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Event Report: Community Discussion on Open Standards

Posted by Karan Saini, Prem Sylvester and Anishka Vaishnav at Aug 01, 2019 06:15 PM |
This community discussion organised by HasGeek was held at the office of the Centre for Internet and Society in Bangalore, India on June 20, 2019.


Open standards are important for the growth and evolution of technology and practices for consumers and industries. They provide a range of tangible benefits, including, for instance, a reduction in cost of development for small businesses and organizations, facilitation of interoperability across different technologies in certain cases, and encouragement of competitiveness in the software and services market. Open standardization also encourages innovation, expansion in market access, transparency — along with a decrease in regulatory rigidity, as well as volatility in the market, and subsequently the surrounding economy, as well.

The importance of open standards is perhaps most strikingly evident when considering the ardent growth and impact the Internet — and the World Wide Web in particular — have been able to enjoy. The modern Internet has arguably been governed, at least for the most part, by the continuous development and maintenance of an array of inventive protocols and technical standards. Open standards are usually developed in a public-consultancy process, where the standards development organizations (“SDOs”) involved follow a multi-stakeholder model of decision-making. Multi-stakeholder models like this ensure equity to groups with varying interests, and also ensures that any resulting technology, protocol or standard which is developed is in accordance with the general consensus of those involved.

This event report highlights a community discussion on the state of open standardization in the age where immediately accessible cloud computing services are readily available to consumers — along with an imagined roadmap for the future; one which ensures steady ground for users as well as the open standards and open source software communities. Participants in the discussion focused on what they believed to be the key areas of open standardization, establishing a requirement for regulatory action in the open standards domain, while also touching upon the effects of market forces on stakeholders within the ecosystem, which ultimately guide the actions of software companies, service providers, users, and other consumers.

The event report can be accessed here.