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Fostering investment in the broadband infrastructure of South Eastern Europe
[2020-05-07]
 
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The Broadband Foundation has been established in early 2007. We have created the Hungarian Broadband Search Engine (HBSE) that was selected as one of the key Broadband Projects in EU for 2007 during the Bridging the Broadband Gap Conference. BBF has been working for the Government in developing the nationwide “white spot broadband map” between 2008 and 2010. The National Communications Authority used our software and database for official purposes between 2007 and 2010. BBF has actively participated in the development of the EU wide broadband speed measurement methodology in 2010. We have been operating the official internet speed measurement software and hardware for the National Media and Communications Authority since 2012.

The projects of BBF offers solutions for several topics which makes major challenge both locally and globally at the beginning of the 21st century. BBF is committed to developing digitalization and innovation. At the same time, the problem of taking over the tasks of collecting, anonymizing and managing the growing data files by large international companies instead of the government sector, cannot be avoided. Undoubtedly, market players are the engines of development, but in many cases, telecommunication and digital mammoth companies have mismanaged this data.

Large social and economic systems are now cross-border programs. WB6 economies are getting closer to European Union membership. The systems which were formerly state monopolies are showing mixed pictures now. For instance:

  • healthcare industry,

  • education, public safety,

  • transportation industry,

  • financial sector.

The experience of the last two decades shows that a lot of innovations have been created in the above- mentioned areas, however, the organizational and rule-making functions of the state/government does not require reduction, but on the contrary, it should have an increasing role. Digital developments are making life easier for people. In parallel during the past few years it became apparent that some of the improvements are made primarily for database generation and commercial marketing purposes without the knowledge of the actual user. Thus government regulations are usually shifted in time compared to the developments, therefore the authorities often run after the events.

In a forward-looking way BBF is developing its own large-scale projects in partnership with the government sector. By responding to the social challenges BBF shares the innovations with the government sector to be able to make suggestions on how to achieve the goals through appropriate regulation.

The Broadband Forum is an extended civil initiative, that goes way beyond governmental, industry and service providers conciliator forums. The Broadband Forum is a professional community coordinated by The Broadband Foundation. Members and Supporters of The Broadband Forum are all committed to support rapid development of future proof broadband networks (eg. 5G), create the balance between demand and supply side and also eliminate all obstacles from raising the level of digital skills amongst citizens and companies as well. All the above actions support competitiveness, provide equal opportunities for all, thrive the development of cyber security and close the gap between EU and US/Asian in socio-economic terms. The Broadband Forum supports all actions/projects that are moving the main goals forward in practice.

The network of The Broadband Forum acts a catalyst where not only the exploration of digital innovation happens LEARN - but also the effective sharing of those projects SHARE result in mutual professional and business achievements while bringing awareness and recognition for our network CHANGE.

By discovering and sharing digital innovations, we are generating mutually beneficial projects, thereby recognizing professional work.


SELECTION OF PROJECTS OF THE BROADBAND FOUNDATION

 

1. Creating and operating an interactive and unified broadband mapping tool for the WB5 plus 3 (Moldavia, Georgia and Ukraine)

Both the EU and the US are struggling to prove the appropriate allocation of state funds towards

broadband infrastructure developments. Both of these economies are using a kind of broadband mapping in order to control and follow the developments of the future proof infrastructure components. Most importantly none of the used mapping tools are covering both the US and the EU in terms of: harmonized data collecting, communication with the service providers, penalty system for wrong and incorrect coverage data reporting, harmonized visual display of data towards the Government and towards Individuals and SMEs. We have the experience and knowledge of implementing what would be needed in order to present a unified and comparable mapping tool for the WB6 as our organization has created and operated the first Hungarian broadband search engine and mapping tools from 2006. Even the lessons learnt (best practice sharing) from such a project could be transferred towards EU and the US as well. The initiative is also in line with the current actions of EU in regards to broadband mapping. Such a project will be launched still this year coordinated by the ITU/EIB and the World Bank and the Broadband Foundation and focusing on WB5 plus Ukraine, Georgia and Moldavia. On top of the original focus of the this project the Broadband Foundation has been involved in measuring broadband quality for both fixed and wireless (mobile) technologies for the last 10 yers. We have developed and still maintain a system for the National Media and Communications Authority of Hungary supporting the EU Digital Agenda goals of providing and measuring both fixed and mobile broadband speeds continuously.

 

2. Community Broadband Model

Under the current EU multi annual financial framework and in line with the recent guide to broadband network development, a model called: Community Broadband Model would fit municipalities the best in case of having interest in developing local, fiber broadband networks. DG Connect is responsible for the management of such initiatives and the model financing is available until 31st December 2020 in its current form. According to the guidelines, projects and regions/cities are in need for high speed networks are to be supported, and future ownership and maintenance of the final bb network will be awarded in between the initial project partners (eg: local municipality(ies), broadband operators, network developing companies, maintenance companies, etc.)

 

3. Smart City/Smart Environment

Nowadays modern transportation is not just about high-quality roads and multilingual signboards. Data sets are generated that are essential for the further development of global programs.

