Gregory Francis

Gregory Francis

Managing Director at Access Partnership
Joined on September 17, 2010
Total Post Views: 151,446


Greg Francis supports some of the world’s largest content providers, network operators, governments, and equipment manufacturers in developing and executing market access strategies. Active in policy fora in Europe, the Americas, Africa and the Middle East, he has assembled an internationally recognized team capable of changing all levels of telecommunications laws and regulation.

Except where otherwise noted, all postings by Gregory Francis on CircleID are licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Featured Blogs

Move Fast and Regulate Things

The international community is converging on one notion at least: that Facebook cannot be prosecutor, judge and jury of its own achievements and transgressions. The calls to regulate social media companies first came from various legislative bodies, then from civil society and national policymakers, then from the CEO of Facebook itself, "to preserve what is best about [the Internet]." If some scepticism followed that was natural enough – was the company sincere in calling for more regulation? more

Pen Testing the US Cyber Strategy

If it's not an era of intense faith in the multilateral system, somewhere among the Trump Administration's anonymous adults in the room there is a believer, and the Internet might be the better for it. Evidence for the existence of this fifth columnist lies in the US National Cyber Strategy, launched last month under the commander-in-chief's unprepossessing signature, which looks to provide security for America's connected economy. more

US Congress Re-Launches Treaty Talks on Internet Economy

Final echoes of the US Senate committee's questions of Facebook this week will only fade in the UN Security Council where, in a few years, Member States will adopt a treaty on regulation of the Internet Economy. By opening wide the door to questions on privacy, revenue, security and purpose, Congress showed its well-placed concern and signaled that others can too. more

IGF’s Brexit Moment

When people feel powerless, they sometimes push for change at any price, and in the absence of a guillotine reach for institutions instead. This makes some sense: at worst it feels good, and at best if you believe things can't get any worse, then what's to lose by shaking them up? ... Normally potent members of ICANN's community -- people and entities for whom the sensation of powerlessness is largely unfamiliar -- are nonetheless feeling that way in respect of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). more

ICANN Can Help China Secure Cyberspace

Before the righteous too much deride the "International Strategy of Cooperation on Cyberspace" emanating from China's cooperative one-party state, consider what progress it represents: a policy document that begins with principles, speaks often of cooperation, and clearly details the bilateral and multilateral approaches the country intends. By any measure, this is good practice from a keystone of the international system. And it offers a gift to those who would wish the Internet to be governed otherwise. more

Trump, Tides, and the US Tech Sector

When a tax is too high people avoid it, and when the political cost of supporting the US government becomes too high, foreign governments will avoid it too. Add to that cost America's new inclination to withdrawal, and consider the muddy tidal flat on which could soon list the hull of what used to be American technological primacy... When countries try to develop technology policies to compete with the United States, they often begin with rules over immigration. more

Touching Enhanced Cooperation

A concrete plinth was lain at the foundation of durable Enhanced Cooperation this week when ISOC unveiled its IXP toolkit and portal. In simple English (which no doubt will be expanded to other languages) the soft launch modestly seeks feedback, corrections, and further input to the already pithy and instructive content. More to the point, this resource responds to one of the principle demands of those who do not recognize themselves in the multistakeholder model: how do we get our own IXP? more

Speaking up for the Internet

For most of this year governments from outside the G8 have not wavered from their essential themes on the Internet: they regard it as a shared resource that works in part as a result of their own investment in infrastructure, they want to be included in its governance through a decision-making process that is transparent, accessible and, in broad character, multilateral, and they want to be able to trust it and know that as much as it is a tool of growth for others, it can also be for them. more

ITU 2.0: Take Time to Make Good Decisions

Since the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) discharged delegates from an atmosphere of restrained acidity last December, ITU habitu├ęs have wondered how that outcome will affect the rhythms of their regular work in Geneva. This is no less true for governments that approved of the WCIT treaty as it is for those which did not, though the immediate anxiety may be greatest for the latter - for those whom we can call, with sloppy shorthand, the G8. more

