Acreo writes European Commission Broadband Investment Guide

28 November, 2014 - 14:16

The European Commission recently published a new broadband investment guide for the EU's regions and municipalities. The guide has been written by Acreo Swedish ICT and Independent Network Coopeartive Association (INCA).

High-speed broadband, and increased development of digital services, is expected to contribute to a positive and sustainable community in many ways. In the European Digital Agenda, the EU Commission concludes that ICT (Information and Communication Technology) promotes innovation, economic growth and progress.

The broadband investment guide will help local, regional and national authorities to develop long-term development plans to bring fast internet to their communities. The handbook gives practical tips to support public authorities in the preparation of broadband investment projects, including those co-financed from the European Structural and Investment Funds and the Connecting Europe Facility.

- This guide will help public authorities make the right choices and plan the right investments for their villages, cities and regions - to go digital state-of-the-art, says Neelie Kroes, The EU Commission Vice-President for EU Digital agenda for the past 5 years.

The guide provides documentation and support to the creation of local broadband strategies such as business models, roles, choice of technology and investment options. The guide also emphasizes the importance of adopting a long-term investment perspective, when a broadband plan should be written, and gives tips on how to achieve this. It describes how regions and municipalities can cooperate together with private operators and service providers, for instance helping to establish infrastructure and good access to digital services. It also provides suggestions on how to involve citizens and how to monitor and evaluate broadband investment.

Access to, and use of, ICT is one of the main priorities of the European Regional Development Fund and is also an important area of focus for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. European structural and investment funds (European Regional Development Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development) may contribute to the financing of broadband infrastructure especially in rural areas.

- I hope that the guide will help national and regional authorities make use of EU funds for further developing an innovative, knowledge-based businesses and human capital in rural areas, for example in helping help to close the rural-urban gap in access to high - speed internet facilities, said Dacian Cioloş, EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development.

Read more

EU:s pressrelease and the EU Broadband Investment Guide