsAdvocacy Page Open Internet

Capacity building for economic development with Open Internet

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

The broadcast media sector that I represent here - the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) but also the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) - is one of the most exposed to the digital revolution.

The switchover from analogue TV to digital transmissions, now nearly complete in Europe, has consequently removed technical barriers that were previously isolating the TV and radio markets from the other industries.

As a result of this convergence, broadcasters are now competing with printed media, telecom operators and  IT-based industries.

At the Net Mundial meeting in April in Sao Paulo, it was pointed out that although Globo, Brazil’s largest media conglomerate, remains the leader in advertising revenues within the Brazilian market, now a US company has become the second largest recipient of Brazilian advertising revenue, with a total approaching 80% of that of Globo last year. Interestingly this US company employs 100 people responsible for generating this revenue in Brazil, compared with Globo, which employs 30,000 people.

Is this an example of efficiency and strengthening of creative economy or one of unregulated market globalization?

What this example demonstrates is that the new model of economy development, based on the Internet is not only creating jobs and richness, but also at the same time challenging and sometimes destroying previously existing business models and value chains. One of the most interesting workshops of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) programme of this year will be “ICT & Jobs: creative destruction or destructive creation”.

With this example in mind, I urge you, as influential decision-makers, to take action that will provide us with a framework for global internet governance, through which we can avoid potentially devastating effects on the economies, the creativity and cultures of our societies.

Since 2003 WBU and EBU have argued in favour of global internet governance. We believe that governments in cooperation with the other stakeholders, have their mission in “governing” processes, such as the digital revolution, rather then adopting a “laissez-faire” approach.

In this sense we hope that the process launched at Net Mundial in Sao Paulo will result in a strengthening of the IGF, in the internationalization of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and also in modernizing the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) mandate.

In supporting such a global internet governance framework, we believe it is necessary to preserve the open and democratic character of the Internet; thus promoting further innovation for each citizen: market forces do, of course, have a role to play in promoting economic development and efficiency, but these market forces must co-exist in a dynamic fashion with open internet access services such as those provided by public service media.

We very much hope that progress will be made at the relevant levels.

Ownership and use of user-generated data, access to data and online data privacy are also important issues for Public Service Media. We believe that there must be, a level-playing field, ensuring free and equal access to this data.  However, such access must also be balanced with the need to safeguard users’ privacy and personal information. We very much look forward to working with other stakeholders in developing and ensuring such a balanced approach, which we see as absolutely critical.

One final point to be made: all of the concerns expressed with regards to economic sectors can also have profound effects on the media sector.  But media systems are essential for democracy and safeguarding human rights at the global and local level. To this end, the existence and conditions for the economic growth of independent media at the national level, expressed in the language of each country, with respect for minorities, must be preserved. Public service media have a special responsibility in this regard, and we believe that our public service mission is even more relevant and required in the digital era.

Thank you very much.


Author / Speaker

Jean-Paul Philippot, EBU President

Source / Event

Internet Governance Forum, Istanbul, Turkey