Keynote 02 2020

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12 June 2020 | 9:30-10:00 | Studio The Hague
Consolidated programme 2020 overview / Day 2


  • Noel Curran, Director General, European Broadcasting Union, (10 min) | Video recording | Transcript | Forum
  • Alessandra Todde, Undersecretary, Ministry of Economic Development, Italy, (10 min) | Video recording | Transcript | Forum


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>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Welcome to the second and last day of the EuroDIG. Speaking for my team, I must say it feels like a week already, a week full of adrenaline, stress, also very funny, nice moments. We just had another stressful moment because we sent the wrong link by accident to our keynote speakers.

I apologize already for them, they’re a little bit late. It was entirely my fault. I was – it was me sending the wrong link. It happens, hiccups in a physical meeting as well, why not different for a virtual meeting? However, I must say yesterday and also today – Day 0, it was rewarding when you see how everything comes together and how it basically finally is working out n is thanks to the community that put effort into organizing the sessions and participating actively in our meeting. Keep your fingers crossed that this day, the last day of the virtual meeting also goes well, and that we will not have major issues and with this, I would like to hand over to our first keynote speaker, I’m happy to have Noel Curran from the European Broadcasting Union, and he will be speaking about broad issues that EBU is basically involved and also leading to the topic of the subsequent Plenary, about 5G.

Are you in the room.

>> NOEL CURRAN: I’m here! Can you see me!

>> SUSAN HOFERICHTER: You made it!

>> NOEL CURRAN: I think you deliberately sent the wrong link to keep us on our toes at this time in the morning. Making sure we were totally there!.

This is an important event, we’re a founding partner, we represent 116 public service media organizations for those that don’t know us, across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. For PSM, this is important, we have a keen interest and always have had in this event for a number of reasons, we get the mandate from the public, we get the public funding mandate, not all of it, but the vast majority of it. For us ordinary citizens, must not be disenfranchised by technology. We think that’s really, really important.

We also think, look at the rules around media, the rules around broadcast media, the rules around other media and how that has changed over time. You know, there is no one‑size‑fits‑all in this. There is no one‑size‑fits‑all when it comes to regulation. We have a number of responsibility, we get public funding. We’re not looking for everybody to be regulated to have the same rules and regulations for others. We take our responsibilities. We know that when we get public funding, we will have additional responsibilities around content, around preserve and trust. We accept that.

We also must get to a stage where there is more of a balancing out. You know, we accept our responsibilities in terms of our content, which is joy we constantly argue that our content should not be censored or edited when it reaches online platforms, there has to be an evening out from the rules and regulations around content, especially around social media content. What is the right amount? How do we approach it? We take our responsibilities around being publicly funded, our responsibilities to the public, we need to see an evening out, we can’t have a situation where large part of the media sector are very heavily regulated for whatever reasons and others are barely regulated at all. That cannot be good for society.

I want to talk about the public media service fellowships supporting citizens, our charter, core principles go back to the last century, inform, educate, entertain, they have been modified, the definitions have been changed but they’re still core, still very much at the heart of what we do and what we offer. I think we really saw that, we really saw that during the recent COVID‑19 or the current COVID‑19 crisis. You know, I was very proud of how our organizations across Europe stepped up. As they stepped up in terms of the massive investment in news that they made, they stepped up in terms of the investment in educational programming, they stepped up in terms of introducing courses on home schooling, they stepped up in terms of introducing a range of other educational programming, they stepped up in terms of even providing entertainment, relief from the news broadcasts of the day. They provided huge support, community support, local radio support, citizen sharing experiences, citizens talking, expressing what’s happening, citizens expressing fear, that’s a unique role in terms of the breadth of what was offered, not to say that commercial media doesn’t offer really, really strong programming as well. I have never claimed quality as the sole preserve of public service media. The range, the breadth of what was offered by public service media during this crisis shows the role we have, it is worth preserving and protecting within a European context. If you want to protect that in a European context, you have to look at digital. That’s where the audiences are going. Our audience increased enormously over the last couple of months, the average news bulletin increased by 20%, our digital offerings increased by 40%, it has green for the young, people say they don’t look to the media but if you want to increase that, we have to look at the digital sphere and how to preserve the integrity of the digital offering in Europe?

There is a load of different elements to that for me, there is infrastructure, we need investment in digital infrastructure, the keys to this new world cannot be held by people ex – exclusively by people and organizations outside of Europe. For me, that’s becoming increasingly, increasingly apparent.

