On February 20-21, 2020 the 1st Regional Workshop on Broadband Development in Eastern Partnership region (hereinafter – the Workshop) was held in Warsaw, Republic of Poland.
Experts of the national regulatory authorities (NRA) and relevant ministries, responsible for state policy making in the field of electronic communications, from 6 Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries, EU Member-States (Republic of Poland, Portuguese Republic, Romania), as well as representatives of the World Bank Group and the Civil Society Forum participated in the event.
The Workshop was organized by the Independent Regulators and Broadband Expert Working Group (IRB EWG) of the Eastern Partnership Electronic Communications Regulators Network (EaPeReg) in cooperation with the World Bank Group and the Office for Electronic Communications (UKE) of the Republic of Poland.
The event was carried out in accordance with the work plan under the implementation of broadband development component of the EU4Digital project. The World Bank is responsible for the component’s implementation and the beneficiaries are the 6 EaP countries. The main feature of this area of the EU4Digital project is to involve both NRAs and relevant ministries in work. In particular, representatives of the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine were included in the Ukrainian delegation to participate in the event.
The main aim of the Workshop was to discuss the current broadband mapping issues (including infrastructure) to assist the EaP countries to develop their own broadband map – a tool that will enable partner countries to identify the potential bottlenecks in broadband development, to facilitate infrastructure competition and investments in infrastructure.
During the Workshop, participants considered and had an opportunity to discuss the broadband map of Poland, introduced by the UKE experts, namely, the issues of the legislative basis for its creation, key steps, costs of the map and resources needed for its daily operation (data validation, updates etc.). Thus, during the discussions, it was agreed to organize bilateral visits of the UKE experts to each EaP country in the near future in order to determine the optimal, so to speak, individual options of the broadband map for each country.
In addition, expert of the National Communications Authority (ANACOM) of the Portuguese Republic presented live broadband map of Portugal to demonstrate basic approaches of collecting and processing information, as well as presented information on the Single Information Point (SIP) creation. Also, in both Polish and Portuguese presentations, the information regarding NRAs’ responsibilities in development and implementation of broadband maps, as well as SIP activities were of great importance for the NRAs representatives.
The participants of the Workshop paid special attention to the presentation of Mr. Waldemar Izdebski, Inspector General of the Republic of Poland – Head of the Polish Geodesy and Cartography of Poland on the topic “Geospatial Data Infrastructure in Poland”.
Through the information provided, representatives of the EaP countries got an idea of how information was collected and processed to fill the common geographic database, and the participants were shown the work of orthophoto maps, digital elevation models, address maps, features of topographic data, and how the product, developed the Office of Polish Geodesy and Cartography, was the basis of the relevant IT systems in Poland, as well as the work of the national geoportal.
Within the framework of the Workshop, representatives of the EaP countries also held a separate session with representatives of the World Bank and UKE on issues regarding the main approaches to Report 3 as part of the implementation of the broadband development component of the EU4Digital project in order to assess the current situation on broadband development strategies in general and broadband mapping in particular in each of the six countries.
The participation of the NCCIR representatives as a part of the Ukrainian delegation in the Workshop is important in view NCCIR’s active involvement of EaPeReg activities, which contributed to obtaining relevant experience in developing a broadband development strategy in Ukraine, broadband mapping (including infrastructural), SIP creation and, the most important, the place and responsibilities of the NRA in these processes.