Broadband days – to promote broadband development at local level

Today and tomorrow the European Commission is hosting the broadband days, an annual event aiming at promoting broadband development in the EU. The European Network of Broadband Competence Offices (BCO) providing technical support to representatives of local and regional authorities on ways to effectively invest in and rollout broadband will be launched this afternoon. These offices will also advise citizens and businesses on how to obtain support for better access to broadband services. The launch of the BCO offices will be webstreamed and Commissioner Phil Hogan, in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, will hold a press point at 15h30 in the Borschette conference centre. In the evening, Phil Hogan and Corina Creţu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, will award the five best European broadband projects. The winners will be announced here, the photos and the videos will be available on EbS after the ceremony. Commissioner Gabriel, in charge of Digital Economy and Society, and Commissioners Hogan and Creţu have also joined forces and work together on a rural broadband toolkit, which contains measures that will help managing authorities, regional and local authorities and other types of beneficiaries of EU funds, to invest more easily in the deployment of broadband in rural areas. Tomorrow the Commission will hold a conference on broadband – B-Day –bringing together almost 300 European businesses, investors, and high-level policy makers and other stakeholders to discuss broadband investment, policy initiatives and best practices. The event will be held at the Borschette conference centre and will be webstreamed.  The Conference will feature the following key topics:  investment in high-capacity networks, financing broadband development, best practices in broadband deployment, WiFi4EU. In the margins of the event Roberto Viola, Director General of European Commission’s DG CONNECT and Antonello Giacomelli, Undersecretary of State of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development, will sign a cooperation agreement to launch the first WiFi4EU test pilot with WiFi.Italia.It. In September, the European Parliament has sealed the legislation that will underpin the WiFi4EU initiative which will give access to free and high-speed internet in the public spaces of some 6,000 to 8,000 local communities in the EU by 2020. Last year, the Commission also revised EU telecoms rules and presented a new Electronic Communications Code to encourage investment in first-class broadband infrastructure (press release). The Commission encourages the European Parliament and Member States to find an agreement on the Code as soon as possible. More details are available here.