Note for navigation with support technologies: in this page you find 3 main elements: search engine (shortcut key 1); the highlights at the main area of the page (shortcut key 2) e main menu (shortcut key 3).

Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC)
Home  > Infrastructures and Security  > News  > UMIC Brings Together Promoters of Broadband Community Networks in a Workshop

UMIC Brings Together Promoters of Broadband Community Networks in a Workshop

 - 11/02/2009

Logotype of Next Generation networks (RNG), Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC) In the 12th of February 2009, at the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), takes place the 3rd Workshop on Broadband Community Networks. This workshop brings together the promoters (municipal associations) of 4 Broadband Community Networks that were created by the program prepared by UMIC and partially supported by the Knowledge Society Operational Program (POSC): Minho Valley, Lima Valley, Terra Quente Transmontana, Évora District.

These Broadband Community Networks are optical fiber Next Generation Networks in deprived areas or where there are failures of the telecommunications market, particularly due to low population densities, which can be explored on multi-operation and provide equal access to all operators in tendering for exploitation.

The main objectives of the Broadband Community Networks are to fight against info-exclusion and promoting equal opportunities and public access to broadband in deprived areas, correcting imbalances in access to telecommunications, and facilitating the development of science and technology based enterprises in the region. In general, they connect the centers of the involved municipalities, public buildings and public institutions of higher education, technology centers and industrial parks, and may, by contract, be open to exploitation by several operators.

The construction of these networks was initiated in May 2008 and at the end of December they had installed more than 1,100 km of ducts with optical fiber cable, as well as the active equipment to operate up to 10 Gbps (See the Weekly Progress on Projects Networks Community Broadband).

This technology offers bandwidths much higher than those possible with ADSL and may include voice, Internet, television and interactive applications with quality of service in terms of bandwidth actually delivered and the provision of bandwidth for symmetric download and upload. It is considered indispensable for the Future Internet.

In the 3rd Workshop on Broadband Community Networks, organized by the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC), following two previous meetings held in July 2006 and July 2008, participants will discuss key issues of operating such networks, optimization of business models and the provision of advanced services over broadband.

This workshop counts with the participation of experts in telecommunications public policy involved in Partnerships Knowledge Networks established with universities in USA, particularly to researchers of Carnegie Mellon – Portugal, which in addition to contributing to research and university education also participate in this way in this important development of Broadband Community Networks in various parts of the country. The workshop will also be followed by video students in Syracuse University, Massachusetts, USA, who are interested in following this development taking place in Portugal.

At a time when the telecommunication operators provide the first decisive steps towards the Next Generation Networks and issues related to investment and management and business models of such networks are discussed, we already have two very advanced types of Next Generation Networks that were promoted by public authorities with the support of the Knowledge Society Agency (UMIC): the Broadband Community Networks for e-Inclusion, and the Science Technology and Society Network (RCTS) of the Foundation for National Scientific Computing (FCCN) for e-Science.

Indeed, the RCTS, already provides links in optical fiber cable owned by the FCCN to more than 70% of national higher education systems (measured by number of enrolled students), and since July 2008 it is linked internationally at 10 Gbps, about 10 times the value of July 2005. It is further noted that several services provided by RCTS essential to its value as a Next Generation Network were recently developed, including: b-on: Online Knowledge Library planned in 1999 and with operation beginning in 2004, by which people in scientific and higher education institutions can access the full texts of scientific papers of about 17,000 international titles, and where in 2007 there were more than 4.2 million downloads, the double of 2005; National Grid Initiative launched in April 2006, boosting the number processors of the National Grid infrastructure to arrive in early 2009 to more than 25 times what it was in May 2006 with the construction of a national node of Grid computing to a new datacenter in FCCN 400 m2; high-definition video-conferencing and webcasting over the Internet; a repository for high-definition video with digital rights management (Zappiens) in mid-2008; VoIP – Voice over IP service for all public scientific and higher education institutions; Open Access Scientific Repository of Portugal, launched in December 2009. The recent development of infrastructure and associated services, made the RCTS one of the most developed National Research and Education Networks in the European Union.

There are good signs that Portugal is prepared for Next Generation Networks. Indeed, the broadband penetration in households has doubled, and in the population nearly tripled, from 2005 to 2008, reaching 39% and 33%, respectively. In addition, Internet use by students and by people with secondary or higher education is very high, respectively 97%, 87%, 91%, values much higher than the European Union averages. Even the figure for people who have not completed secondary education, necessarily much lower (26%), grew 57% from 2005 to 2008.

Last updated ( 29/07/2011 )