BROADBAND COMMUNICATION
IN MOUNTAIN AREAS
May 2007
Introduction
3
Objectives
3
Location of survey
4
Activities
6
Development
7
Centralized evaluation of Small and Medium Enterprises
12
Centralized evaluation of private persons
20
Conclusions
25

 

Introduction
This document presents the results of a study realized in mountain area of Mures county (Romania), referring to communication possibilities and instruments used by inhabitants (private person and small and medium enterprises).
Mountain areas owing to special geographical conditions usually are disadvantaged from point of communication possibilities (and not only).
Objectives
The primary objective of study is to identify the actual usage of phone, mobile phone, computer, internet (including the different connection possibilities – dial up, broadband etc.) and also the wish of knowing and using in the future these communication methods.
Identify % private telephone lines
Identify % private Internet clients
Identify % owner of private computer
Identify % digital knowledge (by different grouping)
Identify % private clients with traditional connection to the internet
Identify % users interested in an upgraded Internet service
Identify % SME equipped with email
Identify % SME with Internet access
Identify % SME with their own website
Identify % SME interested in an upgraded Internet service
Identify contents of interest for SME
Identify the services relevant for the SME
Location of survey The proposed location for this survey was in the mountain areas of Mures county Romania Romania is a country in Southeastern Europe. Romania borders: Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and Moldova to the northeast, and Bulgaria to the south. Romania has a stretch of sea coast along the Black Sea, and the eastern and southern Carpathian Mountains run through its center. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest, the sixth largest city in the EU. Romania joined NATO on March 29, 2004, and the European Union (EU) on January 1, 2007. Romania has the seventh largest population and the ninth largest territory in the EU.

With a surface area of 238,391 km², Romania is the largest country in southeastern Europe and the twelfth-largest in Europe. Romania’s terrain is distributed roughly equally between mountainous, hilly and lowland territories.

The Carpathian Mountains dominate the centre of Romania, with fourteen of its peaks reaching above the altitude of 2,000 meters. The highest mountain in Romania is Moldoveanu Peak (2544 m). In south-central Romania, the Carpathians sweeten into hills, towards the Bărăgan Plains. Romania’s geographical diversity has led to an accompanying diversity of flora and fauna.

 

According to the 2002 census, Romania has a population of 21,680,974 inhabitants. Romania is divided into forty-one counties (judeţe), as well as the municipality of Bucharest (Bucureşti), which is its own administrative unit.

Mureş is a county (judeţ) of Romania, in the historical region of Transylvania, with the capital city at Târgu Mureş. In 2002, Mureş had a population of 580,851 and the population density was 86.5/km². This county has a total area of 6,714 km².

 

The mountain area of Mures County is located in the northeastern side of the county: “Calimani” – and “Gurghiu” Mountains, members of the Inner Eastern Carpathians. The rest of the county is part of the Transylvanian Plateau, with deep and wide valleys. Has 83 villages and 1 town, is situated in the walley of Mures, Gurgiu, Beica, Niraj and Sacadat rivers on 2203.92 km2. Total population: 63 868, from this 51 515 in rural area and 12 353 in urban area. The elevation is between 600 and 2100 m.

The exact location of Mures County in Romania and Mures County map
The selected settlements to realize this study are located in the mountain areas of Mures county, so as delimited in edict no. 949 from 2002.
Town in mountain area: Sovata

Communes integral in mountain area: Alunis, Beica de Jos, Chiheru de Jos, Deda, Eremitu, Gurghiu, Hodac, Hodosa, Ibanesti, Lunca Bradului, Rastolita, Rusii Muntii, Sarateni, Stanceni, Vatava

