Network Evolution: Challenges and Solutions – WS 03 2024

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19 June 2024 | 10:30 - 11:30 EEST | WS room 1
Consolidated programme 2024 overview

Proposals: #1 #85 (see list of proposals)

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Session teaser

Fast Internet access is crucial for promoting digital inclusion and fostering economic development. Despite the European Commission's ambitious targets for digital transformation, the EU falls short of reaching its goals. Policy initiatives like the Gigabit Infrastructure Act aim to speed up infrastructure deployment, while the EU Commission's White Paper, “ How to master Europe’s digital infrastructure needs?” tackles broader challenges and opportunities in the telecommunications sector. The panel discussion will delve into strategies for actively expediting the development of robust and inclusive digital infrastructure in Europe.

Session description

Access to fast Internet connections is imperative for achieving digital inclusion, driving social and economic development, and fostering innovation. Recognizing this, the European Commission has set ambitious targets aimed at propelling the region towards a successful digital transformation for its citizens, businesses, and the environment. The EU has also set its sights on the next generation of digital applications and services – the ones that very high-speed broadband networks are designed to enable. While progress has been made in deploying fibre and 5G networks across Europe, the pace varies significantly across countries and regions. Overall, the EU is still far from reaching its targets; the European Commission's 2023 Report on the State of the Digital Decade highlights the urgent need for action to meet connectivity targets in time. In response, policymakers have intensified efforts to facilitate the rapid deployment of connectivity infrastructure. Notably, the Gigabit Infrastructure Act (GIA), agreed upon by EU lawmakers in February 2024, aims to streamline administrative processes to expedite infrastructure deployment. Additionally, the EU Commission's White Paper, released in the same month, outlines a comprehensive vision for the future framework of European telecommunications. This includes addressing challenges and opportunities within Europe's connectivity ecosystem, involving telecom operators, vendors, customers, and developers. However, supporting this diverse ecosystem requires a significant increase in investment levels, necessitating reforms in EU rules and policies. In this panel discussion, representatives from various stakeholder groups will convene to delve into the current challenges facing the European digital ecosystem. We will explore potential measures to accelerate the build-out of resilient, inclusive, and responsible digital infrastructure, paving the way for a digitally empowered Europe.


The format of this session is a panel with four speakers and a moderator.

Further reading

  1. How to master Europe's digital infrastructure needs? European Commission (White Paper):


Programme Committee member(s)

The Programme Committee supports the programme planning process throughout the year and works closely with the Secretariat. Members of the committee give advice on the topics, cluster the proposals and assist session organisers in their work. They also ensure that session principles are followed and monitor the complete programme to avoid repetition.

Focal Point

  • Miguel Vidal, Senior Economist, Deutsche Telekom

Focal Points take over the responsibility and lead of the session organisation. They work in close cooperation with the respective Programme Committee member(s) and the EuroDIG Secretariat and are kindly requested to follow EuroDIG’s session principles

Organising Team (Org Team) List Org Team members here as they sign up.

  • Vittorio Bertola
  • Alena Muravska
  • Constance Weise
  • Karen McCabe
  • Peter Koch
  • Angela Coriz
  • Constantinos Balictsis
  • Lucien Castex

The Org Team is a group of people shaping the session. Org Teams are open and every interested individual can become a member by subscribing to the mailing list.

Key Participants

  • Costas Balictsis, Hellenic Telecommunications & Post Commission (EETT), Member, IEEE European Public Policy Committee (EPPC) Working Group on ICT - in person
    Constantinos Balictsis holds a Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering, a M.Sc. degree in Applied Economics and Finance and was a “Marie Skłodowska-Curie” post-doctoral fellow. He served as senior ICT policy adviser to the Greek Ministry for Communications. Since 2000, he has been with the Hellenic Telecommunications and Post Commission (EETT). He served as EETT’s first Telecommunications Director and exercises senior advisory and management functions including Department Head and Project Manager responsible for EU co-financed projects. He supervised EETT’s efforts to submit project proposals for the national spectrum management and monitoring infrastructure, secure funding, monitor the progress of the projects and collaborate with / report to the responsible domestic and EU funding agencies. He has participated in EC committees, in meetings with IMF representatives, the OECD, financial investors, international Regulatory Authorities and cooperated with domestic ministries and representatives of various foreign national entities. He is actively involved in research, mainly, on electromagnetic wave propagation and on optical access networks. He regularly gives presentations on regulatory and technology issues pertinent to the electronic communications sector. He is a member of the IEEE, the IEEE EPPC WG on ICT (Telecommunications and AI Sub-Working Groups) and OPTICA.
  • Paolo Grassia, ETNO, Senior Director of Public Policy - in person
    As Senior Director of Public Policy, Paolo oversees ETNO’s work and institutional engagement on a range of regulatory and policy issues, including privacy and data protection, the data economy, cybersecurity, and digital services. In this capacity, he currently serves as a Board member of the European Internet Forum (EIF). Paolo joined ETNO in 2017 from the economic section of the United States Mission to the EU, where he covered technology, telecommunications, and data privacy as a policy advisor. Prior to that, Paolo was a consultant with APCO Worldwide and Community Public Affairs. In his consulting roles, he advised global companies in various sectors, with a particular focus on technology and telecommunications. Paolo started his career with two internships, respectively at DG COMP in the European Commission and in the EU affairs team of Telecom Italia. Paolo holds a Master’s degree from Bocconi University in Milan and completed an Exchange program at Seoul National University. He is also a Certified Information Privacy Professional and Manager accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP).
  • Peter Koch, DENIC, Policy Advisor - in person
    Peter Koch works for DENIC, the ccTLD registry for DE, as a policy advisor. His interests are Internet Governance, security, standardization, and cross-community interaction. He is also active in RIPE, CENTR, and the IETF. Peter is a former member of the Board of DNS-OARC.
  • Miguel González-Sancho, European Commission, Head of Unit - Future Connectivity Systems, Directorate-General CONNECT - remote
    Miguel González-Sancho is since April 2024 Head of the Unit “Future Connectivity Systems" at Directorate-General “CONNECT” of the European Commission (EC). This unit is responsible for EU policy and funding on advanced digital communication networks (mobile, fixed and satellite), notably supporting the EU strategy on 5G and beyond, in the context of the “the Digital Decade policy programme 2030”, and in close coordination with the “Smart Network Systems” Joint Undertaking. Previously, for 2,5 years, he was interim Executive Director of the “European Cybersecurity Competence Centre”, an EU body based in Bucharest managing cybersecurity investments in coordination with EU Member States and the EC. He also worked for over 20 years at the EC, where he held amongst other various Head of Unit positions relating to EU digital policy, legislation, and funding, namely in the units "Cybersecurity Technology and Capacity Building”, “eHealth, Well-Being and Ageing” and “Administration and Finance”.


  • Karen Mulberry, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA), Senior Manager - in person
    Karen Mulberry is Senior Manager of Public Affairs at the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) where she manages strategic public and government affairs programs and engagements within and across the organization. Karen has been involved in shaping policy development, identifying strategic initiatives, and providing technical standards through leadership at the intersection of technology, standards, regulation, and policy throughout her career. She holds a BS in Organizational Behavior from the University of San Francisco and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Remote Moderator

Trained remote moderators will be assigned on the spot by the EuroDIG secretariat to each session.


Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

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Video record

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Will be provided here after the event.