The optimal transport operation of a big city now requires the cooperation of several areas:

  • parking (license plate recognition, data management, etc.)

  • payment (applications, time-based use)

  • entry (by license plate, time and entitlement)

  • suburban traffic management (reducing the speed of inlet sections to avoid traffic jams) - real-time traffic control (no pre-programmed period)

  • detection of traffic, AI solutions, and alternative routes

  • EV chargers (capacity, payment, testing physical barriers)

  • self-driving cars (how do they communicate with each other; how do they communicate with other "smart" cars? achieving environmental goals; significant improvement in accident statistics; SMART CAR SHARE projects)

  • Big Data in the cloud

Most importantly future Smart Cities need to move into the direction of “involving citizens and companies” in every major decision in connection to developing the city environment. Also the motto of “bringing the city closer to the people is getting more and more relevant'. We hold unique partnership with both the Smart City Amsterdam Project and also with the local government team of Smart Barcelona. The experts of Smart City Barcelona have developed a unique ISO standard for the industry: ISO/FDIS 37105. The only acceptable ISO standard for measuring Smart City development, available from 29th September 2019


4. Smart Ecology

The main goal of BBF - together with its governmental-industrial-social partners - is to raise the ecology point of view to the same level as the currently decisive global approaches such as business and political. In line with the basic objectives the LEARN - SHARE - CHANGE trio represents equal importance. Sharing the resources and validated information stemming from research of experts constitutes huge importance. Ecology nowadays should be a cross-border topic, moreover, it raises cross-continental issues either. Naturally on the way, some attempts to solve these issues end up into dead ends, but we do our best to eliminate these. BBF with it partners wants to answer these questions with the tools of IT, digitalization and technology, using our industrial and governmental partnerships.

The question of ecology, its challenges and the proposals for solutions are closely related to the 2 areas described above. Efficient, non-wasteful transportation, thoughtful urban planning, and development not only contribute to better environmental effects but - more importantly - contribute to improving people's

health. The individuals, the community, the market players together with the local and multinational companies and of course the governments must all play their part in improving the environment.

By the end of the 20th century - 'ecological footprint' as a grammatical expression - has been widely used. Even from the level of individuals, we are trying to determine and evaluate the ecological footprint on the most circumspect way, to be able to give recommendations and solutions to reach the expected reduction goals. Everyone in the society should be involved in this cooperation to achieve the reduction of ecological footprint, otherwise, it is going to have a negative impact not only on our environment as well as on these programs.

Similar to transportation and healthcare - like in any other area of life - incredible amount of data is generated and it's going to be more and more every day. However, in parallel misleading information, campaigns and beliefs are all present and makes the situation more difficult. Because of the conflicting views, the individuals will not be able to follow the right directions. This is why the public and shareable information gathered and authenticated by governments constitute enormous significance and it could evolve into cross-border programs. BBF members and partners are committed to providing this validated information to the widest range of users. Without governmental support, this would be a database of multinational companies that would not necessarily reflect reality.

 

5. Smart Water Waste Management

We hear expressions every day about the treasure of water. Our situation here in Europe seems to be reassuring because the amount of water at our disposal looks sufficient. However, this has to be preserved! BBF supports the spread of a new water purification technology that is more efficient than previous systems. With the application described above, anyone can choose how to contribute to the development and operation of ecological programs. This is how an individual can actually see its own environmental support via specific example.

Today, the blockchain system has reached an advanced stage where a user's contribution can be tracked, tagged and retrieved at any time under controlled conditions. Whether it's a tree planting or a beehive installation, but we can mention community solar farms where both planting and operation can be accurately tracked. The individual's contribution to ecological investments shows exactly how much he/she reduced their own ecological footprint.

The role of government is to manage data and to plan these ecological programs properly - for example, the trees cannot be planted anywhere, this is an EU Member State competence - and to promote a change of attitude that encourages the individual to develop an ecologically responsible lifestyle including every aspect of life.



6. Digipol – Safety First (Paperless, valid and green)

The DigiPol mobile app and connected document management applications will reinforce the security of countries, will work cross border within the EU and help protect the external borders of the Union. It serves as a general security pillar in border control, police protection, civil guard services and helps even citizen participation of keeping general security. The legal structure of the DigiPol ecosystem is established by EU regulations such as the eIDAS and GDPR.

The most important tool of DigiPol is the mobility factor. Each and every action can be performed on a mobile device where the mobile device will create authentic, electronically signed and timestamped documents, images, videos and sound. These are legally admissible electronic documents carrying the power of proof. The system is also capable of converting paper based documents to legally binding electronic copies.

How it works?

A DigiPol user goes through an identity establishing procedure to have access to the system. The user will then be able to create electronically legally binding documents, images, videos and sound along with GPS coordinates which form part of the documents. The authenticity of these documents are assured by the e-signature and timestamping technology we use as well as the secure procedure itself to ensure the proper audit trail. These documents and images are legally binding and are fully admissible in court.