Action 11 - Member States to transpose the VAT Directive
Ireland: An extensive consultation process was conducted to ensure a smooth transposition and implementation of this Directive
Action 26 - Member States to implement European Interoperability Framework
Portugal: Portugal has a national interoperability platform, which assumes shared services as an instrument to boost the communication between the different public services and to share services.
On the other hand, within the new ICT rationalization agenda for Public Administration, the measure 11 foresees the mandatory use of the interoperability platform.
Slovenia: Best practice justification: Slovenia is involved in different EU activities and large scale pilots, i.e. STORK, STORK 2.0, SPOCS, epSOS, also a member in e-SENS consortium.
The achievements of the projects (at the moment of STORK and SPOCS) are published on NIO portal, available and promoted to the other public institutions.
Action 27 - Member States to implement Malmö and Granada declarations
Netherlands: The Netherlands was one of the first countries to adopt an official policy aimed at promoting open standards, combined with a open standards programme.
Portugal: The new ICT rationalization agenda for Public Administration was approved in a Council of Ministers Resolution and since then its implementation is high on the national agenda.
Action 38 - Member States to establish pan-European Computer Emergency Response Teams
Belgium: CSIRTs are based on mutual trust and being part of the European and worldwide
community is generally considered best practice.
More and more teams are facing a growing number of automated sources that report a
large volume of Internet abuse. Switching to automated handling of the information
from these sources should free valuable resources for other tasks in the CSIRT teams.
Finland: FICORA has built a high degree of trust between different stakeholders both from the telecom and other critical sectors who inform about certain information on infosec breaches or vulnerabilities. It is also entitled to receive information about disruptions in telecom networks and services. Informing CERT-FI about information security incidents does turn against the informer itself because CERT-FI is not obliged to pass this information without specific provisions on to law enforcement authorities (Nevertheless the victim of information security breach has of course rights and means to criminal justice procedures).
The multilateral security agreement between Nordic countries has been the base for the emerging Stoltenberg 7 cooperation. This arrangement is bringing multilateral CSIRT cooperation to a new level, facilitating information exchange of protectively marked information among the group partners.
Portugal: International cooperation among CERTs is a best practice, because it fosters trust which is essential for information sharing and mutual assistance effectiveness. It also helps developing capabilities.
Action 39 - Member States to carry out cyber attack simulations
Finland: Finnish exercises have a broad view from both the ICT sector and in the other hand from all the stakeholders which are dependent on the undisrupted functioning of it. Finnish national exercises are carried in a deep and fruitful co-operation between the private and public stakeholders. This has been seen important because the majority of society’s critical infrastructure is in the hands of private sector.
Portugal: Cyber attack simulations and exercises are excellent means to test capabilities in general, but also procedures and responsibilities among participants from different sectors and sensibilities like regulatory authorities, academia, law enforcement and intelligence community. It also helps to build trust among these actors.
Action 40 - Member States to implement harmful content alert hotlines
United Kingdom: It also provides best practice examples for online safety. The IWF is working ahead of target, monitoring online safety reactively through complaints procedures (Hotline services) and a membership programme. Currently subscribed members include the Post Office, T-Mobile and ORON.
Action 41 - Member States to set up national alert platforms
Belgium: We have an agreement with ChildFocus who transfers information – in an
anonymous way – to eCops. ChildFocus is recognized as a reliable partner in the
combat against child abuse.
Action 46 - Member States to develop national broadband plans
Denmark: The Danish Broadband targets for coverage are set higher than those of the EU.
Finland: See: www.lvm.fi/web/en/publication/-/view/1221867
: In 2012 European Commission Commission has published a Staff Working Document which summarises the current state of play in national broadband plans and fosters a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge on good practices between countries by assembling examples of national implementation measures. In this document European Commission pointed out that in terms of demand for NGA, only five countries (Cyprus, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal) which have fully subscribed to the DAE targets have integrated take-up targets into their broadband plans. This fact shows that Lithuania is already in the right way to implement targets set out in Digital Agenda.
Luxembourg: - Les objectifs fixées dans la stratégie nationale pour les réseaux à ultra-haut débit (1 Gbps pour 100% de la population en 2020) dépassent de loin ceux fixé par la stratégie numérique pour l'Europe.
- 85% de la population peut d'ores et déjà avoir à des débits de 30 Mbps ou supérieurs.
- Le registre national des travaux est en ligne.
United Kingdom: The UK is currently leading the way on broadband deployment within the EU. This year, the UK penetration rate of fixed broadband was 4 p.p. above the EU average of 27.7% (at 31.7%).
