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Issue: 48
IIC Policy World

What's in this month's issue?




Bulletin from Bangkok, brainstorm from Brussels

Well we’re off with a rich calendar of events for 2017 beginning with our first Telecommunications and Digital Media Forum in Doha next month. 

This month Amanda Crabbe (our programme director) and I went to Brussels to meet with the European Commission and IIC members to brainstorm ideas and topics for the 2017 Annual Conference and International Regulators Forum (IRF) which will be held in Brussels in October.  It was a very fruitful discussion and we’ve lots of ideas which build on the rich debate which has been happening throughout the last 12 months.

In the latest issue of InterMedia, Marc Beishon provides an excellent round up of the discussions that took place in Bangkok at the 2016 Annual Conference and IRF.  Themes included pressures of convergence, cross-sectoral collaboration, the level playing field, connecting the unconnected, spectrum and 5G and streamlining regulation.  Plus, a summary of one of the world’s major initiatives on next generation broadband which is taking place in Australia.  Marc’s article 'Bulletin from Bangkok', is available to read here.

We hope it inspires you to join us for one or more of the exciting meetings we have planned for the next 12 months. 

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 panellists and speakers from Al Jazeera, Cisco, Ericsson, Etisalat, Facebook, Nokia, Ooredoo, Orange, Vodafone and Vimpelcom as well as regulators from Europe, the Middle East and the US will discuss

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

To see the latest programme and speakers visit the TDMF Doha web page. You can register here.

Regional Regulators’ Forum Working Dinner, Doha

21 March 2017

Ahead of the TDMF meeting, the IIC is holding the Regional Regulators Forum, hosted by the Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar. The meeting will take place over dinner and will begin with a facilitated discussion looking at the key regulatory issues facing the region. The event is invitation only, and if you would like to receive an invitation 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
8 March 2017 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 Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai

President, Communications Regulatory Authority of Qatar (CRA)


This month, Policy World talks to Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai of the CRA

1. The Authority (CRA) has recently finalized the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP), looking at proposed spectrum usage both in current sectors and making plans for technologies that are still not quite developed. This seems to have been a mammoth task. How did you go about information gathering? In drawing up the NFAP, what sorts of considerations did you have to balance?

2. When you took office some 18 months ago, you said that you wanted the CRA to be transparent in its dealings and operations, and to ensure independence. The CRA was set up as an independent regulatory authority. What are the learnings you would offer to others in a similar transition stage?

3. A key part of your remit is, you have said consistently, to develop ‘a comprehensive competition policy that will detail market behaviours and you will look at anti-competitive behaviour in some detail. What have been the challenges and how much more work is there for the CRA to do?

4. An example of the way that the CRA reaches out to develop the more societal aspects of its remit, has been the drive to encourage schools to adopt a bespoke url (“. sch.qa”) to distinguish it from other Qatari-language urls. Why is this deemed to be important?

5. The next IIC event is the Telecommunications and Digital Media Forum in Doha, Qatar, hosted by the CRA. The CRA and its predecessors 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?

Mr Al-Mannai has been president since 2015 and is responsible for leading all technical, financial and administrative affairs of the CRA, established to regulate the communications and postal sectors, as well as access to digital media.

See Mr Al-Mannai’s 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.

Asia Pacific


Foxtel and Facebook to join forces to fight unauthorised streaming of real time TV

Unauthorised streaming through Facebook live of a recent boxing match has resulted in Facebook and Foxtel stating they will work together to stop piracy.  News.com.au reported that while Facebook already has software allowing rights owners to track down unauthorised streams of TV shows and movies this will be the first time the tools tackle real-time broadcasts. Read more

The media ownership loophole for newspapers online

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that a senior regulator has highlighted that a loophole currently exists in Australian media law that would allow newspaper owners to buy television and radio licences... Read more

ACMA to auction 700 MHz spectrum that can be used for mobile broadband and 4G

The ACMA will conduct a spectrum auction to allocate 2 x 15 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum in frequency ranges 733–748 MHz and 788–803 MHz in April 2017.  This spectrum, referred to as the unsold lots, remained unallocated after the 2013 digital dividend auction, during which spectrum in the frequency ranges 703–748 MHz and 758–803 MHz was offered for allocation. Read more


Upcoming Events

Opportunities for Blockchain beyond FinTech

8 March 2017
Hosted by IIC Singapore and TRPC
Location: PayPal Singapore, Innovation Lab, Level 7, 5 Temasek Boulevard, Suntec Tower 5, Singapore 038985

A ‘blockchain’ (or distributed digital ledger) is potentially a major disruptive disintermediating technology in the making. A distributed digital ledger records all transactions online so their history is transparent and available to anyone at any time through connected devices. All participants can query in real time the validity of a new transaction. So the ‘crowd’ replaces a ‘central authority’ for authentication.

Join us as our speakers and panellists explore the issues this raises, how blockchains may be used, and the other possible applications beyond FinTech. To register 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.



Upcoming Events

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.

With experts drawn from industry and analysts working in the field of privacy and cybersecurity, you can join the discussion as the Brexit debate gains momentum by registering here.

Other discussions in the series

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


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.

Bulletin from Bangkok by Marc Beishon

The IIC’s annual conference in Bangkok, Thailand, in the autumn focused on regulatory and policy transformation for the digital economy and all its aspects.

Report by Intermedia editor, MARC BEISHON

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 since 2014.

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.

Agreement on content and mobile roaming in Europe

Europeans will soon be able to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services when travelling within the EU, according to an agreement reached by negotiators of the European Parliament, the member states and the European Commission

Global trends: half of mobile users only making calls

Almost half of mobile phone users worldwide still only use their devices to make voice calls and send SMS, according to consumer research by GSMA Intelligence.

Netherlands proposes new merger powers

The Dutch government has proposed legislation that would give it power to block or undo mergers in the telecoms sector, reports Reuters.

Ex-FCC head: new administration yet to answer questions on internet future

In an interview in Marketplace, the recent FCC chair, Tom Wheeler, was asked about regulations he created. Says Wheeler: “Well, I think it's really important that we have protected a fast, fair, and open internet. And the question now becomes: how will the new administration respond to that?

Germany acts on transmitter in children’s doll

Germany’s regulator has taken action against unauthorised wireless transmitting equipment in a children’s doll called Cayla, and has already removed products from the market

Nigerian regulator hires consultant for interconnect review

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has hired consultants PwC to carry out an impact assessment on the interconnect regime, reports Biztech Africa. The NCC’s chair, Umar Danbatta, speaking at a stakeholder forum, said the review had become necessary in view of the changes in the sector.

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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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