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Friday, 28th February 2014

The Digital Infrastructure as the Next “EU Grand Project”

Source: Istituto Affari Internazionali

Abstract:

The global economy is entering a new "age of connectivity", spurred by the increased availability of "always on" broadband communications. This is creating new challenges for policymakers: infrastructure and connectivity emerge as key priorities for public policy and essential preconditions for global competitiveness. How is the EU positioned in this global race? This paper argues that the EU's approach to the information society was ill-conceived, and has led to an unnecessary and undesirable fragmentation of the market. Key EU policymakers have realized only recently that, absent a significant shift in pace, the EU will not be able to keep up with global competitiveness due to a lack of integrated, connected, smart infrastructure. Key areas in which substantial change is needed include incentives and PPPs for broadband rollout, spectrum policy, net neutrality and, overall, competition policy for the high-tech market. The paper explores potential policy options for the future of the EU digital agenda, argues that a gradual "evolution" is not sufficient for the EU to regain its leadership in the ICT sector, and proposes policy scenarios for a more united, effective and "digital" Europe.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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