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Issue: 47
IIC Policy World

What's in this month's issue?

Event Calendar

• Update from Americas 

• Update from Asia Pacific

• Update from Europe

Q&A: Dr Stephen Collins, Vimpelcom

• InterMedia - How the internet got Donald Trump elected

• Latest updates from Regulatory Watch




How the Internet got Donald Trump Elected

In his persuasive and meticulously researched article in this month’s Intermedia, Eli Noam argues that the factors leading to Donald Trump’s election – including employment, equality and societal fragmentation – are inherent in an internet-based society, and a portent of much more to come.
Specifically, he points to the issue of disintermediation, and the consequent lack of filtering, as a major challenge in a democracy. This helps to place in sharp focus many of the issues we have on our agenda for 2017, including governance, privacy and, in particular, “content futures”. Read Eli Noam’s excellent article here.

We are delighted to congratulate regular IIC speaker Ajit Pai in his new role as Chairman of the FCC and look forward to hearing his views and plans at forthcoming meetings this year.

As always, we rely on our members to both drive and respond to the evolving policy agenda. I encourage you to participate as much as possible during 2017, which has all the signs of being just as interesting as 2016!  Our first TMF of the year is happening in Doha in March so I hope to see you there.

With best wishes,


Andrea Millwood Hargrave
Director General

Upcoming Events

Telecommunications and Digital Media Forum, Doha

22-23 March 2017

Policy and regulatory responses to drive digital innovation and competitiveness whilst safeguarding consumers and critical systems

This richly expanding market and explosion of digital consumption provides challenges for regulators and policy makers. It is against this backdrop that the TMF will look at the following issue for the region:

  • Competition & convergence
  • Stimulating investment
  • Digital content
  • Digital economy

To register or see the latest programme and speakers visit the TMF Doha web page.

Regional Regulators’ Forum Working Dinner, Doha

21 March 2017

Ahead of the TMF meeting, the IIC is hosting the Regional Regulators’ Forum. The meeting will take place over dinner and will include a facilitated discussion looking at the key issues facing communications regulators across the globe.   The event is exclusive to regulators and is by invitation only. If you would like to participate please contact Andrea Millwood Hargrave.

About the TMF

The IIC Telecommunications and Media Forum (TMF) is a series of meetings held throughout the year. All members are automatically part of the TMF and member organisations can send representatives to the meetings free of charge. This year we will be in Doha, Miami and Washington.  A report that summarises the discussions at the meetings is available to members.

Event Calendar

23 February 2017 IIC UK Brexit Series: Data Protection London IIC Chapter event
Early March (TBC) Opportunities for Blockchain beyond FinTech Singapore IIC Chapter event
21-23 March 2017 Telecommunications and Digital Media Forum Doha IIC Global event
23 May 2017 Regional Regulators' Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean Miami IIC Global event
24-25 May 2017 Telecommunications and Media Forum for Latin America and the Caribbean Miami

IIC Global event

9-12 October 2017 Communications Policy and Regulation Week Brussels IIC Global event



Q&A with Dr Stephen Collins

Chief Digital Policy Officer, Vimpelcom


This month, Policy World talks to Dr Stephen Collins of Vimpelcom

1. Vimpelcom describes itself as ' driven by a vision to unlock new opportunities for our customers as they navigate the digital world'. You are in a number of emerging markets as well as mature markets internationally, how do you manage to balance the two aspects of Vimpelcom's reach? What is the overarching strategy as you go into these areas?

2. Vimpelcom is also making key inroads into the business to business markets - is this in particular geographic areas or is this a general strategy?

3. You personally have always been at the cutting edge of new technologies, how have you seen the sector develop in the last three years and what have been the pressure points the industry has had to respond to?

4. What is the single element that a regulator can do to best enable industry to achieve its goal of benefitting customers (retail and business) and increasing its own efficiencies?

5. The next IIC event is the Telecommunications and Digital Media Forum in Doha, Qatar. You have long been involved with the IIC - what particular value does your experience with the IIC bring to your work and that of your colleagues?

Dr Stephen Collins was appointed Chief Digital Policy Officer at VimpelCom Ltd in November 2016, having previously been its Chief Corporate and Regulatory Affairs Officer since September 2015.

