The role of communications in development of the information society

The year 2002 was marked by various initiatives vis-à-vis ICP-ANACOM?s statutory obligations to be involved in projects to promote access to the information and knowledge society, particularly addressed to the introduction of advanced networks and services, reduced regional asymmetries and the adoption of measures applicable to citizens with special needs.

Noteworthy are accompaniment of the evolution of broadband services and networks, specifically for internet access, and the systematic accompaniment of the retail prices practiced by the various internet access providers, including dial-up access, accesses by cable-modem and ADSL accesses.

Likewise implemented were various measures with direct impact on the sector and on telecommunications service operators/providers, aiming to create conditions that enable the short and medium term development of broadband networks and services, such as measures in the context of local loop provision, internet access charges, wholesale ADLS provision, the reference interconnection offer, the provision of leased lines, UMTS, portability and pre-selection.

Particularly outstanding are projects being developed by the UMTS working group1 set up to monitor and implement specific projects presented by the entities licensed for international mobile telecommunications systems (IMT2000/UMTS), in order to develop and promote the information society, and to identify initiatives, specifically at the level of broadband promotion, for the four priority action areas: citizen?s portal, health, forest vigilance and populations with special needs.

Along with other entities, ICP-ANACOM has supported the creation of CyberCentres by local governments, which work as centres for the practical demonstration and promotion of the use of information, communication and multimedia technologies and are mainly addressed to the youth and student population and associated to spaces used for social activities.

Actions were taken for citizens with special needs, particularly regarding access to the ICP-ANACOM website and in the context of the Convergence and Development Platform set up by ICP-ANACOM. Within the latter a meeting was held in 2002 on digital television and populations with special needs, with the aim of analysing, publicising and learning about the respective interests and concerns with regard to information technologies in general and television in particular.

Regarding measures addressed to companies, ICP-ANACOM supported and actively participated in actions undertaken by the national campaign, whose aim is to support small and medium-sized companies interested in getting involved in electronic commerce, specifically in international markets, and in forming strategic alliances for digital commerce. It also took part in efforts by the working group to monitor statistics on the information society ? a part of the High Council on Statistics.


1This group includes a representative of ICP-ANACOM, who chaired it in 2002, and a representative of each of the UMTS operators, along with one representative from the executive secretariat of the Inter-Ministry Commission for Innovation and Knowledge, via the UMIC.