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Our growing dependence on Internet technology as the backbone of a global society is unprecedented.

Many aspects of international trade and finance are now dependent on the integrity and global connectedness of the Internet. The choices we make regarding how we govern Internet technology could have far-reaching implications for economic, social and environmental sustainability.

Deregulation in many industrialized countries has encouraged an explosion of communication offerings. As a result, telephone, cable television and Internet service providers are increasingly invading each other's traditional markets, resulting in the convergence of voice, data and computing technology delivered over a combination of new and legacy infrastructure. These trends suggest a future where one will be able to connect to the Internet anywhere and at any time, as well as a future where the Internet will be the foundation for all information and communication exchanges. In other words, the future of global connectivity is that of the Internet itself.

Strengthening our understanding of the critical uncertainties about tomorrow's Internet is crucial for understanding what form the global connectivity system may take. The policies and agreements enacted by international, national and multistakeholder bodies to address critical Internet uncertainties could play a pivotal role in guiding the evolution of the global connectivity system and determining whether the transformations it is catalyzing contribute to global sustainability.

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