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Improve rural broadband: follow the guide!

The European Broadband Competence Office (BCO) published a handbook on rural broadband, as part of the European Commission’s Action Plan on Rural Broadband. Targeting both promoters and policy makers, it presents solutions to improve broadband coverage in rural areas, introduces available investments and European funding opportunities, and showcases various good practices.

 

Essential investments for a higher territorial cohesion

In rural areas, connectivity brings countless opportunities for the development of SMEs and remote working, in the agriculture sector (e.g. livestock monitoring) and for the provision of health services in less densely populated areas (e.g. telemedicine). The COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the need for more investments in rural broadband to support territorial development As reminded by BCO’s handbook, the lack of rural connectivity infrastructures results from low density of population, brain drain and ageing population, combined factors that alter the viability of broadband infrastructures in some rural areas, including mountain territories.

To bridge the Internet divide between urban and rural areas, different EU funds can be used to support broadband development in rural areas, such as:

  • the European Structural and Investment Funds (ERDF and EAFRD in particular)
  • the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI is a European Investment Bank fund supporting strategic investments in key areas such as infrastructure, energy efficiency and renewable energy, research and innovation, environment, agriculture, digital technology, education, health and social projects.
  • Connecting Europe Facility (for instance with the WiFi4EU initiative)
  • the Connecting Europe Broadband Fund

Already, these funds have delivered broadband investments for approximately 15 million euros for the 2014-2020 period. It is already announced that for the upcoming 2021-2027 period, financing to digital infrastructures across EU countries will be renewed and even enhanced by ERDF and EAFRD and Connect Europe Facility 2.

 

Get inspired by European good practices

The handbook also showcases several examples of successful initiatives aiming at developing rural broadband in Europe, including through initiatives led by local authorities, rural communities, and promoters and with different types of funds.

In Verrua Savoia, in Piedmont region, Italy, the municipality and the iXem Labs of Polytechnic University of Turin together set up the infrastructures. Thanks to a low-cost broadband last mile Intranet network and the eight Wi-Fi and high-performance local area networks, developed by the University, 99% of the 1500 inhabitants of the village are now connected to the Internet.

In Komen, a rural Slovenian municipality, the local authority and a national operator together constructed 65 km of optical backbone and 110 km of optical overhead cable to build a network with fiber to the home connectivity. With a 10 Gbps speed, the developed infrastructure provides inhabitants with a high-speed connectivity, facilitating remote working and encouraging the creation of local companies.

For further inspiration on the topic, you can also read our latest good practice to learn how a Greek village developed a community Internet network in the mountains. For more information on connectivity in your country, please consult the European Commission’s national factsheets on broadband.

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22 May 2020

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Key messages from Marie-Antoinette Maupertuis President of Assemblea di Corsica and Władysław Ortyl President of Podkarpackie - serwis samorządu województwa this morning at #Montana174 conference on Cohesion Policy in mountain areas 🌄👉 Mountains face specific challenges and infrastructure costs are higher👉 There should be an earmarking of funds for mountain areas 👉 Local people must be informed and trained to apply for Cohesion Policy funds👉 More support is needed for cross-border initiatives 🎥 Join us live from the European Committee of the Regions! ⬇us06web.zoom.us/j/81918000254?pwd=dFVZN29hdWprV3Q0eGZFUFQrQWpkZz09Programme ⬇www.euromontana.org/en/events/final-conference-how-to-foster-the-effective-uptake-of-cohesion-pol... ... See MoreSee Less
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🎥 We are live from the European Committee of the Regions ❗️Join us online for #Montana174's final conference & learn more on the 2021-2027 Cohesion Policy in mountain areas 🌄Zoom link 👇us06web.zoom.us/j/81918000254?pwd=dFVZN29hdWprV3Q0eGZFUFQrQWpkZz09Programme 👇www.euromontana.org/en/events/final-conference-how-to-foster-the-effective-uptake-of-cohesion-pol... ... See MoreSee Less
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📆 Our Montana174 project will be at the #EURegionsWeek !What tools and channels to use to easily and effectively explain Cohesion Policy to citizens? 🗨️We will discuss how to communicate on the 🇪🇺 cohesion funds in a workshop with Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso Transeuropa & EMA RTV - Onda Local de Andalucía Check out the programme and register 👇eu.app.swapcard.com/event/euregionsweek-2022/planning/UGxhbm5pbmdfOTYwMzg1 ... See MoreSee Less
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@Euromontana's Carla Lostrangio writes the newest @regstud Blog examining the opportunities for #Mountain #Regions from #CohesionPolicy programmes that have been tailored to the needs of mountain areas.

https://t.co/9SakjEZyN4

📢 #MOVING2020 is seeking an enthusiastic Postdoctoral Researcher 🔎 to support the Project Coordinator in the scientific #management as well as to conduct #research in the field of #mountain sustainability and #resilience ⛰️

Check out all the details 👉 https://t.co/JPq1nqG6La

We will discuss how to maintain the attractiveness of our regions towards #youth & provide some insights from our mountain youth report! 🌄

📅 Join us online on 12 Oct 👇
https://t.co/YpOCmGCPPo

At #Montana174 event on #CohesionPolicy in mountain areas, @DPTeruel presented how the #ERDF boosts the development of the #SilverEconomy through our project! 📈

Find out more in their #cohesion stories⤵️
https://t.co/cTy5wpO125

ℹ️ More on SILVER #SMEs
https://t.co/LSCSl4y2O1

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Welcome to the #EUCAPNetwork!

@ENRD_CP, @EIPAGRI_SP & @ENRD_Evaluation are merging into a new network created to support #CAP strategic plans🤝

Let's #BloomTogether!🌻

The official launch event will take place in Brussels on 6 October 2022. Stay tuned!

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