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European RTD activities related to Internet development

A new report summarising European RTD initiatives in the field of Internet development has recently been published by the European Commission. The report looks in particular at suggested models for the "next-generation Internet", in response to the explosive growth in the numb...
A new report summarising European RTD initiatives in the field of Internet development has recently been published by the European Commission. The report looks in particular at suggested models for the "next-generation Internet", in response to the explosive growth in the number of users of Internet services, and the expansion from the original focus on academic oriented applications to include services in widespread use by the general public.

The report notes that the divergent applications of the Internet demand differing requirements for technological evolution. Existing Internet services are still considered too slow, insecure and unreliable and the need for substantial further research and technology development is widely recognised.

The EU commitment to RTD in this field, through the Information Technologies (ESPRIT) programme and the Advanced Communication Technologies and Services (ACTS) programme is described in the report, alongside details on how these will be followed up during the next Framework Programme. The conclusion identifies six new European policy challenges and underlines in particular the social and economic impact of disparities in Internet use.

The following sections are contained in the report:

- Policy summary;
- Contributions through current European RTD:
. Consolidating the foundations;
. High speeds for multimedia information;
. Finding what you want: brokerage, directories, intelligent agents and metadata;
. Avoiding what you don't want;
. Protecting intellectual property rights;
. Creating new markets for European cultural assets;
. Promoting business use and best practice;
. Easier research and university collaboration;
. The Web in schools;
. New applications for health care and regional development;
. Action plan for promoting the safe use of the Internet;
- New policy challenges.

Source: European Commission, DG XIII

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