City goes Nordic on broadband strategy

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Londonderry will share in a 2.2 million euro funding-roll out that will hopefully help improve rural broadband services across the North West using a successful investment model recently pioneered in Scandinavia.

ERUDITE - Enhancing Rural and Urban Digital Innovation Territories - aims to exploit the potential of new high speed broadband services to meet public, private and community economic and social needs.

An innovative aspect of the project is to use new Return-On-Investment (ROI) models developed in Scandinavia to justify investment of public money in high speed broadband services in rural areas. These new models differ from conventional models in that they include the social and economic returns to the entire community, not just to the broadband operator or supplier. For example, public investment in broadband can allow education and healthcare services to be delivered more cost effectively, lowering regional taxes and making the area more attractive for investors and job creation.

This second project will last a minimum of two years and has a budget of 2.2 million. A critical success factor will be the ability to convince government of merits of the new Return on Investment models.

The ERNACT regions of Derry and Strabane (UK), Donegal (Ireland) and Västernorrland (Sweden) will participate in this project, which is led by the Burgundy region (France).