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VIDEO |
Catalonia’s EU-funded fibre network connects over 400 government sites and promotes competitive rural digital services

Thanks to the European Regional Development Fund, Catalonia built a fibre backbone to connect over 400 government and local administration sites across the region. By offering the network’s extra capacity to the market, this ‘open network’ allows local operators to compete to use the infrastructure and deploy services to under-served rural areas. “We have generated an ecosystem of over 80 local operators to promote competence and competitiveness in these local areas with very high-quality services”, explains David Ferrer, Catalonian’s Secretary of Digital Policies, in this video interview.

VIDEO |
Rural broadband enables smart and responsive water management

In this video, Jouke Velstra, Director and Senior Consultant at Acacia Water, explains how the EU-funded ‘Farmers measure water’ project combines high-speed rural broadband and state-of-the-art sensors to help farmers and water authorities in the Netherlands to better manage water usage in the face of climate change. Through rapidly relaying data on soil moisture, temperature and salinity, farmers and water authorities work together to keep crops healthy, improve water and soil quality, and reduce water waste.

VIDEO |
Bavaria’s State aid scheme brings gigabit connectivity to socio-economic drivers in grey areas

Bavaria’s State aid scheme is bringing gigabit-capable infrastructure to businesses, households, hospitals, educational and public institutions, in more than 420 rural municipalities. The scheme aims to bring Bavaria’s overall high-speed broadband coverage to 99%, with gigabit access throughout Bavaria by 2025. For rural areas, State funding has improved coverage (of at least 30 Mbps) from 27% to over 92% in the last seven years, notes Bavarian State Minister for Finance and Regional Identity, Albert Füracker, in this video interview.

NEWS ARTICLE |
Meet the jury of the European Broadband Awards 2021

The projects applying for the European Broadband Awards 2021 will be assessed by a jury composed of five European broadband experts with comprehensive experience. The jury will select the finalists and the winners in each of the five award categories. The jury members are: Per-Olof Gustafsson from Sweden, Ferenc Kneisz from Hungary, Filip Meuris from Belgium, Eglė Misienė from Lithuania and Nicos Ioannou from Cyprus.

NEWS ARTICLE |
Digital Alps: Partnering with Broadband Competence Offices to build a digital connectivity roadmap for the Alpine Region

Mountain regions have much to gain from digitalisation and broadband connectivity. There is great potential for Smart Villages, SMEs, and access to online services in healthcare, education and much more. Mountain communities, however, face greater obstacles than most in becoming full participants in the European Union’s Digital Decade. Their remoteness, in terms of distance and topography, combined with smaller populations, make them technically and financially challenging to reach with broadband infrastructure.

NEWS ARTICLE |
Spain’s nation-wide State aid scheme to connect 430,000 people in grey areas

“Spain is the first European country to develop a broadband scheme for grey areas with a geographical scope covering all the nation” states Elena Galindo from Spain’s Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda, in this video. Ms Galindo, representing Spain’s national Broadband Competence Office, explains that the scheme is needed as approximately “8-10% of the population living in isolated rural and remote areas could not be covered with fast broadband”. It aims to cover 3.5 million people, of which 430,000 in grey areas, with minimum speeds of 300 Mbps symmetrical, upgradeable to 1 Gbps.

VIDEO |
Achieving agricultural sustainability through the Farm Advisory System and rural digitalisation

The Farm Advisory System makes innovative knowledge and practices accessible to all farmers. “We are facing a major transformation of the agricultural sector that requires a shift towards more environmentally-friendly practices without undermining economic sustainability” explains Tassos Haniotis, Director of Strategy, Simplification and Policy Analysis in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Agriculture and Rural Development. Digitalisation and rural broadband are crucial, enhancing knowledge exchange and creating multiplier effects, such as new jobs and services in rural areas.

VIDEO |
Cyprus’ broadband voucher scheme connects 3000 households

“In our journey to digital maturity, affordable high-speed broadband is key for a dynamic digital economy and an accessible and inclusive digital society” states Stelios Himonas of Cyprus’ Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy. Only 2.7% of households in Cyprus, however, have fixed connections above 100 Mbps. In this video, Mr Himonas explains how Cyprus implemented a ‘good practice’ voucher scheme, inspired by the European Broadband Competence Offices Network. By reducing the cost of access for end users, the scheme successfully stimulated take-up by around 3,000 households.