On November 11th, 2003, the Commission of the European Communities presented a White Paper on "Space: a new European frontier for an expanding Union - An action plan for implementing the European Space policy". It will be a major objective in 2004 to define space contributions to the policy challenges for Europe identified and agree on a strategy for their implementations.
One particular challenge addressed is "to ensure widespread high speed Internet availability and usage throughout the enlarged European Union" and "to use to the full the potential offered by all available broadband technologies (including satellite communications) to bridge the digital divide."
As a first step to meet this task, German Space Agency DLR is organizing a Workshop dedicated to "Digital Divide and Satellite: Chances, Difficulties and Actions". The objectives of the Workshop are:
- to reach a common understanding of the term "Digital Divide",
- to assess its importance and
- to set out a roadmap on the way to define a joint ESA/EU initiative as a space contribution to close it.
The Workshop will be held at DLR, Bonn-Oberkassel, Königswinterer Strasse 522-524, on February 11th, 2004. DLR is looking forward to an interesting meeting and invites you to join us in the discussions expected.