2011 Progress Report on the Digital Agenda

posted 20 Feb 2012, 03:22 by Brian Pickering   [ updated 20 Feb 2012, 03:32 ]
The annual progress report on the Digital Agenda for Europe for 2011 has now been published. The Digital Agenda for Europe includes seven pillars, or focus areas, covering a digital single market, interoperability and standards, trust and security, fast internet access, digital literacy and inclusion, and ICT enabled benefits for society; there is also an eighth pillar targeted at the international dimension of the other focus areas. For each pillar, a number of key actions was defined. The progress report summarises what has been achieved towards the attainment of these actions as well outlining where activities in the next 12 to 24 months should be directed.

Reviewing the progress report in relation to SESERV, the various workshops and reports generated by the project, and the overall focus on enabling and sustaining the conversation between those who build and those who study the Future Internet, the attached report summarises what's been happening for each of the pillars and the focus for the coming years in the light of what has come out of the SESERV Oxford Workshop, the SESERV Athens Workshop, and related discussions and publications, with recommendations in each case.

The value of the discussions on both societal issues at Oxford and the economics surrounding the network and its use at Athens could beneficially contribute to instruments such as the Digital Agenda. In brief, what the analysis shows and which is perhaps being missed:
  1. usage tends to be creative and may, if left unchecked, compromise existing infrastructures
  2. regulation does not necessarily meet user expectations or requirements; 
  3. users will often judge for themselves how to engage online, though
  4. increased skill and experience can help to foster and improve trust in the online environment
  5. resource is scarce and needs to be used more optimally, therefore
  6. blanket investment to increase capacity is short-sighted and ultimately counter-productive.
With the introduction of Horizon 2020, there may well be greater focus and relevance for bringing real benefits to society. But there is still some way to go to capitalise on the discussions which have been going on across the community of technologists, social-scientists and policy makers facilitated by the SESERV project.

The SESERV summary is referred to above is available here.