South East Europe improved virtual accessibility through joint initiatives facilitating the rollout of broadband networks
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The impact and effectiveness of virtual accessibility public infrastructures and services in selected SEE areas on competitiveness, employment and growth

This report constitutes the output of activity A331: “The impact and effectiveness of virtual accessibility public infrastructures and services in selected SEE areas on competitiveness, employment and growth”. The task is part of the project entitled “South East Europe improved virtual accessibility through joint initiatives” (SIVA) which aims to contribute to the improvement of the accessibility of SEE territories through broadband services, as substitute for and supplementing physical accessibility and thus to the narrowing the digital gap in South East Europe. In this report we studied the impact of broadband provision and infrastructures in economy and employment, investigating both direct and indirect benefits. To overcome the complexity of the task and the lack of available data, regression analysis was chosen for analysis.

Therefore, necessary data were collected by the countries’ respective partners, for a period of ten years. This analysis allowed the approximated evaluation of the impact of virtual accessibility on growth and employment. Positive externalities such as end-user cost reduction, and savings through e-government services were estimated through empirical analysis.The countries covered in this report were the countries represented by the SIVA consortium, namely Austria, Bulgaria, FYROM, Greece, Italy, Montenegro and Slovenia. Applying regression analysis on the data collected from these areas, the following conclusions were drawn up.

  • Increase in broadband penetration may lead to an increase in GDP.
  • Employment trends are hard to trace and measured, though the immediate job creation for broadband infrastructure building and maintenance is substantial.
  • Significant saving for firms, end-users and the state follow the increase of broadband facilitated services, such as e-government services.

Author: Vasileios Kokkinos


Updated: 14-11-2013 17:43


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The SIVA project is being funded under Priority Axis 3 – Improvement of the Accessibility of the South East Europe Programme, achieving the corresponding objectives through the Area of Intervention (AoI) 3.2 – Develop strategies to tackle the 'digital divide'.

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