Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

To facilitate the establishment of international links between the various high-speed networks and testbeds supporting advanced applications in order to support the emerging global Information Society.


During the G-7 Ministerial Conference devoted to the Information Society (Brussels 25-26 February) the G-7 members, along with the European Commission, decided to launch 11 pilot projects which are designed to demonstrate the potential benefits of the Information Society and to stimulate its deployment.

The key objectives of the pilot projects are to:

- Support international consensus on common principles for applications, access, and interoperability of networks;
- Establish groundwork for cooperation among G-7 partners to create a critical mass to address the global Information Society issue;
- Create an opportunity for information exchange leading to further development of the Information Society;
- Identify and select exemplary projects with tangible, understandable, and demonstrable social, economic, and cultural benefits;
- Identify obstacles to implementing applications related to a global Information Society;
- Help create markets for new products and services.

The Global Interoperability for Broadband Networks (GIBN) project is established to build on current initiatives being pursued by the G-7 partners in advanced telecommunications technologies by defining a path for developing an integrated global information infrastructure. In this context, the primary objective of the GIBN project is to provide a means for developing and testing trans-national applications that will support the emerging global Information Society. The project is to establish a common basis for the promotion of joint R&D, demonstrations and pre-commercial trials of advanced high-speed services and applications, through existing mechanisms which are available nationally and internationally. In particular, it is proposed to establish experimental intercontinental links by 1997 among the three main geographic areas of the G-7 countries: North America, Europe and Japan.

In order to achieve this, the following will be necessary:

- Identification of shortfalls so that those responsible may take appropriate actions;
- Provision of means for testing multinational applications while under development;
- Active promotion of interworking amongst the various advanced networks that are emerging.

The GIBN project will encourage initiatives promoting education and research, as well as economic, social and cultural development. This is to be realized through the ten other pilot project themes established at the G-7 Ministerial Conference in February 1995 (see below) and the research networks of the G-7 countries. Specific applications in these project areas will be identified along with the required networks. Priority is to be given to applications with attractive user potential in order to achieve a critical mass as quickly as possible.

The other pilot projects which were launched at the Brussels G-7 Ministerial Meeting cover the following theme areas: Global inventory; Cross-cultural education and training; Electronic libraries; Electronic museums and galleries; Environment and natural resources management; Global emergency management; Global healthcare applications; Government online; Global marketplace for SMEs; and Maritime information systems.


No details are available for this section.


The Global Interoperability of Broadband Networks (GIBN) pilot project is coordinated by Canada, Germany, Japan and the United Kingdom. The purpose of the project is to identify and encourage means of cooperation between the participating partners. There will be no GIBN secretariat as no specific funding has been earmarked for the pilot project.

The "milestones" for the realization of the goals of the project are as follows:

- Identification of action areas and development of a workplan (September 1995);
- Complete planning and support implementation of initial linkages (December 1995);
- Deployment/testing of new international links; support of applications tests (June 1996);
- Deployment/testing of remaining links and continue support of applications tests (mid-1997).

Key partners within the GIBN are to be drawn from all network operators (public, academic, etc.) having high speed networks and testbeds, those operating high-speed digital, internationally transparent links and organizations involved in the development of those innovative applications that will depend on such facilities. International standards bodies such as the ITU are also to be consulted with respect to standardization and technical protocol issues. Non G-7 countries will be invited to interconnect with a primary continental link once the implementation of GIBN has been clearly defined. The private sector will also be encouraged to lead specific project applications as soon as possible.

The methodology to be pursued focuses on supporting and complementing existing national and international activities, providing coordination and a framework for international cooperation with the aim of identifying areas where action is required. A common terms of reference document will be established to define the core principles of participation. GIBN participants are required to communicate closely, making maximum use of state-of-the-art communications technologies.

The pilot project is chaired by Canada; the other G-7 coordinators are required to provide the Chair with specific application suggestions, from which a joint selection is to be made by the GIBN participants. To maintain a vital link between network infrastructure and applications development, GIBN coordinators will interface on a regular basis with the team leaders in their respective countries responsible for coordinating the other ten G-7 pilot projects.
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