Events
NTRA Outreaching to the United States
10/9/2006

The NTRA international policies strategy focuses on consolidating ties with all international stake-holders and partners, through strengthening ties with counterparts worldwide.

On the American level and as a follow-up to the visit of H.E.. Dr. Tarek Kamel to the United States in June 2006, the NTRA sought to build upon the positive outcomes of the fruitful Ministerial visit and to establish strong linkages with institutions that are considered strategic for NTRA and the ICT field in Egypt. The NTRA delegation headed by Dr. Amr Badawi NTRA Executive President, visited Washington D.C. during the period from 10 to16 September, 2006 on an official mission to the U.S.

The main aim of the visit was to maintain and strengthen strategic ties with our U.S. partners, especially our counterpart the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as well as open channels with new entities including governmental, non governmental as well as private sector entities.

The meetings addressed the latest technologies, regulatory trends, and possible ways of cooperation in both areas with the American entities.
Meetings schedule included the following:

On the governmental level:

 Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP); Department of Commerce:
Cooperation between CLDP and NTRA dates back to 2003; since then a series of joint workshops and consultations have taken place, mainly in the area of telecom dispute resolution. The meeting with the CLDP was mainly to enhance our communication channels with the Program as well as reaffirm our interest to continue our technical cooperation.


 Department of State:

During the meeting, both parties reaffirmed their  interest in keep communication lines open, in order to continuously exchange information about the ICT sectors and any developments in that respect. The American party showed great interest in Internet Governance in Egypt, and commended Egypt's efforts in this regards.


 Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is an independent US government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications of radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. possessions. Out of the six main Bureaus of the FCC, NTRA approached the International Bureau, which is composed of three divisions: Policy Division, Strategic Analysis and Negotiations Division and Satellite Division.

A joint NTRA-FCC workshop on convergence was held at the FCC premises in D.C. The discussions were meant as a preparatory step for the conference on convergence, 'Regulation in the Era of Convergence', which NTRA is preparing for in cooperation with FCC and is scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2007.

• U.S. Trade representative (USTR)

During this meeting, both parties exchanged views on the potential International Gateway licenses and relation with the WTO agreement.

• National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA)

NTIA deals with several issues that are of interest to NTRA, like broadband, wireless communication, VoIP, electronic numbering, and universal service. Chief among interests of NTIA is the Internet Governance affairs.

Both parties discussed several issues of major importance such as convergence, Internet Governance (IG), the license of the third mobile operator in Egypt, broadband over Power Line. The ICANN MOU was also discussed.


On the non-governmental level, NTRA delegation met with representatives of National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the main objective was to get their opinion on the latest in the U.S. 'converged' communications scene, and possible inputs on the use and application of cable TV (including obstacles faced, impact of the digitalization of broadcasting…etc.) as  a possible application of convergence in Egypt.

On the level of the Private Sector, the NTRA delegation met with :

 Venable
 TMG
 Microsoft
 NEUSTAR
   
While meeting with Venable, which is one of the leading law/consultancy firms, NTRA discussed the possibility of making use of their consultancy services in the various issues the NTRA is currently working or planning to work on.

Venable showed great interest in working with NTRA, and even suggested that the NTRA-Venable relations could take the form of a kind of partnership, where channels of communications are continuously active, rather than a limited a company-client relation.

NTRA’s delegation meets with TMG which is the consultancy firm with which NTRA cooperated to prepare the RFP for the license of the third mobile operator. The Egyptian Delegation also met with Microsoft, NEUSTAR.