Franz Nahrada / Blog /
Broadband Conference

Here are some impressions of the Broadband conference, I could not list all, because I was also speaking and needed some time of preparation.

by the way here is a video record of everything:

Table of contents of this page
Mariann Fischer Boel, Agriculture and Rural Development   
Neeli Kroes   
25 decisions   
4 parallel session   
Session 3 quality of life   
F. De Bruine, Direktor DG Infosoc   
Benny Gimman - EMEA Corporate Affais, Intel   
WIMAX Scheme:   
Raimond Versteegh, CISCO Public Sector European markets   
Afternoon sessions   
Andy Lister   
North Yorkshire   
South Yorkshire   
Angelo Markotuli, Head of Innovation in ICT of Regional Government of Tuscany, Italy   
So what to do?   
Karin Nygard Skalman   
Viviane redding, DG Information Society   
world has changed but our rules are still the same   
wireless technologies   
satellite initiatives, "digital dividend of vhf and uhf bands",   
Peter Hintze   
Due to my own speech blogging had to be interrupted   


Mariann Fischer Boel, Agriculture and Rural Development    

Comissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development

quotes Film

Golden words:

"There are many people who would love to leave their urban home to something greener and wider, bringing ideas, capital and skills, if they would have not the fear to return to the dark age"

Many rural businesses need rapid access to the Internet.

Teleworking is more valuable in remote Areas than it is in centers

Even: Online Dating for farmers, who do not have the time to hang around in places.

The second pillar beside agriculture is RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Three Themes in the 2007 - 2013 period:

  • agriculture modernisation
  • environment
  • quality of life
The comission has greatly encouraged national governments to look into ICT developments.

Rural development funds money not for infrastructure, but for applications and content, but this could imply computers, hardware and training.

Three different Municipalities in Portugal: familiarise rural population with ICT. Including Equipment. Same in Spain. Also equipment. Mobile Training falilities.

Neeli Kroes    

Comissioner for Competition

"we are able to listen - please tell us how we can help"

"This event should help to bring Europe closer to citizens"

The role of competition policy in this context

"Investment in broadbanmd network is primarily driven by private companies - great - thats how its bound to be"

"We can see the results: extraordinary growth. 57 Million housholds use broadband today...we can only guess what would have happened if we would not have moved away from state owned monopolies..."

comission uses antitrust policies. 2003 fining Wanadoo in France for "predatory pricing strategy".

Against undertakings which abuse dominance

  • There is a great deal the market can do for itself
  • Remote regions are not commercially interesting - thats clear - thats where public authorities has a role to play.
  • City councils can coordinate wireless rollouts
  • If state funding is granted, this raises the questions under which conditions this is compliant with the EC treaty under state aid.
    • Every measure has to be notified
    • Three step test:
      • well defined rationale for public intervention and identify the problem to be addressed. ->>> Well defined market failure or cohesion issue.
      • appropriate instrument to address the problem. There are many options, a variety. Sometimes administrative actions are not enough to bring broadband to remote areas...then subsidies are justified
      • Third point is looking at competition effects.
A pattern of public intervention is emerging

A simplified scheme:

public intervention is justified especially in "white areas"

but the Community needs to assess, especially in "grey areas" like the MAN in Ireland or the national broadband strategy in greece.

"Black areas"...highly problematic. Dutch town of Aponodan (??) - Infrastructure allready in places....

25 decisions    

issued . 24 approvals!!

4 parallel session    

I chose to go to

Session 3 quality of life    

Chaired by German MEP Chatzimarkakis

Rapporteur Guss Hall, IANES

F. De Bruine, Direktor DG Infosoc    

shows a video on the information society.

  • ICT and Broadband as a key to public servicees
    • eGovernment
    • eInclusion
    • eHealth
"Triple Win"

  • ICT can lead to better services and Improve quality of life
  • Major Cost savings
  • Business Opportunities
Broadband is key enabler

economic efficiency: Examples from DK, IE, Telecare at Home vs. Care Home, Mobile Monitoring D hospitals, ....

five priorities / E-Government

public websites and W3C web Accessibity guidelines 70% fail, 17% Marginal, 10% Limited Pass, only 3% pass

ICT for Ageing - 169

Health Care

Example "Infoway Canada" Electronic Health Record constantly monatoring of elderly people with chronic condition.

