The European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which has just restructured itself in an attempt to be more international, has unveiled plans for the European Information Infrastructure, a standardisation programme to ensure the rapid availability of a backbone infrastructure across Europe for communications products and services. It has also announced the creation of a European Project on […]
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which has just restructured itself in an attempt to be more international, has unveiled plans for the European Information Infrastructure, a standardisation programme to ensure the rapid availability of a backbone infrastructure across Europe for communications products and services. It has also announced the creation of a European Project on Information Infrastructure to manage the project. The initiatives will set the pace for an information and communications revolution on the continent, it said. The Strategic Review Committee which, under the chairmanship of Joachim Claus of Deutsche Telekom AG, was responsible for the roadmap, foresees the Information Infrastructure enabling people to use securely a set of communications services that support an unlimited range of applications. The plan is divided into two programmes. The first focuses on information and storage systems, ensuring an infrastructure based on narrow-band services and capabilities (public switched telephone network, Euro-ISDN, Groupe Speciale Mobile and cable television networks). It will also incorporate early implementations of broadband networks, including access to other networks, such as the Internet.
The second programme will lay down standards for the evolution of the infrastructure based on broadband services and capabilities, and distributed processing environments. In particular, said the institute, Asynchronous Transfer Mode transport capabilities will be developed as a core technology. Interworking with first-generation capabilities will be ensured, it added. No doubt sensitive to standardisation bodies’ reputations for tardiness, the institute said a common definition phase will be completed in March 1996, the first standardisation programme by June 1997 and the second by June 1998. In charge of the plan, the European Project on Information Infrastructure, consists of a starter group and a core competence centre for management. The chairman of the Technical Assembly, Peter Hamelberg, said that the European Information Infrastructure will be the basis for business and information transactions on a global scale and must not be hampered by differing national implementations. But he noted that it was important to take into account similar developments taking place elsewhere in the world. So the institute has identified the priority subjects where co-ordination is essential for the establishment of a harmonised Global Information Infrastructure. These included intelligent networks, personal communications, Telecommunications Management Networks, signalling systems, multimedia communications and network reliability.