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This report provides policy direction and guidance from five OECD Committees in Internet-related policy areas. Its objective is to help decision-makers in their efforts to facilitate convergence, stimulate creativity, strengthen confidence, and expand opportunities for global economic, social and cultural development enabled by the Internet.
The Annex contains three OECD Council Recommendations as well as policy guidance developed by OECD Committees in six areas that express the consensus views of the entire OECD membership.
This document compares major trends in the diffusion of the Internet across OECD and selected non-OECD countries. It shows how the Internet is changing people’s lives and business behaviours, increasing productivity, stimulating innovation and opening new opportunities for education, health and government services. The profile also looks at how Internet usage is affected by education, age, income and gender as well as by user concerns about security, trust and privacy.
New: Download the 2011 update of the statistical profile, prepared for the June 2011 OECD High Level meeting on the Internet Economy: Generating Innovation and Growth.
Major changes are affecting the scope and scale of the Internet. As a result, the Internet is increasingly high on the policy agenda in many OECD and non-OECD countries. This Policy Brief reviews likely future developments in the Internet economy and how policy-makers can help the Internet to adapt to evolving requirements caused by convergence, continue to drive innovation, and be trustworthy.
Improving economic performance and welfare
Following the mandate of the 2004 OECD Council Recommendation on Broadband Development, this report examines the current state of broadband development and policies and highlights ongoing policy challenges.
Broadband and networked ICTs are diffusing rapidly, but there are significant differences in use among countries, sectors and firms, and their impacts are only beginning to be felt. Broadband and networked ICTs are important in meeting health, demographic and environmental challenges, and policy plays an important role in expanding their use and enhancing their impact.
E-Government is expected to improve the functioning of public administrations and their relationship to the public. The approach to e-government has too often been driven by information and communication technology solutions instead of user demand. Rather than creating a new service delivery channel, e-government improves existing services that governments offer citizens.
Benefiting from Convergence
Background paper: Convergence and Next Generation Networks
This report examines the significant changes occurring in the communications sector through developments in what is commonly referred to as next generation access and core networks. The Policy Guidance presents a number of principles which could be used by policy makers to reassess regulations and policies and to ensure existing frameworks do not hamper convergence, investment and choice in the marketplace.
This report raises awareness among policy makers of the capacity and limitations of the Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4), provides information on the status of readiness and deployment of the newer version of the Internet Protocol, IP version 6 (IPv6), and identifies policies to encourage all stakeholders, including governments, to play a part in IPv6 deployment.
Improving the ability of consumers to choose between competing suppliers is important for well functioning markets. This report examines how to increase market flexibility for consumers in communication services, and improve access to information. The policy guidance aims at ensuring adequate protection of consumer interests in communication services while maintaining an environment that provides incentives to develop new communication services.
OECD Policy Guidance on Radio Frequency Identification
Radio Frequency Identification (RFID): A Focus on Information Security and Privacy
RFID Applications, Impacts and Country Initiatives
This report contains policy and practical guidance principles to enhance business and consumer benefits from the use of RFID while proactively taking into account information security and privacy issues. It is supported by a report on economic aspects of RFID that reviews major fields of applications, economic impacts and country initiatives and a report that analyses information security and privacy challenges as well as possible measures and safeguards to address them.
Background paper: Digital Broadband Content: Public Sector Information and Content
Public organisations produce and hold large amounts of digitised information and content that users can access, re-use and further develop. This Council Recommendation is designed to increase access and use, and lays out principles for: openness and transparent conditions for re-use, quality and integrity, new technologies and long-term preservation, copyright, pricing, competition and redress, and international access.
Background paper: Digital Broadband Content: Digital Content Strategies and Policies
Digital content is an important factor driving growth and employment, with widespread impacts on business, governments and society. These policy principles are designed to enhance the benefits of digital content-related innovations by promoting an enabling environment, enhancing the infrastructure, and fostering a business and regulatory climate conducive to the creation, access and use of digital content.
This study describes the rapid growth of the participative web and user-created content, its increasing role in worldwide communication, and draws out implications for policy.
The film and video industries are being transformed by digitisation of the value chain and development of new business models. Digital cinema is the most recent developments, further transforming creation, access and use of video content. Film and video are increasingly global and policies must adapt to global developments.
Building ConfidenceRecommendation of the Council on the Protection of Critical Information Infrastructures
The Recommendation provides guidance on national policies and ways to improve international cooperation for the protection of critical information infrastructures (CII), the disruption or destruction of which would have a serious impact on the safety or well-being of citizens, or on the effective functioning of government or the economy. This guidance is derived from best practices identified in an OECD background report comparing CII policies in seven countries.
Malware has evolved from occasional “exploits” to a multi-million dollar criminal industry. This report informs policy makers about the evolution and impact of malware, as well as the counter-measures being taken. It concludes with suggestions for greater co-operation across the various international communities addressing malware.
OECD Policy Guidance on Online Identity Theft
Background paper: Scoping Paper on Online Identity Theft
Identity theft has been identified by many as the fastest growing crime of the 21st Century. The Scoping Paper examines the scope and scale of the issue, recommending the development of adequate law enforcement countermeasures to prevent, detect and deter it. The policy guidance calls upon countries to implement effective educational measures to prevent consumers from becoming victims on-line.
Background paper: Mobile Commerce
With the growth of mobile commerce in recent years, consumers face new challenges. The report and policy guidance lay out the policy and technical responses that need to be in place to ensure that consumers engaging in mobile commerce transactions are adequately informed, and are protected against security or privacy risks. They also recommend the adoption of measures to protect minors from commercial exploitation.
A Global Information Economy
The Internet has been remarkably successful in developing greater opportunities for communication access for the first billion users. The challenge is to expand the economic and social opportunities to the next several billion users. This report addresses changes in communications policy which are enabling this to be a practical possibility.
Other broad-ranging papers
The OECD Observer "Guarding the Net" (January 2008)
The OECD Observer "The Internet economy: Towards a better future" (November 2007)
The OECD has held several workshops, the aim of which is to feed substantively into its meeting at Ministerial level on the Future of the Internet Economy on 17-18 June 2008. These include: