The European Broadband Competence Offices Network and Support Facility
In 2015, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Phil Hogan, the Commissioner for Regional Policy, Corina Crețu and the Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources (former Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society), Günther H. Oettinger called for the establishment of a new European network of Broadband Competence Offices (BCOs). Member States were invited to designate BCOs on a voluntary basis to become part of this network. Set up at regional or national level, BCOs operate as a single point of contact on broadband related issues (legal, technical or financial).
In 2017, a Brussels-based Support Facility for the BCO Network was established in order to:
- support and strengthen the existing BCOs and promote the creation of new BCOs;
- create and disseminate knowledge, including the exchange of current best practices;
- identify potential multipliers involved in the implementation of broadband plans in Europe.
Sharing knowledge and building capacity
The 2017 programme of the BCO Support Facility includes:
- a series of training days and thematic workshops bringing together European BCOs, industry experts and representatives from the European Commission;
- a video interview series showcasing broadband deployment projects and sharing innovative approaches and solutions with an emphasis on rural areas;
- a set of introductory publications and videos to inform and support the establishment of new BCOs at regional and local level;
- an online community for networking, news and resources, including:
presentations and materials from the training days and thematic workshops;
best practice showcases and videos;
policy videos and discussion groups;
events listings and articles.
Training days and thematic workshops
Technology Neutrality in broadband projects (19 October, Madrid - registration open to members of the BCO Network)
Blended Finance for broadband projects (19 September, Paris)
State aid for broadband projects (28 June, Brussels)
White Area Mapping, Cost Reduction Directive, Demand Aggregation and WIFI4EU (15-16 May, Brussels)
For more information on joining the forum - to register for upcoming training days and thematic sessions, as well as to access materials and presentations - please contact the BCOs Support Facility.
The BCO Support Facility is participating in the following events:
European Week of Regions and Cities (9-12 October, Brussels): BCOs: Making broadband roll-out easy for regions and cities.
Agricultural Innovation Summit (11-12 October, Lisbon).
CEMA Summit (12 October, Brussels): The Broadband Challenge: EU support to connect rural areas.
Broadband World Forum (24-26 October, Berlin).
Broadband Days 2017 (20-21 November, Brussels)- including the official public launch of the European BCO Network and Support Facility.
To have a short overview of the mission of BCO-SF and its planned activities, consult the work programme of BCO-SF for 2017. In addition you can access the following documents and media:
How to set up a BCO: the purpose of BCOs, who they can support, what they can offer, and a checklist of activities for the setting-up and running of a BCO
BCO-SF contact information
Rue Archimède 5, 1000 Brussels, Belgium