Action 47 - Member States to facilitate broadband investment
Luxembourg: En cours d'évaluation.
Portugal: ICP-ANACOM has made available the 450 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2,1 GHz and 2,6 GHz frequency bands
for applications in the context of terrestrial electronic communication services and networks, in accordance with the principles of neutrality,
in terms of technology and services.
Action 48 - Use structural funds to finance the roll-out of high-speed networks
Ireland: IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NATIONAL BROADBAND SCHEME
IN RURAL AREAS OF IRELAND
The National Broadband Scheme (NBS) was a policy response to persistent representations to successive Government Ministers regarding the poor availability of broadband in large parts of Ireland, particularly in rural areas.
In acknowledgement of this market failure, the State took the decision, following State Aids clearance from the EU Commission, to intervene in the market to ensure the provision of a basic broadband service to certain targeted rural parts of the country.
The NBS has delivered basic broadband connectivity to homes and businesses located in an area covering almost one third of the Electoral Divisions (1,028) of the country on time and within budget. In so doing, the overarching policy objectives of this State-sponsored market intervention, namely widening the availability of broadband, creating greater equality and removing the socio-economic disadvantages caused by a lack of broadband services, have been achieved.
NBS Mapping Exercise
As a fundamental part of the planning and design of the NBS intervention, an extremely comprehensive mapping process was carried out by the Department in order to protect the interests of the existing broadband providers and to satisfy the state aid requirements.
The terms used to determine the areas to be covered under the NBS were based on the levels of the existing combined broadband coverage in relevant EDs at the time of the detailed mapping exercise in 2008.
Multiple engagements and consultations were carried out with broadband operators and all concerns were addressed with the operators at the time of the sign-off of the mapping process.
Given that “EDs”, had previously been created as a geographical administrative unit, this was decided as being a suitable administrative method to map and implement the NBS.
The specific EDs to be included in the NBS were determined by the Department based on the levels of the broadband coverage in each relevant EDs at that time. The approach taken was a pragmatic one which aimed to maximise the number of unserved buildings (while minimising served buildings) that would be covered by the Scheme. In accepting an ED into the NBS Scheme, each ED was checked three times to ensure consistency.
NBS Procurement Process
Following the conclusion of a technology neutral procurement process, the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources entered into a contract with Hutchison 3G Ireland Ltd (trading as “3”) in late December 2008 for the delivery of the NBS. This competitive dialogue procurement process was conducted in line with best practice.
Under the terms of the NBS contract, the winning service provider was required to establish the infrastructure, made available and where requested, provide the minimum specification retail and wholesale broadband service to fixed residences and businesses that are located within the designated Electoral Divisions (“ED”) of the NBS Coverage Area. In Ireland, Electoral Divisions comprise of the smallest administrative areas in the country used for census and election purposes and were chosen as a geographic boundary identifier for the NBS.
The mobile wireless technology and network design deployed by “3” was assessed and its coverage plots independently modelled by the bid evaluation team composed of National Regulatory Authority, the Department and independent technical advisers. It was concluded that the network as proposed by 3 was capable of delivering the minimum specification required for the NBS in all areas of the NBS.
NBS Network Rollout
“3” extended its network into rural areas and progressively established the NBS infrastructure over a 22 month period. “3” delivered a challenging rollout programme and constructed some 390 NBS sites so as to provide the guaranteed broadband service levels in the NBS areas. The deployed mobile wireless network has been designed and optimised to deliver broadband to specified fixed locations and as such has been configured as a fixed broadband solution.
Under the terms of the NBS contract, all EDs were designated as Enabled within the contractual deadlines by the Department, signifying that the NBS Service Provider “3” had complied with the specified contractual criteria, including the provision of the minimum specification broadband service to 100% of the fixed businesses and residences within each of the NBS EDs. As foreseen in the NBS contract, “3” may, for technical reasons associated with the location of the premises, deploy a satellite solution in a limited number of cases.
The coverage verification exercise which was carried out by the Department’s technical consultants as part of the formal enablement process, is complemented by the ongoing monthly measurement of coverage within the NBS EDs to ensure that the minimum specified service is being provided.
In keeping with State Aid clearance for the Scheme, the NBS service is an affordable, scaleable product. It currently offers minimum speeds of 1.6Mbps download and 1.2Mbps upload subject to a maximum contention ratio, with latency of 100ms and a data allowance of 25GB. Following the contractual upgrade to the NBS service in October next, these specifications will increase to minimum speeds of 2.3Mbps download and 1.4Mbps upload subject to a maximum contention ratio, with latency of 100ms and a data allowance of 40GB.
