Andalucia (Spain) gets EU funds for rural public access broadband

The European Commission recently contributed approximately EUR 2.9 million to Andalucía, Spain for a regional project involving the creation of a network of centers of public access broadband in small rural towns. During the period 2002-2003, the European funding is expected to attract EUR 1.328 million in further investment from the public sector, and EUR 1.58 million from the private

The European Commission recently contributed approximately EUR 2.9 million to Andalucía, Spain for a regional project involving the creation of a network of centers of public access broadband in small rural towns. During the period 2002-2003, the European funding is expected to attract EUR 1.328 million in further investment from the public sector, and EUR 1.58 million from the private sector. According to the Commission’s statement, the project will enhance literacy in the field of information and communication technology so as to avoid a “digital gap”between the regional economy and the citizens.

Announcing the decision, Michel Barnier, Member of the Commission responsible for regional policy, said “[th]rough the regional programmes of innovative actions we aim to improve the quality of mainstream programmes of the regional development fund in regions which are lagging behind or suffering from structural change. The actors should view the innovative actions as a laboratory for experimentation in order to find
answers for the new challenges in regional development. I am convinced that this programme will strengthen the capacity of innovation in Andalucía and contribute to its development strategy.”

The programme of innovative actions is called “Guadalinfo” and aims at developing creativity and participation in the Information Society throughout the region. “Guadalinfo” shall also promote innovative telematic services and applications, which contribute to the creation of virtual communities, co-operative working environments and a better territorial integration within the region.

Four major action fields are planned:
* Centres for Public Broadband Access to Internet – design and evaluation of models for management and operation of such centres. Funding will be
committed to the creation of 25 centres.
* Innovative micro-enterprises ­ they will be encouraged in different sectors and services linked to Internet and the Information Society. Andalusian micro-enterprises in the field of e-learning will be promoted.
* New added value public services ­ they will be co-ordinated by the Andalusian Portal and are aimed at improving territorial integration. Lagging areas will have access to e-Government services adapted to their needs.
* Virtual communities and co-operative workspaces ­ they will focus on
subjects of common interest and will provide as well standard services from the Andalusian Portal.

The innovative actions funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) whose aim is to create a laboratory for experimentation on regional development in Europe. They will be implemented by partnerships in each region comprising the public and private sectors and relevant regional actors. On this basis, after consultation in the region concerned, the competent authorities in the region are invited to submit an application for a Regional Programme of Innovative Actions to the EU before 31 May each year in the period 2000-05 focusing on one or more of the following three themes:
* Regional economies based on knowledge and technological innovation: helping the regions to raise their technological level
* e-EuropeRegio: the information society at the service of regional development
* Regional identity and sustainable development: promoting regional cohesion and competitiveness through an integrated approach to economic, environmental, cultural and social activities

The response from the regions in the first year 2001 has exceeded expectations: 103 of the 156 eligible regions ­ more than two-thirds ­ submitted an application. In addition, 3 specific Network Programmes were also submitted to the Commission. The total budget available for ERDF Innovative actions over the entire period is approximately EUR 400 million. Each successful application will receive a minimum of EUR 0.3 million up to a maximum of EUR 3 million from the ERDF for a maximum duration of
two years. The ERDF co-finances the costs of the programmes of up to 80% in objective 1 regions and up to 50% in objective 2 regions (or 60% in exceptional cases).

Management authority

The management authority for the programme is the Secretariat General for Information Society of the regional government of Andalucía.

Secretaría General para la Sociedad de la Información (Consejería de la
Presidencia)

Contacts:

Dr. Jose Carlos Alarcón Arévalo
Calle Monsalves 8 -10
E-41001 Sevilla
Phone: +34 955 03 52 01
Fax: +34 955 03 52 20
E-mail:

Dr. Jose María Rodriguez Sánchez, General Director for Information Systems and Telecomunications
Phone: +34 955 03 52 14
Fax: +34 955 03 52 80
E-mail:

Pierre-Jérôme Henin
Phone: +32 2 296 20 50
E-mail:

Comments

  1. mark newland says:

    please call me re wireless broadband in the campo i have system up runing and working well but need more funding my phone no is 626679018