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03 August 2012, 09:39

IETF, W3C and IEEE publish statement on modern standardisation

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The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) presented a joint statement on modern global standardsPDF in Vancouver. The paper calls for fair, consensus-based processes, transparency and access for all to the principles of modern standardisation. Standards, they say, should not be determined by a few large corporations.

IETF head Russ Housley was met with astonishment when he expressed agreement with the commitment to royalty-free standards or, at least, standards licensed according to FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) terms. Open source-friendly licences are not currently mandatory at the IETF, says Cisco engineer Cullen Jennings. Without FRAND licences, IETF standards could very well become more expensive.

Housley pointed out that the text of the statement is still being worked on and will be signed in August. In November, it will be presented to a large audience at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA) in Dubai. The major internet and web standardisation organisations would thus send a strong message right in the home of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which is often accused of a lack of transparency.

The latest bone of contention is the revision of the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITR) – preliminary negotiations were almost always conducted behind closed doors. In their statement focusing on transparency and open processes, the three organisations make their opposition to the ITU clear, saying that open, transparent standards have fostered innovation and advanced business and the economy.

(Monika Ermert / fab)

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