Use of the terms recognized operating agencies/operating agencies and basic definitions


This is a revised version of a suggested compromise over use of the term "operating agencies". The original was met with significant opposition so this version offers three additional options.

Broadly, the conference is split over who exactly is impacted by the ITRs themselves. "Recognized operating agencies" are a much small subset of companies - mostly traditional telecoms companies. They are the ones currently impacted by the ITRs. Some countries want this changed to just "operating agencies" which some fear would then incorporate a huge number of other companies, especially Internet companies like Google or Facebook.

The four options in this document - including one that would simply remove the term altogether - are an effort to reach a compromise between the two sides.


This issue is at the heart of a much broader fight over how far an update to the ITRs should stretch into modern communications.

It is undeniable that much, if not most, communication in 2012 happens in a way that was not envisaged in the original ITRs. Some countries want the ITRs updated to incorporate all of this communication that is carried over data networks; other countries feel that the ITRs are the wrong tool, even if updated, to reflect the modern communications environment.

As such the issue of who exactly the ITRs are said to impact is fundamental and could have significant global implications depending on who exactly they are seen to encompass.

1. As agreed in the opening plenary, the Chairman of the conference would conduct informal discussions regarding the issue of the use of the terms Operating Agency (OA) and Recognized Operating Agency (ROA). These informal discussions were subsequently extended to include the topic of “basic definitions”, in particular the proposed ADD of 14A (telecommunications/ICTs) and 15A (international telecommunication/ICT service).


2. Relevant provisions found in the Constitution are as follows:

Register for full access

If you register with the site, at no cost, you can access all content on this site.