Important legal notice
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Information society
Information society - Promoting a secure digital society for all
“Providing research support to policy-makers charged with making the most of broadband technology.”

The problem

Although the internet started life as an academic tool, it has had a revolutionary effect on the way people do business and also government. eCommerce and eGovernment have become household terms as people logged-on in their hundreds of millions. Technology has now moved on and many people are using broadband high-speed internet access. Broadband makes the internet an even more convenient means of conducting business, teleworking or interacting with public sector bodies. It is vital, then, that policy-makers have the best tools available to guide the development of Europe’s knowledge-based economy, and help citizens make the most of broadband.

BEACON  Broadband’s impact on the knowledge economy


The Beacon project will conduct a socio-economic impact assessment of broadband access and use as it relates to new forms of pan-European trading, collaborative working and public service provision. The aim is to provide policy-makers with scientific support to help them define, implement, update and monitor policies related to broadband access and use.

Specifically, researchers will:

  • Analyse the development of broadband from 2003
    to 2010
  • Explore the potential economic and social impact of broadband access and use in the eBusiness, eWork and eGovernment environments
  • Develop a policy-support tool

Contribution to policy development:

  • Beacon will significantly improve the scientific base
    for policy-making.
  • The project will make recommendations which could affect a range of European activities and policies, including the Lisbon Agenda, the eEurope Action Plans, the setting of Information Society Technologies (IST) and research priorities, and the EU’s innovation and communication strategies.
  • The results will also help policy-makers address societal problems, such as gender issues and the digital divide.

Project deliverables

  • Production of broadband knowledge-base report based on desk and interview
    research – month 7
  • Production of a broadband future planning guide – month 11
  • Launch of policy-support tool and publication of project recommendations – month 15
  • Publish initial and final plans for using and disseminating knowledge – months 2 and 15


  • Building and maintaining project website – ongoing
  • Project members to attend relevant conferences, exhibitions and workshops – as required
  • Development of multi-media presentations – as required
  • Publication of project brochure and drafting best practice leaflets – as required
  • Writing articles for trade press, issuing of press releases etc. – ongoing

Technical information

Project acronym: BEACON
Project’s official full title: The potential socio-economic impact of broadband access and use on new forms of pan-European trading, collaborative work and advanced public service provision.
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: 006520
Start date: Not available
Kick off meeting: Not available
Completion date: Not available
European Commission scientific officer: Guido Acchioni,

Name: OVUM Ltd
Abbreviated name: Ovum
Address: Cardinal Tower
12 Farringdon Road
London, EC1M 3HS
Country: United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7551 9138


Abbreviated name: TNO
Country: The Netherlands

Name: University of Aarhus
Abbreviated name: UAA
Country: Denmark

Name: Dublin City University
Abbreviated name: DCU
Country: Ireland