I think we need to say – not in an arrogant sense of one is better or whatever – there is unique European values. I think we see that, particularly when we look at what’s happening in various places around the world at the moment. How do we preserve those values, how do we preserve the freedom and expression, the independence of media, the investment in quality of the media and news output across Europe? How do we preserve European culture and still be open to all of the cultures of the world as we should be, how do we preserve European culture at a time when people are accessing more and more information – not news, information on culture, funded and provided by big multinational companies, most of which are based outside of Europe, how do we protect that digital infrastructure. For me, also, how do we protect the integrity of our democratic system, particularly when that integrity is attacked during election campaigns, on an ongoing basis, through misinformation, disinformation, fake news if that’s what you want to call it. My colleague Liz talked about this yesterday. How do we protect the integrity of that system. For me, it is about investing in European digital, recognizing that we do have a separate set of values, not exclusive, but definitely distinctive and they need to be protected. It is about protecting the integrity of independent news and current affairs. You know, for me that is – how do you do that? You do that with investment, you do that with funding. You also do it by making sure that – this for me is the biggest counter point to misinformation and disinformation, it is making sure that quality independent news and current affairs is findable on social media platforms, it is accessible, that we have some sense of algorithm transparency around how this news is chosen and how it is displayed, and that there is a recognition that there is a value in that. You know, I think that requires governance. I don’t – I do not believe that’s going to happen solely on its own, or if it is, we have seen very little evidence of it. For me, there must be some sense, there must be some sense that there is a commitment to this, that we believe that this is worth fighting for, that we believe that this is worth investing in, that we believe that this is worth protecting. I believe that. I think public service media absolutely believes that. Technology play as key role in all of this. You know, I want to talk briefly around today’s session, which is on 5G, technology enables broadcast media, it always has, you need producers, you need editors, you absolutely need journalist, creator, and it is technology that drives so much of it. It is technological innovation that’s driven a lot of the creativity, that’s enabled the creators in our industry over the last two decades to reach – to fulfill their potential.. 5G is part of that, 5G offers potential for broadcast, distribution and content production. We shouldn’t forget that. We recognize that. We recognize the importance of it. We recognize the importance of having a voice in this debate now. That’s why we were instrumenting, setting up the 5G media action group, the 5G MAG with a huge number of members across Europe, both public and private, which again is important. Just to discuss these issue, to see how can we – can we reach a common purpose? To look at standards, that’s vitally important as well in terms of where we go with this.

And to find other areas, to discuss and then come together on common platforms around this. We’re very committed to this, we’re committed to the debate around it, Elana from our technology, innovation department will talk about it. We believe we need to be in there now or other people will take control of this debate. Other people will drive this debate.

That’s joy we have established the 5G MAG, I didn’t we’re committed to it, why we feel events like this are really important. It is important to say that events like this do allow exchanges of ideas, exchanges of positions, they allow people debate, they allow people change their minds, they allow people to come together on uncommon positions. These are important, they are important discussions. This is a massively important time. I have been involved in media for a long time, none of us have changes like in the last five years. We had deregulation of media in the 80s and 90s, we had a massive expansion of commercial media, which was good for our industry, we have had so many changes and so many positive changes. So many of the changes now are positive. We have never seen change like this, never. We need to realize that it. We have never seen such a concentration of reach and influence and so small a number of international organizations, and there’s many positives in there, as I say. This is not a negative approach. We need to realize this is quite different, we have to discuss this, look at joint approaches on technology, I commend this event, I commend what you’re doing, and I hope you enjoy the discussion and the debate on the final day.

Thank you for the invite. Good Ruck with the rest of the day.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much. Apologies for the beginning. Have a wonderful day..

With this, we hand over to the next keynote speaker, I will turn it over to Allessandra Todde, Undersecretary, Ministry of Economic Development, Italy..

Can you hear me?

>> ALESSANDRA TODDE: We well. Thank you to everyone. Unfortunately, we cannot meet in person but we’ll work together next year in a spirit of collaboration and experience sharing. Yeah.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Your internet is not very stable. Your screen is freezing. In case we lose you?

>> ALESSANDRA TODDE: I can try to stop my video to see if it – if the sound is better. Let me try. Let me try to stop my video. Okay. It is better now.

