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Trans-European telecommunications networks - Guidelines

The Decision of the Council and European Parliament on guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks has recently been published.

The Decision lays down the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures envisaged for developing trans-European telecommunicatio...
The Decision of the Council and European Parliament on guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks has recently been published.

The Decision lays down the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures envisaged for developing trans-European telecommunications infrastructure networks. The objectives of Community support for the interconnection of telecommunications networks are:

- Facilitating the transition towards the Information Society;
- Improving the competitiveness of Community firms, in particular SMEs;
- Strengthening economic and social cohesion, in particular linking island, land-locked and peripheral regions to the central regions of the Community;
- Accelerating the development of new growth area activities leading to job creation.

Annex I to the Decision lays down projects of common interest which may receive Community financial support, in accordance with the TENs financial Regulation. These are as follows:

- Applications:
. A network for universities and research centres;
. Distance education and training;
. Health telematics;
. Transport telematics;
. Telematics for the environment;
. Teleworking;
. Telematics services for SMEs;
. Electronic tendering;
. City information highways;
. Library services;
. Telematic services for the job market;
. Cultural and linguistic heritage;

- Generic services:
. Implementation of operational trans-European generic services, including e-mail, file transfer systems, on-line access to electronic databases and video services;
. Progressive extension of generic services towards a multimedia environment;
. Introduction of non-proprietary digital signature as a basis for open service provision and mobility of use;

- Basic networks:
. Euro-Integrated Services Digital Networks (EuroISDN);
. Commercial introduction of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) and other integrated broadband communications networks;
. Interoperation of existing and integrated broadband communications networks;
. Development of fixed, mobile and satellite networks with the aim of supporting the above applications and services;

- Supplementary, support and coordination actions.

Projects will be selected for funding on the basis of calls for proposals, to be launched by the Commission following publication of the TEN-Telecom work programme. Certain project areas are judged to be of particular importance, and calls for these areas will be launched at least once per year.

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