Journal of Information Technology

Document Type

Research Article


Information technology has an increasing impact in the development of rural areas but the development and implementation of telematic services in these areas present special problems such as the appropriate mix of communication technologies, the commercial prospects of recovering the cost of investment, the social problems etc., which currently limit their effective use. With the recent introduction of narrowband ISDN (Integrated Services Data Networks) in Europe it is now possible to offer various services on a single subscriber line. In addition, with the development of both high reliable fibre-optic transmission and very fast switching systems, the introduction of broadband ISDN can also be considered. Unfortunately, the less favoured regions of EC (European Community) lack infrastructure. The development in these areas will be a gradual process. Large investments will be required, and the systems installed will have a lifetime of some decades. Therefore the right decisions on the chosen technologies and on the appropriate system configurations have to be taken to ensure success. In this work, the teleworking prospects as an IT tool for rural development are studied in detail. The motivation, the technology and the prosperity of teleworking in the less favoured regions of the EC are analysed and discussed. The analysis considers the existing telecommunication infrastructure in each one of the six peripheral member states in relation with the development and implementation of some important telematic systems in these areas. The main features of the proposed technologies as well as the establishment of the possible cost effective strategies for IBC (Integrated Broadband Communication) implementation in rural areas is also provided. It appears that teleworking is a key element for rural development and can be implemented through the realization of the IBCNs (IBC Networks). By taking lessons from some of the most important experimental initiatives which have already been introduced in some countries, useful recommendations in the policy to be adopted by the EC are drawn and presented.