Women In Tourism (Greece)

Public services can be key drivers

Benny Gimman - EMEA Corporate Affais, Intel    

"Connecting the Unconnected"

  • what can technology do
  • what can policy do
Dating on the Internet? ...."The former prime minister met his Girlfriend on the Internet and he terminated the relation on the Internet"

The Internet is the great Groth Engine: You do not have cable everywhere

(example Africa where copper cables are dug out to sell them)

Example: WIMAX Ambulance in Turkey (voice, video, data, EKG und vital signs)

WIMAX Scheme:    

Big cities link down to secondary sites with wireless downlinks to secondary sites, from there to the homes.

WIMAX Worldwide Interoperabliity dor Microwave Access, up to 35 Mbps, up to 50 km for fixed stations, 5-15 kms to mobile stations.

Example Modalen in Norway, very very remote, yet -> 2MbpS Internet to every home!

a month ago over 250 WIMAX trials around the world!!

How to making it ubiquitous.

  • National Priority
  • Insist on Education
  • promote reseach and Developmenz
  • Create positive Environment for Innovation
  • Dont repeat the Monopoly situation with the Spectrum!! Open Up the road!
Spectrum Policy Guidelines
  • If you dictate technology you dictate who the players are
  • Intel supports European Comissions policy.

Raimond Versteegh, CISCO Public Sector European markets    

showing products for local communities.


talking about social software skills, second life. interesting survey. many people use You Tube, only few Second life or My Space. Video IS the killer application.

The Internet is not a network of computers, it is a network of people...

Web 2.0

57 Million Blogs, 100000 added daily (every 230 days doubling) 100 Million - MySpace accounts 100 Million YouTube Videos watched daily Podcasts lagging behind 82978 listed in Itunes

Web 2.0 impact on Public Sector

    • "Citizen lead Government: Collaboration & Social Networks"
    • "Connected Government"
    • "Personalized Services"
"Are we ready for Europe 2.0?"

Evolving role of the Network

2 Examples of lesser developed areas

Brescia / Italy -> Focus on employment based on foresight: lots of manufacturing is going to be offshored.

Evora/Portugal -> Improve local government services delivery at lower costs

Afternoon sessions    

Andy Lister    

NYnet and Digital Region Projects UK (North&South Yorkshire)

What drives the Market?

  • Demographics. A challenge for Eural areas
  • Geography.
  • Costs of backhaul.
As an Operator, investment is only possible when all three factors are favourable.

Consequently businesses in rural areas pay much more for broadband services (in his region a huge difference between Scarborough and Leeds)

Aggregate public sector demands (plus funding if available)

creates enough pruchasing power to influence market behaviour

Procure high speed generation connectivity for public sector - open up space capacity on wholesale basis for market.


    • aggregation is seen as real value for money
    • puts the issue of broadband up the political agenda
    • creates impact on market behaviour
Policy Objectives - Economic Transformation - Digital Social inclusion (again the Broadband Paradox: the ones most in need have the least access) - Cost savings and value for money in public sector purse (habing separate networks would be analog to each agency building their own roads)

North Yorkshire    

largest county in England 600000 inhabitants, 2 larger towns, 2 national parks 60 Million Euros expenditure plus European funding


Core Fibre Ring (22GBits)

12 POPs around the country (no private present)

Connected public sector sites

Additional backhaul capacity sold to service providers

South Yorkshire    

  • Objective 1 Areas
  • mix of urban and rural demographics (Sheffield)
  • 1500000 inhabitants
  • Aggregated demands plus funds created 300 million Euro project
"Fibre to the Cabinet", VDSL to home for 1,2m people

"make South Yorkshire the South Corea of Europe"


The market did not show any interest until we put hard money on the table.

