In times past maps of global networks showed cables terminating at national and coastal borders. Following liberalisation, in a growing number of countries, these networks are now borderless. For example NTT, Telia, Teleglobe and France Telecom have either built or acquired their own networks in the United States. At the same time carriers, headquartered in the United States, have raced to build pan European networks following widespread liberalisation in January 1998. In other cases carriers have formed alliances or joint ventures with each partner taking the lead in a specific region (e.g. AT&T-BT, KPN-Qwest, Telstra-Pacific Century Cyberworks).
How is Internet traffic exchanged? What financial mechanisms are in place for the exchange of Internet traffic and how are they encouraging Internet development? How will the evolving end-to-end networks and services impact on how these arrangements will evolve? Will all traffic exchange simply become a question of local origination and termination? In the case of state-owned carriers does this structure provide them with the flexibility to adapt to a new environment? What are the trends in content location and how do these factors influence Internet traffic patterns and financial arrangements?
Chair: Dietmar Plesse, BMWI, Germany and Vice Chair OECD Working Party on Telecommunications and Information Services Policy.