Broadband Gap 2007 :: At a Glance
The Event At A Glance
As the information revolution unfolds, its benefits extend far beyond commercial centres and metropolitan areas. Yet commercial entities shy away from investing in broadband infrastructure in remote, under developed or rural areas.
Why? There are a number of reasons why the expected returns on investment in broadband can be unattractive to commercial operators: the area may have a difficult geography; low population density, income or education levels; or its economic structure may not be suitable for commercial investments in Information & Communication Technologies (ICTs).
"these regions' remoteness or economic difficulties are exactly why investments in broadband are so important to them"
Yet these regions' remoteness or economic difficulties are exactly why investments in broadband are so important to them. The Communication “Bridging the broadband gap” (March, 2006 - read more), is a strong commitment to providing broadband to all Europeans. It recommends the use of all possible policy, budgetary and regulatory instruments, including EU Information society policy and telecommunications rules and the use of EU structural and rural funds, while respecting state aid rules.
The Communication identifies the exchange of best practices and the strengthening of synergies among relevant EU policies as main avenues for action for the delivery of broadband to rural, remote and less developed regions of the European Union.
This event will bring together for the first time very different communities concerned with information society, regional and rural development policies to:
- launch a strong political message: increasing the strategic dimension that ICTs should have in the next programming period for both rural and structural funds; highlighting their role in reorienting economic activity, enabling the emergence of more productive sectors and increasing the added value of existing products and services;
- contribute to the development of synergies among relevant Community policies in the fields of information society, cohesion, rural development and competition;
- contribute to the identification of best practices and examples showcasing the benefits of ICT for the promotion of rural and regional/local development. Examples include the creation of new opportunities for business and the development of advanced public services. Hence the Call for Exhibit Proposals.
600 people will attend the event, which is by invitation only. Naturally, this figure includes successful Exhibit Proposers, as well as representatives of rural communities; national/regional/local authorities; ICT industry; relevant social and economic actors, including development agencies; research/academia institutions; user/consumer and citizens' organisations; chambers of commerce; and other relevant public and private entities, such as regional/rural networks, NGOs etc.
In addition to the actual attendees, all visitors to this website are welcome to sign up and use the site's interactive features to help shape EU broadband policy - see this site's interactive features.