Our predictions for WCIT

These predictions are part of a longer article on the conference covering how it will work and what has happened so far.

Foolish as it may be, we have some predictions for what will happen between now and the end of WCIT. Here they are:

  • Nothing radical will appear in the ITRs. Instead it will be agreed that they will be reviewed in four or eight years' time and a range of working groups will be formed to work on various issues and report to the Council next year, take it to the ITU Plenipotentiary for initial review in 2014, and onto the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) in 2016.
  • The United States will push its hand incredibly hard (bolstered by its huge delegation of industry representatives and over-excited civil society/Internet groups who have all persuaded each other of their own truth). It will threaten to take a reservation once too often and will end up being saved by either Canada or a European country.
  • The African contingent will get extra wording in about the importance of providing access to the developing world, but will fail in their efforts to get the rest of the world to put in any money for the effort.
  • The Committee 5 meetings will go on late into the night and the conference will stretch into Saturday.
  • There will be a two-hour argument about Palestine that will have nothing whatsoever to do with telecoms or WCIT but Middle East representatives won't be able to stop themselves from getting involved.
  • ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure will be forced to plea personally with the room to be reasonable, consider the larger picture, and tell delegates that the world is watching.
  • There will be an hour recess while everything that has been argued over for more than a year is finally agreed to in a private meeting between the main actors. What results is then green-lighted by everyone even though they aren't quite sure what the final text looks like.