What to Say About the Treaty on the ITRs: Crib Notes

Look past the panic over December's World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT); it's unlikely to be a catastrophe for several practical reasons: (1) the negotiation lasts ten days, so there is not enough time for 193 countries to agree on how to phrase catastrophe (2) large multilateral events tend to converge, like so many voters, on the centre, and (3) the putative chairman of the event is a seasoned grown-up, and will not allow the treaty to break the global information grid. more

UN Moves on Internet Governance: Latest Dispatch

Some unsettling plans declared themselves at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) this week as countries prepared for the up-coming treaty-making jamboree called the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). This community will now have to decide what it does about them. ... It was significant to the CircleID community that the ITU's top dog -- the Secretary General - appeared in person before the assembled countries with a reassurance: the broad and unusual WCIT treaty negotiation, though it may treat many issues, would not take up Internet governance. more

WTSA, WCIT, WTPF: Apocalypse Now?

The year 2012 isn't meant to be apocalyptic, and with a little forethought it won't be, but it is the year in which we will reopen the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITRs). For many companies this will be bad news for reasons that are already well-understood and for new reasons that countries keep piling onto the agenda: a recent favorite from Russia calls for the treaty to govern and regulate all telecommunications services, "existing, emerging, and future." more

May’s G8 Summit Can Help or Hurt the Internet

The more useful the Internet becomes, the more people focus on how to run it. It is no secret that the subject is addressed in many forums today, some with powers to regulate, some with powers to persuade (and one or two with powers only to confuse). Worse, as Internet access becomes the star player in scenes of political reformation, economic growth, and delivery of citizen services, ever more countries are keen to consider how, and if, it should be governed. more

International Internet Governance: A Field Guide to 2011

If an important debate of our age is going on right now but you don't know where, no one can blame you. Part of the intrigue surrounding discussion of how the Internet will be governed is deliberate; the current process and forums were conceived by parties who want to make sure that if their agenda fails in one place that they can claw back ground in another. Part of that plan is the byzantine "commitology" of the UN system, which is now frighteningly relevant to the broadband industry and civil society. What follows is an effort to make this clear what, where, when, and how it all will happen in 2011. more

Wikileaks, Anonymous Hackers, and an Excuse for the UN

Vigilantism, in cyberspace or a New York subway, gets rejected in the main because more than just one vigilante results in an unlovely chaos. What the Anonymous cyber-vigilantes - those meting out "payback" for commercial decisions about Wikileaks - don't seem to realize is that chaos begets reaction, and in this case the victim may be the Internet itself. more

Is the UN Assailing Internet Governance?

The coven of UN bodies with a hand in internet governance keeps getting bigger: not only is the General Assembly intending soon to decide the fate of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF), but if the decision coming out of New York does not give them enough of a role, the UN has a back-up plan. In May of 2011, no less than four specialized UN agencies, UNESCO, UNCTAD, UNDP and (perhaps most legitimately) the ITU, are planning a Conference what will allow them to insert themselves still further into the matter. more

Plutocrats and the Internet

The new month visits on us a new attempt to control the Internet; the UN's specialized agency, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), is holding its quadrennial plenipotentiary meeting in Guadalajara, Jalisco this week. The governments assembled there are considering a few proposals that can best be described as piquant. more

The UN Wants to Fix The Internet

A beacon of transparency and true international cooperation packed up this week as participants in the 5th Internet Governance Forum (IGF) made their muted good-byes. No one is sure whether they will meet again next year or, if they do, under what circumstances. That's because the UN is looking to fix the IGF, a puzzling task for the busy UN since the IGF is manifestly not broken. more

Topic Interests

Internet GovernanceICANNPrivacyCensorshipWebPolicy & RegulationAccess ProvidersTelecomArtificial IntelligenceCybersecurityThreat Intelligence

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Popular Posts

Plutocrats and the Internet

The UN Wants to Fix The Internet

International Internet Governance: A Field Guide to 2011

Wikileaks, Anonymous Hackers, and an Excuse for the UN

Is the UN Assailing Internet Governance?