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PPP4Broadband Days International Conference

November 2013

On Thursday, 14th November, PPP4Broadband Days Conference was held in Bled, Slovenia. The whole day was devoted to broadband deployment in rural or excluded areas.

Around 100 participants from 13 countries, mainly representatives of public administration bodies, local authorities and teleoperators attended the conference.

First, the participants had the opportunity to hear about two possible approaches to broadband deployment in rural or excluded areas which have been developed within PPP4Broadband and TV WEB projects, co-funded through South East Europe Transnational Cooperation Programme.

In the context of the upcoming financial perspective Mr. Robert Henkel from the DG Connect of the European Commission presented Broadband policy of the EU and the opportunities of its financing. He urged all participants to intervene with their national governments to include broadband as one of the priority tasks into the operational programmes of individual countries.

The speakers in the third section discussed the importance of broadband investments in rural areas in terms of economic and social impacts and wide variety of services available for citizens in the above mentioned areas. Next, 4 case studies of broadband deployment in rural areas were presented, namely from Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The afternoon session started with the presentation of the Guidelines on how to use PPP models developed within PPP4Broadband project and continued with the round table discussion where the participants from the public sector, private sector, academia, regulatory body and EU Commission discussed possible advantages and downsides of public-private partership in broadband deployment. The conversation quickly developed into a creative and at times heated discussion encouraged by many questions from the audience.

Everyone agreed that the conference was a big sucess especially because it brought together so many different views and approaches to broadband deployment which can be used as good practices in further project work.