From February 2012 to September 2015 Dr Collins was Vice President Corporate Affairs for Microsoft EMEA in Brussels. He was previously worldwide Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs at Skype (2005-2011) and Director of International Public Policy at Yahoo! (2000-2005).

He has held posts in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, at the University of Birmingham, and at the German-British Forum, and he has also worked as a freelance political consultant and writer.

He is the former President of the European Digital Media Association and board member of DIGITALEUROPE.

See Dr Collins’ answers

Regional Updates

The IIC has directors in various regions of the world. These are dedicated TMT professionals who work with the IIC on a voluntary basis to share knowledge, facilitate relationships and create long-term bonds between regulatory authorities and the businesses they regulate.  Here we bring you news from these regions.



New appointment at the FCC and farewell to an old friend

We congratulate the newly elected Chairman of the FCC, Ajit Pai,  a loyal friend and supporter of the IIC who has spoken at IIC events in the US and the UK and led controversial discussions on many occasions.  We look forward to continued contributions from Chairman Pai and his team.

We are also sorry to say goodbye to Tom Wheeler, the outgoing chairman of the FCC.  We have been proud to have Tom participate in several of our meetings where lively and interesting debate has arisen. Tom wrote to Chris Chapman, IIC President, and said “It has been an honour and privilege working with you on communications and technology issues and I wish you the very best for the future.”  The IIC wishes him all the best too.


At a December 6, 2016 meeting, the IIC Canada Board of Directors decided to adopt a new approach for its annual conferences. Starting in 2017, IIC Canada will host a “Communications Law and Policy Conference”, every second year. The Chapter’s regular “Communications Policy” conference will continue to be held in future even-numbered years.
Under the new approach, IIC Canada will effectively be taking over from the Law Society of Upper Canada as the hosting organization for the biennial Communications Law and Policy Conference, which has been held every second year for the last 40 years. Read more

Asia Pacific


Digital data the driving force

Australia’s increasing appetite for digital content, particularly online video content services is driving change across the communications sector, according to the latest ACMA Communications Report. Read more

Australia's new data framework puts consumers in control

Submissions closed on 12 December 2016 for the Data Availability and Use Draft Report, which recommends a major overhaul of Australia's data policy framework, including the right to give people more control over their data.  Read more

Telecommunications sector security reforms introduced

A new bill introduced into the Australian senate late last year will strengthen the current framework for managing national security risks to the country’s telecommunications networks. Read more


Upcoming Events

Opportunities for Blockchain beyond FinTech

March 2017, Date to be confirmed
Hosted by IIC Singapore and TRPC
Location: Singapore – venue TBC

Join us as our panellists speak about what blockchain is, how they may be used, and the other possible applications of the use of blockchain beyond FinTech.  To receive more information when it is available contact Michael Khoo.

Reports from the Asia Pacific region

Visit the Asia Pacific region pages of the website to see up to date industry reports from the Singapore Chapter.



IIC UK Brexit Series: Data Protection

A data island? Britain’s data protection regime after Brexit – early considerations
23 February 2017
Hosted by Squire Patton Boggs, London

The future shape of the UK’s ICT policy will very much depend on what form of Brexit is ultimately agreed between the UK and the EU-27. Commentators (on both sides of the Channel) seem to agree that due to the crucial economic (and other) interests underpinned by cross-border data exchanges, it will be necessary to ensure the continued flow of personal data between the EU and Britain.

Similarly, the UK’s approach to data retention will need to ensure that the provisions of instruments such as the Investigatory Powers Bill do not allow for what the EU Court of Justice has characterised as “indiscriminate surveillance and interception carried out on a large scale,” in violation of the rights and freedoms of individuals.  Otherwise, the UK may find itself in the same difficult position as the United States vis-à-vis the negotiation of cross-border data flows with the EU-27.

To discuss this and other issues, register here.

Other discussions in the series

November 2016: What are the red lines in Brexit negotiations – see summary here


New board member announced for Agcom

Antonio Nicita, a Commissioner of the Italian Communications Authority (Agcom) has been appointed by the Agcom Board as its representative in the Italian Chapter of the IIC. Antonio Nicita takes the place of Antonio Preto, who prematurely died last November. Read more


Members receive InterMedia, the IIC’s quarterly journal. It reviews key developments in telecommunications and media policy, regulatory affairs, emergent ICT trends and, especially, the impact of the internet across the entire ecosystem.

