Economy and lifestyle from a European perspective: satellite solutions
Space-based solutions to help solve the digital divide will be under consideration in a symposium called “On the road to Lisbon” in Luxembourg on 12 and 13 October with a dedicated European Space Agency workshop on “Digital divide and knowledge based Economy”.
"The European Union is confronted with a quantum shift due to globalisation and the challenges of a new knowledge-driven economy". This statement applies to the "Lisbon Strategy", adopted by the European Council in March 2000, mainly for the purpose of ensuring that the European Union becomes "the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth (with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion)".
At the Lisbon Summit, Europe set itself the objective of becoming a knowledge-based society. This implied a vigorous drive to apply technology to making information and education accessible to its citizens.
Two technology options, terrestrial networks and satellite systems, can be compared here in terms of their advantages and disadvantages. Terrestrial networks are better suited to servicing areas of high population density, while satellites provide global coverage of rural areas. A combination of the two technologies has, in the related field of TV broadcasting, achieved seamless coverage for town and country.
The approach to generalised provision of this new broadband service must avoid widening the inequality of access to it. The impact of technology is far from neutral on such inequality, which has potentially dire socio-economic consequences.
The aim of this gathering is to discuss, according to the objectives Europe has set itself, the optimal balance between terrestrial and space-based solutions for broadband access. It is also to examine whether market forces alone can achieve such balance or if it should be corrected by government intervention. Lastly, the aim is to consider the implications of this debate for Europe's space policy, which, in line with the constitutional treaty, is a shared competency.
The symposium will be held at:
Centre de Recherche Public Henri Tudor
29 avenue John F. Kennedy
ESA workshop programme (13 October 2004, 14:00-17:00)
"Knowledge based economy and digital divide: a European perspective"
- The knowledge based economy: new policy perspectives: Prof. Meyer Krahmer (Karlsruhe)
- The digital divide in Europe: why it can prevent the emergence of a knowledge-society (Prof. Cohendet, Strasbourg)
- A universal service in broadband? A European strategy: Prof. Cheffert (Namur)
- The role of space in bridging the digital divide: Prof. Lebeau (Paris)
- A case study: The Canadian case & the Irish Case
- Round table with representatives of ESA, EC, EU, European Parliament, Industrialists