Important legal notice
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Information society
Information society - Promoting a secure digital society for all
“To recognise, manage, and optimise the power of information and communication technologies to drive change in Europe’s rural areas”

The problem

Rural areas are a core element underpinning the economic potential and cohesion of a larger and more integrated EU, especially in the context of the eEurope Action Plan. Presently, they are in a state of flux with ongoing reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy, the impact of enlargement and changes in world trade impacting on the nature of their employment, social fabric and make-up. Unfortunately, they are also becoming increasingly disadvantaged and excluded from emerging information and communication technologies (ICT), with few having access to broadband infrastructures in the immediate future.

A‑BARD  Linking rural areas to prosperity


A-BARD will identify how ICT can be used to protect and facilitate structural change in rural areas by offering new work opportunities, and better, more cost-effective approaches to the delivery of broadband access and services. Its key objectives are:

  • Focus and enhance awareness and understanding of the benefits of broadband applications and services deployment in rural areas
  • Facilitate the exchange of experience and best practice to rural stakeholders and interests
  • Identify the institutional and policy frameworks that are delaying broadband roll-out
  • Determine areas where further RTD is needed to provide universal solutions

Contribution to policy development:

  • A-BARD will help policy-makers to identify how ICT can be used to protect and transform rural areas
  • It will draw together a European focus on the role of access and take-up of broadband-based applications and services, in the context of rural development
  • It will assess and validate individual Member State ICT initiates and activities in order to help transfer experience throughout the EU as an aid to widespread deployment

Project deliverables

  • Rural typology – July 2005
  • Mid-project technological watch/scenario reports – January 2006
  • Initial recommendations – July 2006
  • Final report – January 2007


  • Three-monthly eNewsletter – ongoing
  • A-BARD website operated which will seek to become a clearing house and electronic forum for further development – ongoing
  • Six workshops – ongoing
  • Participation in conferences and workshops relevant to rural broadband – ongoing

Technical information

Project acronym: A-BARD
Project’s official full title: Analysing Broadband Access for Rural Development
Research priority: 3.5. Information Society issues (such as management and protection of digital assets, and inclusive access to the information society)
Specific webpage:
Proposal/contract no: 513697
Start date: 1 January, 2005
Kick off meeting: January 25, 2005
Completion date: 24 Months
European Commission scientific officer: Pertti Jauhiainen,

Name: Dr John J O’Flaherty, The Microelectronic Application Centre Ltd
Abbreviated name: MAC
Country: IE
Tel: +353-61-334699
Fax: +353-61-338500


Name: National Microelectronics Applications Centre
Abbreviated name: MAC
Country: IE

Name: Ceske centrum pro strategicka studia
Abbreviated name: CCSS
Country: CZ

Name: Institute of Communication and Information Technologies Ltd
Abbreviated name: ITTI
Country: PO

Name: Cybermoor Ltd
Abbreviated name: CYBM
Country: UK

Name: Mainstrat
Abbreviated name: MSTR
Country: ES

Name: North West Labs Ltd
Abbreviated name: NWLabs
Country: IE

Name: Power Lake AB
Abbreviated name: PLAB
Country: SE