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Commission proposes guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

The European Commission has published a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks. The Decision will establish general guidelines for the development of trans-European telecommunications net...
The European Commission has published a proposal for a European Parliament and Council Decision on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks. The Decision will establish general guidelines for the development of trans-European telecommunications networks, including objectives, priorities and the broad lines of measures to be taken.

The primary objective of the Community in this area will be to support the inter-connection of telecommunications networks, in particular integrated broadband communication (IBC) networks, the setting up and deployment of inter-operable services and applications and required infrastructure as well as access to them. This will be done with the general aim of:

- Facilitating the transition towards the information society, in particular with a view to promoting the satisfaction of social needs and improving quality of life;

- Improving competitiveness of European industry and strengthening the internal market;

- Strengthening economic and social cohesion;

- Accelerating the development of new growth area activities leading to job creation.

The trans-European telecommunications networks will open the European market to the new applications and services on which the Information Society should develop. These are essential to safeguarding and promoting Europe's future prosperity, creating new jobs and enhancing economic and social cohesion.

The proposed Decision identifies a list of projects of common interest from which projects will be selected for Community support. The selection will be made within the "Regulation laying down general principles for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks". Areas in which projects of common interest will be identified include:

- Applications, including:
. A network for universities and research centres;
. Distance education and training;
. Health telematics;
. Transport telematics;
. Telematics for the environment;
. Teleworking;
. Telematic services for SMEs;
. Trans-European network for public administration;
. Electronic tendering;
. City information highways;
. Library services;
. Telematic services for the job market;
. Cultural and linguistic heritage;
. Citizens' access to services;

- Generic services, including:
. Implementation of operational trans-European generic services;
. Progressive extension of the generic services toward a multimedia environment;
. Introduction of non-proprietary digital signature as a basis for open service provision and mobility of use;

- Basic networks, including:
. European Integrated Services Digital Networks (Euro-ISDN);
. Commercial introduction of managed Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and other broadband networks;
. Interoperation of existing and broadband communication networks;

- Support and coordination actions, including:
. Development of target specifications and transition towards these targets;
. Definition of means to access broadband networks;
. Establishment of common specifications;
. Furthering cooperation among sector actors;
. Cooperation and coordination with Community, European and national programmes.
DE

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