Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2006-10-24-Speech-2-269"

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"The honourable Member is correct: the Greek electronic communications market has unfortunately suffered from a very long delay in the transposition of the regulatory framework. It should have been in force in 2003. It was only completed in Greece in June 2006. We have seen very clearly that where the framework is not in place there is no competition. Where there is no competition there is less investment. That is one of the problems in Greece. On a more positive note, EU structural assistance in Greece provides substantial co-funding for investments aimed at promoting speedier adoption of ICT in Greece and, in particular, for broadband internet in schools and public organisations in remote, island or mountainous areas. Cohesion funds in Greece also permit projects for the acquisition of informatics equipment in schools or public organisations in the regions, including remote, island or mountainous areas. As you also know, Greece has started the implementation of a major project aimed at extending broadband access to those Greek regions outside Athens and Thessaloniki which do not yet have that connection and, under normal commercial circumstances, would not get it. The Greek Government has also launched the DIODOS project, which established a high-capacity Greek internet educational network through which a number of internet providers are offering advanced internet services to research, academic and education communities at prices that are expected to be 50% below current retail prices. You will also be aware that the Commission is working very hard on bridging the digital divide. That is why the Commission recently published a communication on bridging the broadband gap, which gives a strong commitment to achieve broadband for all Europeans through policy, budget aid and regulatory instruments. Included in that are the structural funds, but also – and this is new – the rural funds, in full respect of state aid rules. The communication proposes action that aims at strengthening current policies, national broadband strategies and reinforcing the exchange of best practices through a website. We believe it is very important for the regions to understand what other regions have done and to see what they might be able to copy or adapt to their specific needs. In that sense we hope that the many problems that persist in some regions, and especially in Greece, can gradually be overcome."@en1

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