Improving how information is shared and decisions made

Topic factors (explanation)

Importance: High
Interest: High
Agreement: Medium
Resolution: Medium

There is widespread agreement that there should be greater and more effective cooperation and coordination between the groups that are responsible for different aspects of the Internet.

Despite years of public pronouncements in favor of cooperation, there remains an ongoing dispute over how the Internet should be governed, broadly reflecting a philosophical difference between centralized and decentralized decision-making, and most commonly summarized as a struggle between ICANN and the ITU.

The WSIS process and Internet Governance Forum (IGF) - itself the result of WSIS - are sometimes framed in terms of competing interests. Additionally, the phrase "enhanced cooperation" has been the source of years of tension and disagreement and in part led to a split between governments that was tangibly reflected in the signing/rejection of an agreement developed at WCIT in December 2012.

Many on the mailing list highlighted the need for non-government groups to cooperate more effectively with governments. One thread questioned the assigned "roles" developed in the Tunis Agenda.

The Internet's technical bodies have been meeting periodically for a number of years under the banner of the "I*" or "I-star" organizations, but those meetings are small and limited to the executive level.

In addition, posters from all stakeholder groups reported limited understanding and exposure of the issues beyond their own networks. Mainstream business groups and civil society organizations show little interest. One poster noted a shared interest, but no crossover, between Internet governance groups and those involved with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

If /1net is to achieve its key goal of ensuring all voices are accounted for when deciding upon the future of the Internet, there will need to be sustained efforts to help different groups communicate and work with one another toward agreed, common goals.