The Digital Agenda of European Commissioner Neelie Kroes in practice

Monday 15 October 2012 – From 16 to 18 October, the Broadband World Forum 2012 will take place in Amsterdam. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible for the Digital Agenda, will open this three-day event. One of the primary objectives of the Digital Agenda is ensuring that all European citizens have ready access to high-speed broadband connections. It is in this context that on Monday afternoon, Kroes will pay a visit to the Amsterdam neighbourhood of IJburg to learn about a number of broadband internet projects that have been successfully implemented. These include Digital School in the IJburg College, the SmartWork@IJburg initiative and WijkTV. Together with Alderperson Eric van der Burg (Sport, Health and Municipal Services), Eelco Blok (CEO KPN), Hans Tijl (Director of the Physical Planning Department, City of Amsterdam), local businesses and school children from the IJburg College, they will discuss what access to broadband connections can actually mean.

Digital School – IJburg College
At IJburg College, students will demonstrate how a fully digital school can help to make learning fun for children, and what a school without books but access to knowledge from around the world looks like. The children will also discuss with Ms Kroes how the information highway can be made as accessible as possible to everyone in Europe.

Two business owners who live and work in IJburg will explain why the new, fast broadband connection is essential for their work and why the arrival of the ASC Smart Work Center is so important.

WijkTV is a local initiative that is made possible by the modern broadband network that has been laid in IJburg. As a result of this network, editors are able to make programmes that are more interactive. Live streaming via TV, tablet or smart phone is now possible, as well as narrowcasting, for example, to schools in IJburg.

High-speed broadband connections
A primary element of Amsterdam Smart City projects, such as those mentioned above, is the close collaboration between different organisations that test innovative solutions, technologies and approaches that contribute to the overall development of a smart city. By exploring modern broadband infrastructures and smart grids, Amsterdam Smart City invites the participation of various parties, and facilitates and connects programmes that can be tested in real situations before being rolled out. Technology, including high-speed broadband connections, is essential for this. New developments may have applications in the living and work environments, in public space, and also in the education and health care sectors.