The general objective of the pilot project is to contribute to assessing the benefits of a broadband connectivity via satellite in areas impacted by digital divide with the support of regional or national public authorities, as a precursor of the even larger benefits that the European Gigabit Society will later make largely available.
In accordance with this objective, the entities allowed to participate in the call must have a clear experience in implementing space telecommunications technologies for the reduction of the digital divide and for connectivity improvement.
Accordingly, proposals shall help the Commission to achieve at least the following specific objectives:
- Analysis of EU regions in long-term digital divide and impacted sectors and population notably for schools: the identification of some relevant regions, schools and other stakeholders must be in the proposals;
- Assessment of simple, efficient and cost-effective implementation schemes (e.g. vouchers) to ensure easy access to satellite broadband connectivity: the proposals must present solutions ensuring easy access to satellite broadband connectivity;
- Assessment, through deployment of broadband internet access via satellite to some unconnected schools (“field trials”), of the benefit of distribution via satellite of educational multimedia content relying, to the extent possible, on data and services offered by the Union space programmes; and
- Development of outreach and communication activities.
Proposals shall describe how relevant European stakeholders in the ICT supply chain shall be involved through an inclusive process and which appropriate coordination with educational stakeholders (Ministries of Education, EU Commission, etc.) shall be established.
Applicants may find useful data and information for the preparation of their proposal by contacting NEREUS – Network of European Regions Using Space Technologies. As NEREUS is the unique European regions’ association spreading the use and understanding of space technologies, it could provide support to the pilot project while taking care of involving regions currently not members of NEREUS.
Within the limited scope of a pilot project, the overall expected outcomes of the pilot project are:
- The assessment of the benefits of a broadband connectivity via satellite for a minimum of 10 schools across Europe in minimum of 3 different and a maximum of 5 different Member States and;
- The assessment of other market sectors and identification of the related stakeholders that could potentially benefit from broadband connectivity via satellite in regions affected by digital divide.
November 5, 2019