This opinion has been adopted recently. It is still early to evaluate its impact at this stage.
The rapporteur has met the MEP rapporteur on the European Cloud Iniative.
The rapporteur participated as a speaker at "The Gigabit Society: Innovations in 5G and the Internet of Things Opportunities for EU Business Sectors and Regions", organised by Nokia, 19.October.2016.
One of the claims done in the opinion is that all areas should have access to high-speed broadband connections to avoid a further digital divide particularly in rural and sparsely populated areas. The Communication on "Connectivity for a European Gigabit society - Towards a European Gigabit Society", includes an accompanying measure to support Internet connectivity and converge refers to the setting up of a Participatory Broadband Platform ("by the end of 2016 a participatory broadband platform to ensure a high level of engagement and cooperation between relevant public and private entities for broadband investment and progress in implementing national broadband plans."). The platform is already launched and the first meeting will take place in October 2017.
THE EUROPEAN COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS
- notes that the common denominator of the two communications to which this opinion refers is the lack of interoperability in many different sectors, which results in researchers, industry, public authorities and policy-makers being unable to access the data they need;
- judges the Commission's phased approach to rolling out European cloud services to be sensible and is pleased to note that the framework will enable first the scientific community, and then both businesses and local and regional authorities, to use shared knowledge as well as producing it;
- affirms that European local and regional authorities are keen to develop knowledge-sharing, and also to notify the ICT standards that are required to meet their needs in respect of public service development;
- shares the Commission's view that the current context requires partnerships between different sectors in standardisation and notes that the e-health, intelligent transport systems, smart energy and more environment-friendly manufacturing technology, which the Commission cites in its communication as examples of important target areas, are quite central to the activities of local and regional authorities, which will have to be actively involved if the objectives are to be achieved;
- underlines the need for a clear political commitment to fund cloud research infrastructure in order to harness the huge potential of cloud computing and notes that cloud services are based on trust and that to win and keep trust considerable attention must be paid to data security and privacy;
- emphasises that all five of the priority domains identified by the Commission for standardisation are interconnected, but that there is a particularly close interdependence between IoT and future 5G networks. Unless full geographical coverage is achieved for 5G networks, it will be impossible for the internet of things to be used in the same way in all European regions.