At an EU level, the combination of private investment and State interventions in broadband provision, such as the NBS, allows Ireland to meet the EU Commission’s “Digital Agenda for Europe” target of having a basic broadband service available to all areas by 2013. While the NBS itself offers a basic product the network built under the NBS can facilitate the future delivery of higher speed broadband to rural parts of the country.
Ongoing Monitoring of NBS Coverage and Services
The 68 month NBS contract with “3” will continue until August 2014. During this time, the Department will continue to carefully manage the contract to ensure that “3” complies with all of its obligations in respect of the Scheme.
The NBS contract guarantees service levels and imposes a service credit regime on “3” with financial consequences in the event that minimum specification service levels are not met.
Quality control measures are in place and ongoing monitoring by the DCENR takes place. Performance delivery data, which is submitted on a monthly basis or as required, is critically analysed by the Department, with the assistance of its independent technical consultants. Performance of the infrastructure, service availability, service delivery and customer experience as well as overall compliance with its contractual obligations by 3 is actively monitored. Upgrades of the network and its capacity are triggered at contractually agreed levels of traffic to ensure that the quality of the broadband service is maintained.
“3” carry out drive-testing in 20% of EDs (200 or so EDs) every month as well as static testing at 90 individual points to confirm that the NBS network is performing at or above the minimum specification service levels as set out in the NBS contract. To date, over a million measurements have been taken and have been found to be consistent with the corresponding predicted values.
The contract also provides for independent monitoring and audit at any stage during the contract with a view to verifying that the services are being provided in accordance with the contract. The DCENR conducts its own field tests of the service levels received at a customer’s premises. Independent customer satisfaction surveys are carried out bi-annually.
Action 49 - Member States to implement European Spectrum Policy Programme (ESPP)
Sweden: Swedish policy is that spectrum that is available for use should be assigned as soon as practically possible, e.g. when necessary international coordination agreements have been concluded. Sweden has consistently been one of the first countries of the EU to plan spectrum and assign licences for “newly available” frequency bands, e.g. in the 2.5–2.69 GHz band and the “Digital Dividend” (800 MHz) band.
Assignments of block licences are in general conducted through auctions. This has proven to be a robust and transparent mode of assignment. Where appropriate there have been spectrum caps as well as limited coverage requirements. In the 800 MHz band there was a coverage requirement to the effect that the holder of one 2x5 MHz licence should commit 300 MSEK (~€ 30 mn) for roll-out in rural areas.
Furthermore, the possibility of licence free use (general authorisation) of spectrum is always considered as an option.
Action 56 - Member States to engage in large-scale pilots financed by the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme
Italy: In the field of eProcurement Italy has a wide experience in the implementation of eTendering and pre-award solutions in the public sector, and has many best practices that could be presented in the eGovernment Group.
Action 66 - Member States to promote long-term e-skills and digital literacy policies
Finland: Model for "Pop-up training centres" in a shopping malls etc.
: Webactivate - In 2010, Digital Skills Academy, supported by The Digital Hub, designed and delivered the pilot for a ground-breaking programme, WebActivate, to provide small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) throughout Ireland with an effective online presence, while simultaneously creating employment for hundreds of people across the country. The results of the pilot was very encouraging - pointing to the potential in this area. Of those that completed the training 56% were in employment (most as freelancer/sole trader) 3 months after completing the programme. At end of pilot approximately 250 companies had live websites as a result of the programme and initial indications from these SMEs indicate the positive impacts the on-line move has meant for them. For businesses the pilot activation programme has produced:- Better Customer Service, New Revenues, new Customers and New Markets for these companies – leading to further job creation. A further benefit of web activating small businesses is the potential to positively impact on balance of payments. With an estimated €3 billion spent on line annually by Irish consumers much of this spend is currently going outside Ireland. Increasing the web capabilities of Irish businesses should contribute to more of that spend going to Irish companies as well as attracting spend to Irish companies from abroad. See the following youtube clip for more information - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-GbOB_yHS4
Poland: Polish Safer Internet programme – comprehensive set of actions: websites, social campaigns, hotlines, eLearning tools for schools
Portugal: This is the densest network of this kind in Europe and assumes a very important role as a social mediator to computer and Internet technology in local, and frequently remote, communities.
Slovenia: Yes. The best practice is the ‘Simbioz@ e-pismena Slovenija’ project which addressing the issue of e-skills of the elderly population by using an intergenerational approach. Project Simbioz@ is structured in a manner to include all the relevant stakeholders in the field of e-skills. The project also contributed to the European Year of Volunteering 2011 and contributes to the European Year of Intergenerational Solidarity 2012.