Commercial model allows repayment of public sector borrowing by providing wholesale access to the market.

Angelo Markotuli, Head of Innovation in ICT of Regional Government of Tuscany, Italy    


BART Broadband in Area of Regional Tuscany

5th largest region, 10 provinces, 287 municipalities

while users have little Broadband access, public sector has allready infrastructure in place (Rete telematica regionale Pisa - Siena - Firence 150 Mb ring)

cant be used by citizens ...

160000 households and 30000 tuscan companies wont be reached by broadband in the coming 10-15 years, in 110 of those 287 municipalities

596 of 976 local switches without ADSL

So what to do?    

Started looking at guidelines from Europe

"Altmarket legal decision" can give a profit to an operator when you give "Compatible State Aid"

Scotish example followed

Appoval by Regional Gov. Board and notification to EC

Cooperation with provinces

Effective cooperation with Communication Operators

Identification of rural areas where market failures exist - business plan required

funds allocated will be used only to reach BEP - cover up to 80% of expenditure

collected from Region, ERDF and local administrations

Karin Nygard Skalman    

fibre optic network sweden 300 KM north of Stockholm (Gävle to Sundvall) 15 people per squatre km, 400 000 inhabitants

Sice early 2000ths well established fibreoptic metro networks

"The innovative 47" (cooperation of various cofinancers) are creating the centre for fibreoptics in Europe

One of eight swedish innovation systems since 2004

Story: 1966 Ericcson estblished manufacturing communication cables in Hudiksvall

Enthusiasts deployed FTTH in municipality houses in 1998

Fibre to the Users - coincidence with national broadband program

regional grasp of the opportunity

  • Mid sweden University
  • Testbed Norrsken
  • Wold Internet Institute
  • GIS Application
--- close of session ---

my resume: this was not a session on "quality of life", but "how to overcome the financial gap".


Viviane redding, DG Information Society    

"The next generation broadband servides is not just for consumers"

business, public infrastructure, education

17% penetration in general.

5 north European countries far ahead of Korea and Japan.

Gap is widening between the leader and the last place.

30% of rural population excluded from broadband access.

yes, rollout is hindered by weaker demand - but we have a structurel problem here.

Its not only the digital, but also the social.

Local and regional authorities are key players.

"where all else fails, they should make to meke their own investments....if the governments belive that gains are certain, and not disturnbing the market, they can step in"

Not duplicate investments

private sector is better place for innovation than public sector. but if there is market failure....

should broadband be part of the universal service obligations??

world has changed but our rules are still the same    

green paper on USO (universal service obligation) will be issued in 2008

the key bottleneck is the local loop

competition -> investments -> innovations

"open the ducts"

"where there is no real scope for infrastructural based competition we must make sure developments happen on the base of an non-discriminative infrastructure:"

wireless technologies    

require availability of radiospectrum .... allocating today is slow, buerocratic, rigid

flexibility should be the default, not command and control

satellite initiatives, "digital dividend of vhf and uhf bands",    

more competition, more servides, more choice

But: high stake auctions which favor those with the biggest pockets are not the best solution for this "once in a lifetime possibility"

Peter Hintze    

Parl. State Secretary / Germany

Internet - Globalisation

The german presidency values broadband technology

grateful for the initiative of this conference.

Platform important as a traffic light...growth potential...germany 50 billion, 750000 new jobs....

in Germany potential of 97% (of total population)

against expansion of USO

Germany: Breitband Atlas

Versteigerung der Frequenzen - Auction of frequencies...

best practises

Initiative of local authorities required.

usage of public funding is examined.

Due to my own speech blogging had to be interrupted    

(and necessary recovery)

missed speeches of DG Regio

missed speech of Alcatel Lucent

Interesting speech of G. Gauthley, France

She says that the outlook on infrastructure has changed since the 1990ies, observing US experiences.

"Without public network initiatives, the footprint of Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) would be much smaller"

half of 1789 areas is unbundled through local public initiatives.

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