October 26th, 2016

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation launches a global study on over-the-top services

Tunis, 26 October 2016 – Today, at the Commonwealth coordination meeting at the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly 2016, the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) launched a global study on over-the-top (OTT) services, based on a mandate issued by the Commonwealth ICT Ministers in June 2016. The study aims to understand the market dynamics and policy and regulatory issues of OTT’s, both in the context of their impact on traditional business models and of opportunities for innovation and stimulating economic growth.

Adopting a multistakeholder approach, the first stage of the study will gather the views of policy makers, regulators, network operators, OTT service providers, consumers and others via an online survey. The outcomes of the survey will be available by the end of 2016 which will provide the foundation for further consultations; national, regional and global, with a view to identifying key interests, concerns and issues with the final report due by the second quarter of 2017.

Speaking on this occasion Mr Shola Taylor, Secretary-General of the CTO said, “I cannot think of a more appropriate forum than WTSA 16 to launch this initiative, on a technology that holds much promise while impacting on complex interests. As an intergovernmental organisation that has served its stakeholders for over 100 years and steeped in the principles of the Commonwealth, one of which is working on the basis of consensus, the CTO is ideally placed to carry out this study. We look forward to the active participation of stakeholders, from the Commonwealth and beyond, so that the study will truly reflect the needs of the Global ICT sector and addresses its priorities.” Adding his views, Dr Fidelis Onah, Director of Technical Standards and Network Integrity of the Nigerian Communications Commission said “we are pleased that the CTO is undertaking this study as it is well positioned to capture the views of countries in all stages of development through its diverse membership network. I am certain that the outcomes will help guide the utilisation of OTTs in a manner that is fair and equitable to all stakeholders.”

More information about the study and the gateway to participate are available on the CTO website at http://www.cto.int/consultancy/cto-ott-study.

For more information please contact Osman Siddiqui, o.siddiqui@cto.int or +44 (0) 20 8600 3820.

About the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is the oldest and largest Commonwealth intergovernmental organisation in the field of information and communication technologies. Although our history can be traced back to 1901 with the establishment of the Pacific Cable Board, the organisation has only existed in its present form as an intergovernmental treaty organisation since 1967. With a diverse membership spanning developed and least developed countries, small island developing states, and more recently also the private sector and civil society, the CTO aims to become a trusted partner for sustainable development for all through ICTs. More information about us here.