--- Posted by John Doyle, Member of DG INFSO's Going Local team for the United Kingdom
Three content rich "REALLY Local" visits to the English cities of Bristol, Manchester and Birmingham were crowned by a Dinner in London on Monday Night (24th) hosted by the Representation at which senior executives from Citie, UK Government, the Commission and the EIB talked about the rich feedback that the Going Local II process had provided.
Rolling out Fibre networks to facilitate the burgeoning UK creative new media sector was top of the agenda.
- How can the real needs of this economic growth engine be squared with the parallel responsibility of ensuring a basic level of broadband access for all in accordance with agreed targets?
- What role can the EIB play – even in advance of the rollout of the connecting Europe facility (CEF)?
- Is a higher level political discourse needed so that the legitimate rights of incumbent operators and the needs of new emerging industries can co-exist within the evolving state aids framework?
The city of Birmingham has offered to host a high level working group on these issues in the coming weeks.
The Digital Single Market focused London event was opened by Minister Ed Vaizey (see press article in The Independent) and following interventions from a high level and knowledgeable platform an interesting discussion took place driven by a common desire to ensure that the emerging DSM be guided by the principle of "IPR acting as a growth engine" rather than as a brake on creativity. The afternoon meeting introduced the Commission and the UK's Department for Culture Media and Sport to a host of artists from the Music and Visual arts. The meeting was a first for many on all sides – but will not be the last.