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EU pushes investment in data-rich Internet

04 may 2011, 12:07
Work began on Tuesday on a robust new architecture for a future Internet capable of handling an "exponential" increase in data volumes with the launch of a 600-million-euro investment project, AFP reports.

The European Commission announced it is investing an initial 90 million euros ($133.4 million) in the first phase of a five-year public-private partnership, matched by funding from private companies and organisations across the European Union.

"The Internet economy will be growing to 5.8 percent of GDP, or almost 800 billion euros, by 2014. But we are only at the beginning of the Internet era," said Neelie Kroes, the commissioner responsible for the EU's digital agenda.

Internet data traffic is growing by 60 percent a year, the commission says, and the project is designed to boost innovation and develop Internet solutions "capable of managing the exponential increase in (mobile) online data."

Eventually, the commission has promised a 300-million-euro investment, matched by the private sector, with Kroes equally concerned by a desire to "safeguard European values like privacy, openness and diversity."

Initial projects being funded include Internet tools for things like electricity management at community level -- new governments invariably find vast differences in billing across departments -- ahead of a large-scale trial.

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