At the mid-term of the project implementation, CORA (COnnecting Remote Areas with digital infrastructure and services) partners met on 20-22 March 2019 in Denmark to exchange on the progress of the pilots and the project status and to make site visits in Vejle and Middelfart. The pilots in the partner regions are progressing well, many of them will be implemented in 2019. Several CORA training courses are available online, and their number is increasing. Project implementation is running on schedule.
The site visit to a Føns parish in Middelfart brought remarkable insights into the rollout of the local broadband network. Here, an extensive bottom up initiative with motivated volunteers led to an aggregation of demand in the parish and a successful rollout of the network by a commercial operator. The joint work of the whole community made it possible to create a business case in the area that by the operator was long considered to be not promising.
The CORA partners continued the discussions on pilots in Spinderihallerne in Vejle, where creativity and entrepreneurship meets old traditions. The former building of the cotton mill was refurbished to be used by start-ups, creative companies and the local museum.
The CORA mobile digital hub visited Vejle and the CORA partners could explore the equipment and technologies available. The bus is helping inhabitants in rural areas in Nord- and Syddjurs in Denmark in acquainting with new digital technologies.
While visiting the digital hub in the Vejle Library outlet in Give, the partners got also insight into the broad tasks and importance of public libraries in the process of digitalization and in providing access to knowledge. The digital hub in Give is the place where inhabitants get in touch with new technologies and make their first steps towards using digital tools and infrastructure. E.g. here a 3D printer, 3D gaming and planning interfaces are available for testing.
Furthermore, the partners visited a fibre pipe production site (GM Plast) nearby Vejle and learned about the latest technological developments in the area of cost effective and future-proof broadband technologies and deployment techniques. GM Plast has over 40 years of experience and is producing equipment (pipes, connectors, curbs, containers etc.) necessary for the rollout of broadband fibre based infrastructure. Impressive local entrepreneurship combined with innovative thinking and fast implementation of new products and services are the success factors. Partners learned that it takes more than just production skills to run a company. Openness for innovation, planning the rollout project from the start through to the end and considering also maintenance, reparation and upgrading costs are vital.
The next CORA meeting in planned for 22-24 May 2019 in Norway.