IGF 2022 WS #399 Global Governance of LEO Satellite Broadband

Time
Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (13:50 UTC) - Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 (15:20 UTC)
Room
CR3

Organizer 1: Agustina Callegari, Internet Society
Organizer 2: Kulesza Joanna, University of Lodz

Speaker 1: Dan York, Technical Community, Intergovernmental Organization
Speaker 2: Akcali Gur Berna , Civil Society, Eastern European Group
Speaker 3: wu Fei, profesor, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Speaker 4: Mwangi Michuki, Technical Community, African Group

Moderator

Kulesza Joanna, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Online Moderator

Dan York, Technical Community, Intergovernmental Organization

Rapporteur

Kulesza Joanna, Civil Society, Eastern European Group

Format

Round Table - Circle - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. What are the potential benefits and challenges of LEO-based Internet access? 2. What role is to be played by LEO-based internet access – is it merely an accessory to already existing networks or will it become the ultimate model for all Internet-enabled services? 3. How should the global community address concerns regarding its affordability, capacity, security and privacy of data enabled through LEO-based Internet services? 4. What are the potential ‘data/digital sovereignty’ and jurisdictional challenges to the integration of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations to the (5G) telecommunications network? 5. How will the current geopolitical and economic hegemony of developed states in standard-setting for LEO broadband impact developing countries? 6. What international law measures and norms can be applied to the use of LEO-based Internet Access, to ensure sustainable development and equitable access to broadband Internet for all?

Connection with previous Messages:

SDGs

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10. Reduced Inequalities
9.1
9.c
17. Partnerships for the Goals

Targets: This workshop aims to clarify the applicable policies and international regulatory framework and set out its limitations, in view of the current power imbalances and their impact on the use of LEO Satellite technology by developing countries, through reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) as well as SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 17 (Partnerships to achieve the Goal). Considering the current aspect of the pandemic, with Internet access being the necessary precondition to enjoy the right to education and free work, this research will also contribute to the understanding of SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

Description:

This panel addresses the opportunities and challenges of satellite reliant Internet access, currently offered by service providers such as SpaceX or OneWeb. We seek to explore potential benefits as well as threats that come with this new technology. We address this new phenomenon through references to the SDGs and international law, exploring whether current policies offer plausible solutions to upcoming or potential problems. This panel sets off on the premise that global governance of outer space is based on its recognition as global commons, a resource not owned by any one nation but crucial to the future of all humankind. All space related activities of countries, including their domestic regimes regulating the launch and operation of commercial communication satellites are expected to comply with international law, specifically international space law. The international legal framework had been designed to safeguard the peaceful exploration and use of space. Similarly, the telecommunications sector has long been regulated at national, regional, and international levels. Privacy and cybersecurity-related national concerns with respect to the use of LEO satellite technology are likely to be expressed with reference to these norms. The interpretation of these existing norms and addressing their shortcomings is an essential step to governing the use and implementation of this new technology that has the potential to further global connectivity by complementing existing infrastructure. Moreover, a concise and well-justified narrative on the need to address sustainable Internet access at the stage of developing the infrastructure for new generation mobile technologies complemented by LEO satellite technology will directly benefit the implementation of the SGDs named above and, more directly, the communities they aim to support. Global Internet Governance Academic Network (GigaNet) has endorsed this panel as per its policy: https://www.giga-net.org/endorsements/.

Expected Outcomes

This workshop aims to clarify the applicable policies and international regulatory framework and set out its limitations, in view of the current power imbalances and their impact on the use of LEO Satellite technology by developing countries, through reference to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) as well as SDG 10 (Reduced Inequality), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and SDG 17 (Partnerships to achieve the Goal). Considering the current aspect of the pandemic, with Internet access being the necessary precondition to enjoy the right to education and free work, this research will also contribute to the understanding of SDG 4 (Quality Education) and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth). This workshop will fall in line with two ISOC dedicated projects exploring policy recommendations for next generation network. Internet end users can join the ISOC LEO project community, who will play an important role in helping all of us learn more about LEO systems, working toward a shared position on LEO systems for Internet access. This panel aims to inform this dedicated policy development scheme and as such falls directly in line with the SDGs named above.

Hybrid Format: Once informed by the MAG that the session has been accepted, the panellists will hold a series of online working meetings to best identify themes to be covered and complementary discussion points. The specific wording of the questions will be provided as well as the initial statements of all panellists. These will serve as a starting point of discussion. We will discuss a wide range of issues relevant to LEOs policies and governance, as reflected in the dedicated ISOC study https://www.internetsociety.org/action-plan/2022/#low-earth-orbit , ranging from the economic aspects of rising monopolies from SpaceX and national space programmes as well as the cybersecurity issue, using the case of Starlink and its role during the Ukrainian conflict which will be complemented with a perspective on current trends in LEO satellites related policies and a reflection on the forums where these are discussed. Building upon the years-long experience of panellists, actively involved in various forms of online policy development, the session will rely on both: in-person and remote participation, with the remote moderator ensuring equal participation to those at the venue and online. a. Platform Usage The format of the debate will welcome brief (5 mins) interventions of all panelists and an open Q&A and comments session, welcoming input from online and on-site participants. We will also open a Twitter thread with the hashtag #[email protected] to welcome feedback from social media channels. The online moderator will encourage remote participation via various social media platforms, in addition to the platform provided by the IGF Secretariat. The organizational team will work on promoting the activity on social media and will invite relevant stakeholders to join the session and share questions before the debate. Online participants will have a speaking priority with their participation encouraged by online moderators. b. Moderator Experience Both moderators have previously hosted IGF panels as well as other events and are comfortable with the tasks and skills necessary to ensure a lively conversation and effusive audience involvement.

Online Participation

 

Usage of IGF Official Tool.