Communes partial in mountain area: Albesti, Bereni, Brancovenesti, Danes, Ideciu de Jos, Magherani, Saschiz, Solovastru, Vanatori.
Activities
The proposed activities were:
Preliminary activities – preparation workshop, staff training; definition of the data gathering techniques; organized by AGROM: in Sangeorgiu de Mures, the location of Agrom-Ro; take part: Andrei Vasile from European Mountain Forum, Surd Vasile, from Babes Bolyai University, Cluj, and from Agrom-Ro 8 instructors, who will take part in face to face interviews and data processing and analysis.
Development of questionnaire;
Translation in Hungarian;
Preliminary study of the selected areas: economical, geographical,
Analysis of the traditional communication media used
Create webpage http://www.mtnforum.org/europe/carpathians/projects/broadband/
Update webpage: announcement of kick-off workshop (date, venue)
Posting messages to mf-Europe and mf-Carpathians introducing this project and its objectives, advertising the project on EMF’s websites
Update webpage: insertion of a brief presentation of kick-off workshop (participants, decisions)
Data collection and analysis: fieldwork and data processing
The transport to field will be realized with Agrom’s own vehicles; the questioning (face to face interviews) will be realized by our own employees; 30 clusters of 7 households and 100 SME’s will be interviewed;
Data processing, using Agrom’s own computer network
Update webpage: make survey available online (for completion and consulting)
Preparation of a draft report analyzing the results of the survey, implications and options
Preliminary results of fieldwork
Informal regional consultation on the results of the survey and draft report
Update webpage: announcement of closing workshop (date, venue)
Regional level workshop to discuss the findings of the survey and consultation, the implications, and possible ways forwardMonitoring and maintenance of webpage
Final data processing with European Mountain Forum, finalization of report to include workshop discussion and recommendations;
Translation of report in English;
Update webpage: insertion of a short version of the final report;
Posting messages to mf-Europe and mf-Carpathians introducing this project and its objectives, advertising the project’s outcomes on EMF’s websites
Compilation and submission of final report to MF Secretariat
Article in MF Bulletin – project description and short version of final report.
Development
The steps made in the project were the ones proposed; the timing suffered a delay.
The questionnaire for SME’s:
1. Which is the first communication source you use once you get at your working place:
- I read newspaper
- I make a phone call
- I turn on TV
- I turn on computer
2. You own:
- a fix telephone
- a mobile telephone
- a computer without internet connection
- a computer with a dial-up internet connection
- a computer with a broadband internet connection
3. As a communication mean, I find the computer to be:
- very good
- good
-satisfactory
- not of interest
4. For my firm I find the computer to be:
- indispensable
- not necessary
- of occasional use
5. Out of the three long distance communication means (telephone, fax, e-mail), I prefer:
- telephone
- email
- fax
6. I prefer e-mail because:
- it is cheaper
- stores information for later use
- I don’t know
7. I wish to use email for communication but:
-I don’t know the system
- I do not have a computer
- I don’t know how to use the system
-it is too complicated
-I am not interested
8. For communication with a partner firm I prefer:
- the telephone
- the mail (letters)
- the fax
- a person I delegate
- the enunciation
9. I wish to use email but:
- it is a luxury for me
- it is not familiar
- it is not interesting
- I don’t know
10. The mobile phone is necessary:
- only for the firm’s leader
- for entire firm’s management
- for all employees
11. I find the mobile phone not that interesting because:
- it needs to be recharged periodically
- it is too expensive
-it makes me use it too often
- disturbs my privacy
- for me it is not a priority
- I do not want to own such a device
12. The email:
- must be part of firm’s daily communication system
- is not that necessary
- should be tested
The questionnaire for private persons:
1. What is internet?

2. You prefer to communiqué by:
- live talking
- telephone
- mail (letters)
- internet
3. From price and efficiency point of view they can be ranked:
a. internet
b. telephone
c. mail (letter)
4. You own:
- a fix telephone
- a mobile telephone
- a computer without internet connection
- a computer with dial-up internet connection
- a computer with broadband internet connection
5. As I wish I use the internet but:
- I don’t think I can learn how to use it
- purchasing and installation of a computer are too expensive
- I do not have a telephone connection
- I do not have electricity supply
6. Why would you use the internet for:
- communication
- better knowing the world
- cut the costs
- being in line with the modern’s world trend, which would make me proud
7. If you use the internet what kind of connection do you have?
- dial-up
- broadband
- radio
- optical
8. If you have an internet connection are happy with the speed and quality?
- yes
- no
- not all the time
9. If you do not have an internet connection, is it likely to have one in the near future?
- yes
- yes, but for the time being I do not have the possibility (not available in the area, financial problems etc.)
- I haven’t thought of that yet
- no
10. For you, the internet is (or might be):
- source of entertainment
- source of information
- communication mean
- financial benefits mean
The data gathering techniques: face to face interviews with random choused person, from each mountain town and commune of selected region.
Data collection and analysis: fieldwork and data processing. This action was realized with Agrom’s own vehicles, that means that each team-member has moved to the communes said before and interrogates face to face persons at random. Totally were interrogated 224 private persons and 102 small and medium enterprises. The data processing was realized using Agrom’s own computer network.

As you can see, for the most of SME’s the first information and communication source is the phone and the TV, and only at third place is the computer situated.
High percentage of SME’s own mobile and fix telephone, or both of them, but the computer and especially computer with internet connection is not very prevalent.
Theoretically most of the asked SME’s find the computer very good in communication, but as you can see practically they don’t use or they don’t own.
Curiously the opinions are approximately equally divided. The percentage of negative answers (not necessary) is too high.
Although relative high percentages (29%) of SME’s think that the computer is not necessary, most of them want to use email for communication.
Those who wish to use the e-mail for communication are also divided in 4 groups, why they are not using the system;
The most preferred communication method is the telephone;
The mobile phone is already in almost everyone’s day by day life; that’s why so many thinks that for all employees is important to have a communication possibility.
Centralized evaluation of private persons

left – yes; right – no

 

A high percentage of internet-users do not make the difference between several connection possibilities (confusion: broadband and several broadband options)
So as you can see, for almost 1/3 of the questioned population is important what the others think about them; they don’t see a practical benefit of the internet, they wish the internet just because is trendy, or because the others have already.
More than half of internet users are happy with the connection-speed and quality, only a small percentage is not, they are the ones who are interested in upgrading.
These answers are the most alarming, only the 3 percent of the questioned thinks that the internet can bring some financial benefits to them. Also is alarming the difference that is made between information and financial benefits. The most of the mountain area inhabitants from Mures County don’t draw a parallel between this two.
CONCLUSION
Broadband? Internet? E-mail? These things are fast anon for the mountain population of Mures County. The important question is not the introduction and the expansion of the broadband alone, but the importance of the internet in their day after day life, to find the common benefits for both sides. The people are reticent for everything that’s new, that aspect must be changed.

The education must be oriented more in the direction of computers, but only the education is not enough, the motivation of inhabitants must be grow, thru positive examples.