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Recent staff exchange meeting in Kent

Recent staff exchange meeting took place in Kent, Great Britain in beginning of December.

Polish delegation - Maciej Bułkowski and Izabela Zawistowska from Marshal's Office of the Warmiῄsko-Mazurskie Voivodeship (Northeast Poland) were hosted by Kent County Council.

In the first day they spend in Maidstone, in County Hall. they had opportunity to be introduced in British methods of managing and phasing of the broadband building process and compare to polish procedures. The hosts presented also the types of electronic services provided to residents in the area of Kent and ways of monitoring access and demand for e-services.

In the second day Polish delegation visited Kent Association of Local Councils, where they could get to know how Kent convince local community of the benefits of electronic services, copes with the availability of broadband services in the areas of low population density and solves the problem of the access in the wooded and hilly spaces.

The last day was an occasion to observe the ongoing work of officials:

  • preparation to launch the first node of the access network launched in the framework of the investment;
  • recurring meeting with the project contractor;
  • meeting of the local community - Selling Parish Council.

This staff exchange gave the view of:

  • building proces of last mile infrastructure in rural and sparsely populated areas;
  • modernization of existing infrastructure and investments in fiber optic;
  • phasing the investment proces;
  • ways of monitoring access and demand for e-services;
  • implementation electronic services, especially for the elderly people;
  • role of NGOs in raising public awareness on the benefits of broadband.

Acquired knowledge can help with:

  • recognition of variety of ways to raise awareness of elderly and rural inhabitants;
  • cooperation between the public and private sector in the construction of broadband infrastructure;
  • solution of the problem with access to the infrastructure in hilly and wooded areas;
  • activity of social and economic development organizations (NGO) according the new priorities - development of broadband services;
  • conviction of the society with advantages of broadband access;
  • encouragement of the elderly people to use digital services and devices to e-healthcare.

The biggest challenges in transferring are:

  • to overcome the barriers between public authorities and the private sector;
  • to develop mutual trust and willingness to cooperate;
  • to overcome mental barriers of Polish society from the using of the Internet and trusting services provided by Internet - especially in rural areas

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