Tuesday, 17 March 2009

EU Commission: Use agricultural funds for high-speed internet in rural areas

A Commission staff working document titled "Better access for rural areas to modern ICT" (directed towards the Parliament and the Council) concludes with the following paragraph:
Rural development policy 2007–2013 shows many options for investing in ICT in agriculture, agri-food and forestry, and in the rural economy in general. MSs and regions need to efficiently target funding and capital in order to achieve the best outcomes. In order to meet the needs of the rural population in a comprehensive manner and to ensure that EU funding can have a significant impact, managing authorities of different EU programs will need to co-operate closely and complement each other activities applying a strategic approach for rural areas' development.
In the context of this document this sounds for me like agricultural funds (e.g. the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD)) are supposed to be used to connect rural areas with high-speed internet connection.

Although there might be some very basic logic in these considerations, this is the most intransparent way in promoting ICT development.