‘Simbioz@ e-pismena Slovenija’ was also awarded by the European Parliament with the outstanding award »Citizen of Europe«
Public libraries bring together different generations and different social groups. Volunteering and intergenerational cooperation has successfully raised the level of general ICT literacy among older generations and also has beneficial social consequences.
United Kingdom: UK has best practice forming cooperatives where skills exist and are needed elsewhere, for example the IWP and ACPO agreement. Digital skills in the UK are a priority amongst both NGOs and government bodies. The DfE covers formal education, whilst government bodies such as BIS cover workplace training. This enables the UK to provide pervasive deployment of ICT skills.
Action 68 - Member States to mainstream eLearning in national policies
Ireland: The ICT in Schools Programme is very successful. The services offered by the former NCTE are delivered nationally on a relatively small budget.
The availability of almost 12,000 curriculum-relevant digital content resources through the Scoilnet website (www.scoilnet.ie), the national portal for ICT in Education is an example of best practice. This resource is widely used by primary and post primary schools.
The newly restructured PDST has a Deputy Director with responsibility for ICT in primary and post primary education. This new structure will ensure that ICT is part of all aspects of teaching and learning and not a stand alone function.
Action 73 - Member States to agree on common additional functionalities for smart meters
: comprehensive cost benefit analysis of both electricity & gas smart metering was undertaken by the CER in partnership with the Economic & Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Ireland, which provided CBA modelling expertise. The CBA utilised key inputs from findings from the very comprehensive & robust smart metering customer behaviour trials (electricity & gas) that were conducted in Ireland, & which have drawn interest & been commended internationally. For further details refer to the published trial reports, CBAs & associated summary Information Papers: http://www.cer.ie/en/information-centre-reports-and-publications.aspx?article=5dd4bce4-ebd8-475e-b78d-da24e4ff7339
Action 74 - Member States to include specifications for total lifetime costs for public lighting in public procurement
: The governments Better Energy Workplaces (BEW) grant scheme provides part funding to innovative energy saving projects. Grant assistance has been provided to a number of public lighting projects
- Public lighting retrofit of towns public lighting, including the latest LED technology, controls, development of a new public lighting tariff and funded and implemented through a 10-15 year ESCO agreement
- Retrofit of a local authorities lighting stock to the latest LED technology
The working group concept has worked very well to identify barriers to implementation and inform policy development in this area http://www.seai.ie/Your_Business/Public_Sector/Best_Practice/Energy_Efficiency_Working_Groups/Public_Lighting_Working_Group/Public_Lighting_Working_Group.html
- SEAI has recently operates a best practice networking forum entitled Energy Link. A public lighting Community of Practice will commence in Q4 2012.
: Norwegian authorities would consider this to be a best practice.
This is due to the fact that the Norwegian authorities have a persistent and long-lasting focus on energy efficiency and environmental aspects in public procurement, ref. the legal requirements for this mentioned above. In addition to this, the procurement is done in a market of lighting products that is obliged to meet requirements for production of lighting installations set in directive 2005/32/EC establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-using products; hereunder the Commission regulation no. 1275/2008 of 17 December 2008 with regard to ecodesign requirements for standby and off mode electric power consumption of electrical and electronic household and office equipment.
See act of 11. juni 1976 no. 79 regarding control with products and consumer services, section 4 a:
Action 89 - Member States to make eGovernment services fully interoperable
Belgium: Since 2011 a working group composed of the key federal public stakeholders has been set up to examine issues related to the new IPv6 protocol and make recommendations to the Government. This led to the adoption by the government of a series of recommendations aimed at accelerating the transition to IPv6. The objective of these measures is to support the transition to IPv6 by public and private actors through targeted, non-binding actions. In addition, a working group has been established to find a solution to legal interception issues and IPv4 shared addresses.
Action 90 - Member States to ensure that Points of Single Contact function as fully fledged eGovernment centres
Estonia: In the study on the Points of Single Contact, the Estonian portal was highlighted as the best in the EU, a best practice.
Portugal: It can be, when finalized. Because it covers all the relations between the service provider and the administration related to the access and exercise of the activity.
Action 91 - Member States to agree a common list of key cross-border public services
Action 96 - Member States to fulfil obligations under European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS)
Spain: Spain is leading the roll-out of ERMTS with more than 1.600 km or railways already installed
United Kingdom: ERTMS will be deployed on the life expiry of existing convetional signalling assets