Presentation on theme: "Potential of e-inclusion to strengthen territorial cohesion Broadband strategies in sparse and depopulating areas: Challenges and potentials Erik Gløersen."— Presentation transcript:
Potential of e-inclusion to strengthen territorial cohesion Broadband strategies in sparse and depopulating areas: Challenges and potentials Erik Gløersen DG REGIO Conference on Regional policy responses to demographic challenges Brussels, 25 and 26 January 2007
Workshop 2C: Potential of e-inclusion to strengthen territorial cohesion ICT solutions such as e-government, e-business, e-learning and e-health can be a pivotal tool for territorial cohesion. This workshop will look at how Cohesion Policy can be used to support the development and application of these possibilities with the objectives of increasing accessibility to public services and improved health to jobs and business opportunities.
Workshop 2C: Potential of e-inclusion to strengthen territorial cohesion - How should we approach the demo- graphic trends against which e-inclusion / ICT measures are formulated? - What has the effect of broadband on territorial cohesion been so far? - What are the core issues for ICT strategies in favour of territorial cohesion?
Municipal scale Sparsity Source: Nordregio Each scale = different phenomena and issues Which is most relevant?
Sparsity Population within 50 km radius: (=potential commuting distance)
Population potential of less than 100,000 inh Sparsity Nordic perspective
Population potential of less than 395,000 inh Sparsity Continental perspective
Three areas of the same size and with the same population Same density and same population potential Different challenges Settlement patterns
Approaching sparsity and demographic trends The scale is of fundamental importance Demographic decline mainly in sparse areas Sparsity: about labour markets that are too small to diversify specialised and vulnerable local communities Deregulation and globalisation create additional challenges for sparse areas
Broadband access, eGovernment availability and eGovernment usage Highly correlated for individuals Not correlated for entreprises East/West and North/South divide for all indicators, except enterprise usage Wide variety of situations across Europe
Broadband access Households Source: Eurostat Dense areas (density over 500 inh/km 2 )
Ratio dense areas/ sparse areas Source: Eurostat Digital divide in terms of household broadband access
First approach of the Digital divide North/south divide for sparse areas: smallest contrasts in countries with -the most sparsely populated areas -the best Internet penetration rate East-West divide for dense areas Contrasts in terms of national digital divides follow a distinct geographical pattern
Nordic broadband strategies Nordic countries have demonstrated that extensive broadband access and usage in sparse areas is possible. Full coverage foreseen before 2010 in Finland, Sweden and Norway, in spite of extremely sparse and wide-spread population
Nordic ICT strategies Different national strategies: –Finland: national authorities have mandated a single network operator to establish a 450 MHz digital mobile network, selling access to a range of service operators; –Sweden: 60% of municipalities have built broadband cables. Their total investment exceeds 1,5 billion Euros. These are generally rented to private network operators on a commercial basis; –Norway has established a funding organisation where local authorities can apply for subsidies.
Nordic broadband strategies Evolving strategy in Sweden: –Initial ambition: to establish an open an open national backbone based on fibre optic technology, covering every municipality in the country. –The state was to survey the existence of competition and plurality at all network levels. –Currently, this state owned backbone is just one among others. Plurality at local level is generally not a problem. Source: Hansteen (2005)
Nordic broadband strategies Issues: –Local monopolies in network ownership; –Network openess and neutrality; –Running a broadband communication operation involves economic risk, market positioning, customer handling, continuous investments. is it an appropriate task for local authorities? Source: Hansteen (2005)
European broadband strategies Ubiquitous broadband is achievable – but for what purpose? –Need for a critical assessment of current demographic patterns and trends: At what scale do we wish to preserve current settlement patterns? What does this imply in terms broadband development? Internet primarily for social inclusion or for economic development? –Different objectives and solutions
European broadband strategies –Wide variety of situations in Europe: only local and regional authorities can identify appropriate solutions Structural Funds appear as a well-suited instrument –Pump-priming role of public authorities at multiple levels In terms of regulatory framework in terms of services and content Challenging combined need for local initiatives and for national/European coordination