Open Standards, Open Innovation, and the Rollout of IMS

Tags: Technology Policy

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The Internet’s open architecture has proved to be an engine of innovation. The traditional openness of the original TCP/IP protocol suite, however, is coming under pressure as broadband providers develop new network architectures that may, depending on how they are implemented, change the traditional model of “innovation without permission.” Notably, the advent of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) has raised three questions addressed by the roundtable: (1) what is IMS and why should policymakers care about its development?; (2) what opportunities and threats do the rollout of IMS raise?; and (3) what policy concerns—related to innovation and competition—are implicated by those issues?

On Friday, February 7th, 2009, the Silicon Flatirons Center held a roundtable discussion on Open Standards, Open Innovation, and the Rollout of IMS. The goal was to assess to what extent the emergence of IMS will be an instrument of control for carriers (whether to monetize access to the network—“put a cash register over the Internet,” as critics have alleged) or better manage traffic flows and open up opportunities for new and better ways of communicating (e.g., accessing text or voice messages from any device).


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