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MIPRO 2013 open

On Wednesday, 22 May, the 36th International Convention on Information and Communication Technology, Electronics and Microelectronics – MIPRO 2013 was open. The many ICT experts were addressed by Zoran Stančić from the Directorate General for Communication Networks, Contents and Technology of the European Commission, who assessed that, despite of the progress achieved, Croatia was facing new opportunities and ICT technology should be used more.

The use of Internet in Croatia falls behind its use in the EU. The use of broadband access also falls behind. For example, only 17 percent of citizens order services online, as opposed to 43 percent of EU citizens, Stančić said and pointed out that Croatia would gain an opportunity to use the funds in that field too with its accession to the EU. Krešo Antolović from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure pointed out the preparation of the draft of national framework programmes for the development of broadband infrastructure in areas in which there is no commercial interest in such investments. Since the contract has been signed, it is expected that those programmes should be finished by the end of the year.

After the opening ceremony, a panel discussion was held with the subject “Internet – yesterday, today, tomorrow”, during which participants discussed free Internet, the state’s authorities over the ICT infrastructure, the Internet’s influence on education. Among other things, it was emphasised during the discussion that Internet is a technological basis without which the society can no longer function and anybody with small investments in that area can realise their idea as an investment.

Slavko Vidović (Director of Infodom), Božidar Poldrugač (member of the Management Board of T-HT), Morley Winograd (the author dubbed the guru of the millennium generation) and Ivan Vidaković (Director of Microsoft Croatia) participated in the panel’s activities.

A big step took place in 1996, when the idea on taxing the Internet was given up on, and the state ceded the arrangement of the Internet and its functioning to international organisations, Winograd recalled the beginnings of the Internet in the USA and concluded that, thanks to that, the USA created a platform that resulted in the development of today’s large and well-known companies, such as Google and Facebook. Winograd sees the future of the Internet in its mobility and integration into human lives, which will result in huge economic possibilities.

Slavko Vidović added that the future of the Internet will definitely be in its virtualisation, i.e. that the crucial question is how we manage our time because Internet either wastes our time or enables us to invest it smartly. “The American vision is based on the idea of creation of a platform for development and letting companies do their job. On the other hand, the European vision is based on standardisation, which is also a very important aspect of development”, Vidović concluded.

Božidar Poldrugač talked about how the development of access technologies considerably determines the degree of technology implementation and pointed out that the global trend is in abandoning the vertical architecture and turning towards virtualisation and resource distribution. “The Internet is crucial, and that is precisely why protocols should be developed. It speeds up evolution and leads to revolutionary effects”, Poldrugač said and mentioned HT’s Terastream project as the concept of convergence of optical access and advanced network technologies.

Ivan Vidaković offered his vision of the Internet with the claim that the Internet is an agent of change which changes the world through three stages – exhilaration, abuse and stabilisation. “Today the Internet is in the stage of abuse, in which the main issues are related to security and privacy. In the future, we will see the Internet as we see electricity or water. It will be a part of infrastructure without which life will no longer be possible”, Vidaković pointed out and added that the main trends today happen precisely due to the Internet.

He pointed out that it is exceptionally important to be aware of all the changes this technology brings and participate in them. Otherwise, they will seem very intimidating. After the initial phase of use and thrill, the Internet is now at the stage in which security and abuse are discussed the most, while we are facing the stage in which the Internet infrastructure will be common, and those without it will be left in the periphery, isolated. This was pointed out in the discussion, along with the expectations and possibilities of the Internet in the future, as well as the way that would put it at the service of the people’s benefit. We do not have to like certain changes, but we have to learn to accept them, Vidaković said and pointed out the need for a drastic change of the system of higher education, focus on what is good for Croatia and change the value system.

“If we manage to do that, then it is not important what will happen in the future because we will know how to handle those changes and know how to choose priorities”, Vidaković concluded.

Source: MIPRO

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