Are you able to hear me better.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: It is better for the sound. That’s important.

>> ALESSANDRA TODDE: Let’s move on in this way. Okay.

The Ministry of The economic development that I represent has been actively monitoring all internet‑related developments and the governance over 20 years, and participating actively, representing Italy at all relevant events of national and international level related to internet governance and it is also involved in the development of new technologies as artificial intelligence, blockchain, 5G. In particular, the nature of 5G networks requires the adoption of increasingly effective measures and ensuring the networking’s security, since the related architecture also be composed from many segments going from the part of radio access to the worker with a vast range of items that perform even more complex functions. In an inner connected world where people rely more and more for everyday life on personal communication device, where Internet of Things is multi-industry and personal lives, about artificial intelligence and behavior, where Big Data and computers, they’re raising as standalone sectors, it is important to develop to foster widespread networks. Optical fiber in 5G, they’re getting to be a standard worldwide where wi‑fi seeks and other technologies, they’ll probably play a secondary role. The potentialities connected to 5G networks and broadband network also allow for innovation in terms of management of emergency services. The integration of the technological systems will allow the full expectation of the potential deriving of the convergence of services enabled by the 5G, mobile network size, NGA, if he caned network size networks. Moreover, the use of ultrafast networks is essential to support the remote schooling, economic recovery. The sectors that will benefit most from the spread of 5G are many, we can already take advantage of some of them.

The first, sustainable mobility. Mobility is now crossing a new digital frontier with increasing automation and connectivity allowing vehicles to talk to each other from the road infrastructure and to other road users. This development that benefits from the progress in the field of artificial intelligence opens up an entirely new level of cooperation between road users which could potentially bring enormous benefits from them and for the mobility system as whole, including making transport safer, more accessible, sustainable. We change our lives, just as trains and motor cars have done before them. The drivers are already available in Italy, and automated vehicles that can drive themselves in a limited number of driving situation level 3 and 4 are being tested and some of them should be available by 2031. It is only a matter of regulations since technology is already available.

Smart cities, not only will mobility change our life. Also the availability over wide services of push and pull, material and immaterial, anytime, anywhere, and in realtime, information, entertainment, food, et cetera. Telemedicine, it is already happening, digital technology is essential to face the COVID crisis providing substantial contributions to the resilience of the society and of our economies bees using the new technologies to exchange the information and the results of scientific research can accelerate the solution to the sanitary problem. Artificial intelligence and the solutions, most of all, what is of crucial importance for the recovery is increasing digitalization with a particular attention to SMEs and digital literacy. To further incentive, the investment in deployment, new digital infrastructure, we need to work on demand. On one side, Italy is having a broadband plan with digital objectives, the be optical fiber is deployed across the territory with users and agencies, and making fiber connections able to be in offices, schools, et cetera, enabling 5G networks. On the other hand, the phase of the broadband strategy envisioned vouchers to encourage the uptick of services and an investment plan for services, where several industries are located. In particular, measures to stimulate demand that is considered necessary in view of the general limited take up. The measure, it is necessary to support adoption by reducing the cost of acquiring ultrabroadband service, particularly in the context of the current economic situation of post COVID‑19 crisis where there’s an expectation by citizens to any service, the main part of household expressions, this is directly related to the new regulatory framework challenges, the use of connection, including 5B is directly related to the regulatory framework challenges and reliability of the net, it is essential when dealing with human survival. Automated processes would not even be thought of without the services – the security or the services. No transmission, data loss can be it will rated at such loads. On the other happened, devices, connectivity, system integration of thousands of components originating from different sources are new cyber-attack, such as remote taking control of the interconnected device. In EU we have more than – more moves of the protection of personal data that apply to any processing of the personal data, including those collected from the internet spaces. The manufacturing sector is facing transformation related to the implementation of the factory of the future, IoT, Big Data, reporting, Clouding, working in Cloud computing. Parallel to change, within the industry, but a thematic change is created by the birth of an entire new economic sector, Big Data, high performing compute, chain, Cloud computing, just in addition to the traditional services.

To conclude, the Member State to implement the specific national measure, we need a coordinated approach in the management of the 5G implementation process is fundamental to draw maximum benefits from the technology intended to develop ICT services for the economic role and social progress.

Thank you.

>> SANDRA HOFERICHTER: Thank you very much. Finally, the audio was great so we could all hear you. Thank you very much for delivering this keynote.