On 2-3 July 2019, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Workshop for Europe on "Mapping of Terrestrial Broadband Infrastructure and Services" (hereafter - the Workshop) was held in Warsaw (Republic of Poland).
Experts from the ITU, the EU Member States, the European Commission, the Western Balkans countries, international financial institutions (World Bank, European Investment Bank), etc., as well as a representative of NCCIR, participated in the event.
The Workshop was organized within the framework of the ITU Regional Initiative for Europe on Broadband Infrastructure, Broadcasting and Spectrum Management, adopted by the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference 2017 (WTDC-17), which amongst other matters, aimed at assisting countries in mapping of ubiquitous infrastructure and services, fostering harmonization of approaches throughout the region considering infrastructure-sharing approaches applied by countries. Paying attention to the ongoing digital integration process in the Western Balkans countries, special attention of this event was dedicated to the economies of those countries and the outcomes of the Workshop was simultaneously contributed to the Multiyear Digital Integration Plan 2018-2020.
The main topic of the Workshop was the discussion on broadband infrastructure, broadcasting and spectrum management. Also the event provided an opportunity for the European public institutions, responsible for mapping of terrestrial broadband infrastructure to share the best practices, discuss challenges related to the emerging technologies, examine possible harmonization of approaches in the region, and facilitate creation of new features for the mapping tools including the investment opportunities.
Special invitation to participate in the Workshop was received by the Independent Regulators and Broadband Expert Working Group (IRB EWG) of the Eastern Partnership Electronic Communications Regulators Network, as the topic of the event was closely related to the activities of the group under the EU4Digital project "Supporting the digital economy and society in the Eastern Partnership".
In addition to the above, the participants had the opportunity to review and discuss:
- Practical cases of the EU Member States concerning the tools for broadband infrastructure mapping, in particular, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia, Hungary and the French Republic;
- Broadband infrastructure mapping tools in South-Eastern Europe (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Northern Macedonia, Republic of Serbia), as well as other issues relate to the Workshop’s topic.