The Internet is near universal because it is entirely voluntary. All of the Internet’s signature elements are voluntary, not mandated by governments. Internet protocol (IP) is a networking protocol that became universal precisely because it offered the ability for everyone to communicate in basically the same “language.” No one was required to use IP; people voluntarily adopted it because it was better and offered the most universal networking opportunity. Moreover, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), whose “mission is to make the Internet work better,” is an entirely voluntary, collaborative, multi-stakeholder process that functions outside of government control.
For the avoidance of confusion, “voluntary” here means without coercion, not without being paid.
Frankly if the ITU could run an Internet, it would have built one, and neither it, nor its spawn could or did.