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UN internet regulation treaty talks begin in Dubai

• http://www.bbc.co.uk, By Leo Kelion
 Government regulators from 193 countries are in Dubai to revise a wide-ranging communications treaty.

Google has warned the event threatened the "open internet", while the EU said the current system worked, adding: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

But the agency said action was needed to ensure investment in infrastructure to help more people access the net.

"The brutal truth is that the internet remains largely [the] rich world's privilege, " said Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary-general of the UN's International Telecommunications Union, ahead of the meeting.

"ITU wants to change that."

Internet governance
 

The ITU traces its roots back to 1865, pre-dating the United Nations. Back then the focus was on telegrams, but over ensuing decades governments have extended its remit to other communications technologies.

It helped develop the standards that made sure different countries' telephone networks could talk to each other, and continues to allocate global radio spectrum and communication satellite orbits.

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