chapter  1
51 Pages

The International Telecommunication Union

WithJames G. Savage

This chapter focuses on the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), some major political issues that dominate international telecommunications regulation, and considers the development of the international regulatory regime that has emerged to control and coordinate international telecommunications. It deals with an overview of the several dominant areas of change—and hence contention—within ITU activity. The ITU is confronting issues of unprecedented complexity, but it would be melodramatic to suggest that this is threatening the Union's survival or even the core of its effectiveness. The complexity of ITU structure often frightens off many would-be observers. The "Board of Directors" of the ITU is made up of the 41 members of the Administrative Council. ITU structure, despite its apparent complexity, follows a logical and, among UN specialized agencies, familiar pattern. The ITU has provided an indispensable role in managing the limited common resource that is the spectrum.