How the Internet Get Donald Trump Elected

By Eli Noam

The factors that combined to help elect the new US president have the internet as a common denominator, reckons Eli Noam – and these factors are now inherent in an internet-based economy and society.

Eli Noam is director of the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information. Among many projects, he is the lead author, with the International Media Concentration Collaboration, of Who Owns the World’s Media? Media Concentration and Ownership around the World, published by OUP USA in 2016.

InterMedia, January 2017, Volume 44, Issue 4

Full index of 2014-2016 InterMedia articles

InterMedia is a rich resource of articles, reports and interviews and the contents reflect the IIC’s on-going discussion themes.  To make life easier for you, we’ve created an index of all the articles published in 2014 and 2016.

Regulatory Watch

The IIC’s eye on the news.  This bulletin is regularly updated with thumbnails of industry news.  Follow the links for a round-up of latest industry stories.

Europe proposes to update privacy rules

The European Commission has proposed legislation to update current privacy rules, extending their scope to all electronic communication providers.

India consults again on net neutrality

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published another consultation paper on net neutrality, inviting stakeholders to provide their views on issues relating to the establishment of a comprehensive framework for non-discriminatory access to the internet, notes TeleGeography.

China aims to boost telecoms investment

The Chinese government has renewed calls for private investment in the country's telecoms firms as it encourages them to cut fees and other costs and become more competitive in offering internet-related services, reports Reuters.

US agency releases report on Tesla crash

“Drivers need to pay attention while driving, even as technology gradually takes over the task” – that’s the message US safety regulators have delivered after closing an investigation into a fatal Tesla crash in Florida last year involving the vehicle’s Autopilot system, reports the Los Angeles Times

Nigerian industry body calls for regulator convergence

The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has called on regulators in the ICT industry to consider merging, reports Naija247News. “ATCON’s president, Olusola Teniola, said that the absence of a converged regulatory environment was preventing convergence of services in the industry…”

Norway turns off FM stations

Norway is turning off its FM radio stations, making good on a decision made in April 2016, and following a radio digitisation mandate issued by the Storting (the Norwegian parliament) in 2011.

Read more at Regulatory Watch

About Us

The IIC exists to enable the balanced, open dialogue that shapes the policy agenda

The IICs events, meetings and articles coalesce around six global themes addressing trends in innovation and investment, governance, content, competition, privacy and spectrum. These themes are reflected in the event programmes and in InterMedia content. Visit our updated homepage where Chris Chapman introduces the IIC.


We’d be interested to hear your views on any of these stories so email Shermin Ali with any comments and we’ll publish a selection of viewpoints.

Membership Options

We asked members what they find most valuable and useful about their membership of the IIC. These are the top 10 reasons they gave -

The IIC enables us to...

1.Keep up to date with trends, issues and what the industry is focusing on

2.Gain unique insights and industry or policy information

3.Meet my counterparts and stakeholders from industry and regulatory bodies

4.Contribute to debates on the public policy agenda and share my organisation's viewpoint

5.Build a network and develop relationships particularly informally with regulators

6.Explore ideas in an independent environment

7.Focus on particular issues or technological developments at workshops

8.Schedule private meetings with contacts at global events

9.Meet lawyers and consultants who could be helpful to our business

10.Build lasting relationships around the world through the regular schedule of events

Membership Benefits

IIC Sponsorship

IIC Sponsorship is for organisations active in regulation or industry. These members work closely with the IIC, helping to shape the policy agenda, contributing to discussions from which the wider community benefits.

Full Membership

Full membership is for organisations active in the world of telecoms, media and technology and their regulation regardless of size. Members are drawn from regulators, telecoms operators, broadcasters, network providers, OTT players and smaller digital start-ups.

Associate Membership

Associate membership is for firms providing professional services and consultancy to the industry such as lawyers, consultants and analysts. The meetings give specialists in the TMT field the chance to keep up to date with new thinking and new players.


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