Broadband InitativeNovember 02, 2010
What is it broadband?
Broadband or fast internet enables to transmit big volumes of data, voice and video. It enables the elaboration and development of e-business and e-health and provides customers with fast access to online games, music, movies, online TV and other content with speed more than 1 Mb/s.The high speed gives opportunities for faster work and access to big number of programs and work with bigger volume of information in the same time. The broadband will give equal opportunities to access to information to customers in the rural and underdeveloped regions of the country.
European Policy for broadband development
In 2000 the European Union adopted the Lisbon Strategy, whose main objective is up to 2010 European economy to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge based world economy.
Today, the main source of knowledge and information is Internet. It is the basic factor for development of the information society, which has global access to information, communication networks and services without national and geographical limitations.
The main European document for broadband development is strategy i2010. The strategy aims to accelerate the extend of broadband communications and to create common European open and competitive market. Until 2010 the broadband should be accessible in all European areas. In this connection, the European Commission encourages every member state to adopt and implement national broadband strategy as a priority.Most of the member states already have adopted such strategy.
In 2010 European Commission presented the new European Strategy 2020 for smart sustainable and inclusive growth. One more time Europe underlines the important role of broadband for development an economy based on knowledge and innovation. The flagship initiative “’ A digital Agenda for Europe “ which is a part of the new strategy, aims to speed up the roll out of high speed internet and reap the benefits of digital single market for household and companies.
Bulgarian Broadband Initiative
The project “ICT Broadband Platform for Bulgaria” has been created like similar initiative, successfully adopted in Austria in 2004-2005. Thanks to the expert assessment and recommendations of the companies participating in the project, in 2005 the Austrian government adopted ICT strategy that included wide range of activities which would make Austria one of the top 5 ICT countries in Europe.
The initiative “ICT Broadband Platform for Bulgaria” started in 2006. It has two phases:
During the first phase /2006-2007/ the efforts of the participants were directed to launch a public debate about the need of broadband development in Bulgaria and adoption of national strategy for the development of broadband services. It was necessary to stimulate public support and awareness for the advantages of broadband technologies.
The main participants in the first phase were leading companies and non-government organizations from the ICT sector in Bulgaria. Ministry of State Administration and Administrative Reform, Ministry of Finance, State Agency for Information Technology and Communications (SAITC) and Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) were observers.
At the beginning of the second phase, the agreement between Hochegger Bulgaria, ICT Cluster and SAITC was signed.
During the second phase the main activities envisaged the elaboration of study of broadband status of Bulgarian territory and creation of national program for improvement of broadband infrastructure in all Bulgarian regions. Implementation of the program should be financed by the national budget.
Leader of the second phase of the initiative is ICT Cluster. As a non-government organization working in the ICT field, ICT Cluster undertook activities for increase state institutions’ support and to put the broadband program as a national priority.
During the second phase of the project ICT Cluster elaborated Survey of the market of internet services in Bulgaria via LAN Networks – in two parts. The document is a basis of the national program for improvement of broadband infrastructure services. It gives information about the basic services, main suppliers and prevailing prices in every region of the country.
The second part of the survey was presented officially on 1sth July, 2008 at the military club of the Ministry of Defense.
In 2009 Bulgarian Broadband Development Strategy was adopted by the Parliament. It was elaborated by the experts of State Agency for Information Technology and Communications (SAITC) and representatives of ICT Cluster and members of Bulgarian Broadband Initiative.
The responsible authority of the implementation of the strategy is the Ministry of Transport, Information Technologies and Communications. Working group for elaboration of roadmap for implementation was created and the experts of ICT Cluster were involved in the working process.
Development of national broadband infrastructure should be implemented with the financial support of OP” Regional Development ”managed by Ministry of Regional Development and Public Work and Rural Development Program managed by Ministry of Agriculture and Food.