We at eris@ are “building upon” the success of European Broadband Portal phase I

  • The EBP website and its content is evolving to be more dynamic and provides a high level of accessibility and availability.
  • The user community develops both in scale and the depth of its engagement through proactive on-line and direct marketing of EBPII.
  • The emphasis of intervention moves from being passive (on-line / advisory) to active (advising, developing capability, supporting, guiding)
  • The programme proactively seeks to collaborate with similar programmes (e.g. Broadband mapping / bottom-up broadband) to present a coherent support strategy for end users, engaging partners where this makes sense, but owning the regional relationship and their development

The European Broadband Portal (EBP) is now in its second phase. (EBPII)

The development of the EBP was initiated by the European Commission (DG Information Society & Media) following an open Call for Tender for the supply of a “Web Portal for Exchange of Good Practice for Broadband Deployment”. The was contract awarded to eris@ the project commenced in January 2008 and lasted for a period of 30 months. Following a review and approval the second phase commenced in January 2011 and runs until December 2012.

The EBPII project seeks to animate a coherent on-line community of relevant stakeholders, providing them with the tools for effective sharing of experiences and good practices and a participatory environment for seeking common and shared solutions.

Alignment to Digital Agenda – The EBPII blueprints are designed to “bridge the gap” from policy to practice, to bring solutions to life, to make a vision a reality, and to contribute directly to the Digital Agenda for Europe 2020.

Our first blueprint is focused on broadband infrastructure development that can be applied in many contexts with “bottom-up” approaches being a primary example.

eris@ Moving from Policy to Practice

2 responses to “About EBPII

  1. The EU believes that public-private partnerships using loans or grants, may accelerate broadband deployment in less profitable areas and that open access requirements to make infrastructure accessible to competing service providers encourages competition.

    The EU monitors public funding in member states so that public subsidies are not being used in ways that run counter to competition. Typically the EU supports projects that offer open access to all service providers and are technology neutral. The communications infrastructure has managers independent from the state and may have owners that are network operators selected through open tenders.

    State Aid Guidelines for Broadband Funding 2009

    The EU has given rulings on these types of publicly funded broadband projects in over 78 rural and remote areas in at least 17 member states. List of Commission decisions on State aid to broadband

    The EU has been less convinced about the necessity of these types of projects in metropolitan areas, where there could already be broadband competition: it prohibited public funding for one such project in the Netherlands that would have competed with existing broadband services and would have distorted competition through discrimination. However, the EU permitted a project in a metropolitan area in the Czech Republic, provided that the project served only the public sector and citizens accessing public sector non-commercial web sites.

    EU funds can contribute to the development of less advanced areas, especially in more recent member states, and to ensure that ICT infrastructure is available and affordable where the market fails to do so.

    Examples of these uses of EU funds in the more distant past are:
    In Greece, all areas, with the exception of major cities, provided with broadband networks. These networks use fibre and/or radio technologies;
    In Hungary, underserved towns of fewer than 15 thousand inhabitants, and considered to be unattractive to private investment, received support for building broadband networks;
    In Ireland, 120 towns without commercial broadband suppliers received support for constructing broadband networks. The networks remain in the ownership of the state and the municipalities, but to be managed under tender by a wholesale network operator that offered services to retail service providers; and
    In Lithuania, rural areas got 3000 km of fibre links to complement the existing core networks. Public Internet access points in these areas were also funded partly by EU funds. Access networks were expected in a later phase of the work.

  2. The evolution of the EBP Blueprint will focus on supporting successful outcomes. The table below illustrates the “driving factors” that were identified at the March 7th workshop and will feed into the emphasis of design and implementation of the blueprint:-

    Issues the Blueprint should address ->Rationale
    The right people are involved (from every stakeholder perspective) -> Customers (business and private), investors, innovators, technicians in the right mix and in the right “state of mind”.
    The right technical solution ->Adapted to fit with the context within which it is deployed but generally adhering to an open access framework and with actions that focus on the passive, active and service layers.
    The right financial model ->That satisfies the ROI from investors and applies the best solution to minimise distortion of the market (e.g. consider, profit / not for profit / charity ; franchise, social enterprise, utility, public ownership, commercial models).
    The right services ->Leading to customer benefits and help generate demand for the approach
    The right community engagement ->Driving up awareness and engagement of the community – identifying and breaking down barriers
    The right relationship with the incumbent ->To overcome objections, or to confront the issues that will inevitably arise later. Better to have the incumbent engaged from the outset – than disturb a “potential giant headache” later
    The right investors ->Investors who are “comms” Savvy and understand the strategic and operational implications of the emergent service.
    The right political support ->To facilitate infrastructure development, inward investment and to address any barriers with .
    The right regulatory framework ->Influencing “open” regulatory frameworks that encourage or possibly even incentivise approaches to next generation infrastructure.
    The right processes -> Compliant with regulation / competition in line with the sources of funding or form or organisation.

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