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Telecommunications is an inherently transnational technology. As such, the development of telecommunications has always required substantial co-operation and agreement between nation states. Historically, the need for on-going co-operation between states has meant the establishment of inter-governmental organisations, of which the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is the oldest. In addition, the nature of the industry demands the construction of communications links across jurisdictions subject to both domestic and international law. As such, the telecommunications industry has been subject to treaties and conventions established under public international law for the treatment and use of common natural resources, specifically the law of the sea and outer space law. This module broadly examines four substantive aspects of international telecommunications law: (a) The construction of international telecommunications network infrastructure, both satellites and submarine cables; (b) the standards and operating rules established under the framework of the International Telecommunications Union; (c) the impact of the World Trade Organisation and associated trade agreements on national telecommunication markets and legal regimes and (d) issues for developing countries.

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