Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Workshop 4: broadband demand stimulation: the impact of cloud


Cloud computing, big data, internet of things and most future applications are likely to be extremely bandwidth-hungry. The workshop will explore the role of cloud providers in creating demand for high speed broadband and increasing incentives to upgrade local access infrastructure. The discussion will also present the experiences of cloud providers in collaborating with telecommunication operators in order to guarantee minimum service performance. Stakeholders belonging to the private and public sector will discuss the different business models and types of initiatives.

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Workshop 4 in pictures!

/digital-agenda/en/file/9509WS4 - DAA2013.jpg Brainstorming session at Workshop 4

Your comments presented to Digital Agenda Assebly in Dublin

Dear participants to debate on Workshop 4, let me first thank all of you. Thanks to your input we had a fruitful discussions and interesting feedback on a number of open questions and issues that the European Commission, Member States and industry in networking and cloud have to tackle.

Any priority for certain cloud applications in bandwidth use or none?

Do Cloud computing, big data or internet of things consume most of users' bandwidth? Which one should be given priority – if any- given the current broadband caps?

Is the current generation of mobile communications technology (3G) adequate for cloud-based applications?

One of the increasing characteristic of internet use is the demand of connectivity anytime, anywhere. People wish to access their content and communicate via web also in mobility. Is the current generation of mobile communications technology (3G) sufficient to guarantee satisfactory quality of service (QoS) for the delivery of cloud-based services and applications on mobile devices?

Could the availability of high-speed networks trigger the emergence of alternative 'decentralized' clouds?

An interesting trend in Cloud computing is the "decentralized cloud" model. In a decentralized cloud servers are placed across a network of local households or offices, instead of huge ad hoc facilities. On the one hand this would save cost for cooling the large data centres, on the other hand hosting servers of a decentralized cloud would allow the re-use of heating produced by servers for domestic/office use (read eg.

How does cloud change the demand for broadband?

Cloud computing has the potential to dramatically modify our broadband requirement in terms of functioning and performances. How does cloud change the demand for broadband? Is cloud computing likely to increase the demand for more upload/download bandwidth symmetry in broadband offerings to SME's and households?

Which financial constraints may keep investments at a sub-optimal level?

Europe is currently facing a period of financial crisis, however brodband deployment need significant investments and it is crucial to identify current financial constraints and to understand how to optimize level of investment Which financial constraints may keep investments at a sub-optimal level? What is the impact on the take up of cloud services?

Different broadband needs for IaaS, PaaS and SaaS?

We know that talking about cloud can refer to different layers of services. In this discussion we are trying to identify potential differences in broadband need for diverse cloud layers. Do Infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Platform as a service (PaaS), Software as a service (SaaS) have different broadband needs? What is the minimum level of availability of broadband connection needed by cloud consumers (individual customers, SME's and multinationals)?

What kind of topology will be needed for tomorrow's broadband?

Network topology is a key factor for its effectiveness in delivering advanced services. What kind of topology will be needed for tomorrow's broadband? Point-to-point allowing high-speed communication between users at the edge of the network, or hierarchical between users and cloud infrastructures? Contribute to the debate and help us better addressing EU policy to achieve the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe!

Should the public sector play any role in fostering NGN deployment?

The deployment of Next Generation Networks (NGN), requires very high investement with some degree of variabiliy according to different options, such as FTTH or FTTC, chosen. At the same time the business model of telecom operators is knowing disrupting changes with so called OTT also playing an important role in the markeet. In this context, public initiative, is often solicited to reduce pressure and risk of NGN investment. Should the public sector play any role in fostering NGN deploying?

What kind of broadband for Cloud? A latent issue...

When talking about broadband, bandwidth is the measure we primarily think of. But limiting ourself to this aspect doesn't give the exact measure of what a performing network for cloud should be. Latency is also relevant. If bandwidth is related to the 'capacity' of the network, latency gives us the time needed to deliver bits of information. The limit of speed of light is there, so distance of data centre is crucial.

Should broadband demand be stimulated?

The ITU paper "The Impact of Broadband on the Economy: Research to Date and Policy Issues", ( published in 2012, argues that debate on Internet up to now suggested that "by reducing the obstacles for infrastructure investment, the digital divide challenge would disappear".


Welcome to the online discussion platform for our workshop on broadband and cloud, two subjects which will unevitably continue to have a strong link in the development of the future internet. I am Jacek Starczewski, policy officer in the 'Software and Services, Cloud' unit in Directorate E ('Net Futures') of DG Communication Networks, Content and Technology. Together with my collegue Filippo Munisteri I will be your workshop leader at the DAA next June.

Which cloud applications will require high-speed broadband?

Increasing use of cloud services is modifying users' approach to the Internet and triggering the network in a different way. What are in your opinion, the application that will be more and more used through cloud and requiring high-speed broadband? Business analytics, online gaming and streaming, simulation activity, ERP, content sharing are all 'bandwidth hungry' applications. Do you see other cloud applications highly demanding in terms of network use?