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Bridging the digital divide in South East Europe

New project will link academics in non-EU countries to the pan-European digital network.

Andrew Scott(asdunning@btinternet.com)

As the European Union prepares for enlargement, there is a vital need for digital communications networks in non-EU European countries to be improved, to match those linking existing member states. A project funded by the European Commission has begun to tackle this problem for researchers and educators in South East Europe.

The South-East European Research and Education Networking (SEEREN) project will connect existing networks of participating countries into the pan-European Gigabit European Academic Network (GEANT). This will provide 2–34 Mbps connections between GEANT and the national research and education networks of Albania, Bosnia–Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia — Serbia and Montenegro, Greece, Hungary and Romania.

Jorge Sanchez-Papaspiliou, coordinator of the SEEREN project, told The Scientist, "There is a 'digital divide' that separates these countries from the rest of the continent. This is keeping them as 'outsiders', hindering the cooperation and...

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