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  • Future bottlenecks in the information society: report to the European Parliament, Committee on Industry, External Trade, Research and Energy (ITRE)


At the request of the European Parliament's ITRE Committee, this report examines four policy areas where potential bottlenecks in the development of the Information Society could arise during the next five years and beyond. It also discusses policy options for dealing with them. The four areas are:
-Access to networks and services.
-Standardisation issues.
-Convergence between electronic payments and communications services.
-Future privacy issues.

In the area of access to networks and services, the report concludes that 'middleware' bottlenecks are likely to persist, and that the role of specific regulation is unlikely to diminish. In the area of technical compatibility standards, the report concludes that attention should be devoted principally to disrupting the extension of vertical control that becomes possible after a standard has been established. To facilitate further competition and innovation in electronic payment systems, the report suggests a number of policy options, including open access, price regulation and the encouragement of interoperability. Finally, the report shows that privacy concerns will be an important bottleneck to the take-up of electronic commerce and other Information Society services.

The study was undertaken by the JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies with the help of two partners from the European Science and Technology Observatory (ESTO). (ESTO).

Additional information

Authors: No author provided, JRC Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, Seville (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: EUR 19917 EN (2001), pp. 196. Euro: Free of charge
Availability: Available from European Commission, JRC Knowledge Management Unit, Ispra (IT) Tel: +39 033278 9843 or +39 033278 9864 Fax: +39 033278 9623 E-mail:
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