Meeting Europe’s 2030 Digital Decade Targets
Mar 28 2022 Craig McCamley

Meeting Europe’s 2030 Digital Decade Targets

Cisco’s Vision for Powering the Internet of the Future

The pandemic has highlighted the critical nature of connectivity and the profound necessity to stay connected. We believe that it is not enough to build connectivity infrastructure; we must do it in a way that is inclusive and addresses discrepancies. That is why Europe’s 2030 Digital Decade targets are so important and fully supported by all of us at Cisco. The European Parliament is currently looking at the “Path to the Digital Decade” proposal, the governance framework that will guide countries to reach the digital targets and achieve the digital transformation.

Many of you will know Cisco from our long history as cybersecurity experts and infrastructure and network provider, innovating since the dawn of the internet. At Cisco one of our driving forces is our vision for the Internet for the Future which seeks to revolutionize the underlying architecture of the internet to close the digital divide and contribute to our commitment to positively impact 1 billion people by 2025.

Cisco recently released its new Global Broadband Index. The survey took the pulse of workers across the world (including in the European Union) and provides valuable insights into their needs and expectations.

Skills and Reskilling

Under the European Commission’s Digital Decade program, the goal is to have 80 percent of European citizens equipped with basic digital skills by 2030, as well as 20 million ICT specialists to address the current shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the EU. Europe will rely on new talents to enable its green and digital transition, at the core of the resilience and recovery plan.

It also starts with our telecom infrastructure: 72 percent of respondents in the Cisco Broadband Index said the availability and speed of broadband is a key factor in determining where they move.

Digitalization of Government & Public Services

With society becoming ever more digital, public services are expanding their online offers and access. The Commission’s goal of having 100% of key public services online is just the tip of the iceberg.

Digitalization can provide new opportunities for citizen engagement. And to do that, governments should incentivize investments that can address existing market failures. They should remove regulatory barriers for broadband deployment and infrastructure distribution across territories. By bridging the digital divide, they will allow citizens to truly enjoy seamless connectivity and benefit from basic, democratic online services.

Digital Transformation of Businesses

One of the essential components of the EU’s ‘digital decade’ is ensuring that European businesses are taking advantage of big data opportunities to be ahead of their competition, simultaneously creating a safe and secure online environment for workers. In essence, this objective will require the uptake of technological advancements and promoting EU businesses to grow and scale-up.

In addition, our Broadband Index indicates that there is still a significant appetite from teleworkers to have better broadband access with 61% of the workforce saying that they would be ready to pay more for better quality internet, while 60% of remote workers would pay more to ensure their connections are safe.

A Technology Neutral Policy is Essential for Europe’s Connectivity

Public and private stakeholders should address gaps in urban and rural coverage. At Cisco, we believe everyone deserves the opportunity to connect and participate in online communities and economies. Only when everyone is connected can we capture the full potential of an inclusive future for all.

Simply put, without the right infrastructure in place, digital transformation is not possible. The Commission’s goal of achieving gigabit connectivity for everyone and having 5G coverage everywhere by 2030 is a significant first step.

However, while 5G is a crucial element, it does not replace Wi-Fi. Only with the combination of technologies such as 5G, private 5G, Wi-Fi, fiber, satellite and other technologies can we achieve the Gigabit society targets. A big step towards this would be the sufficient allocation of licensed and unlicensed spectrum for Private 5G and Wi-Fi 6.

Finally, let’s bear in mind that a successful digital transition is complementary, if not inextricably linked, to the green transition. Cisco has adopted a holistic approach to sustainability for its own operations, and to power a greener Internet of the Future.

Recently, we have been working closely with Deutsche Telekom to redesign its network to expand reliable access to more people across Europe and reduce environmental footprint. By using Cisco’s mass-scale routers — the most powerful in the global industry — we were able to deliver an optimal customers experience and reduce power consumption by up to 92 percent.

In conclusion, while the EU’s connectivity targets are ambitious and will require large-scale cooperation and buy-in from communities, governments, and industry, Europe now has a unique opportunity to make its Digital Decade a domestic and global success. Cisco stands ready to be a part of this; to power an inclusive future for all.

Download and read the Cisco Global Broadband Index 2022

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