One of the definitions applied to the term “sustainability” is the quality attributed to “development that ensures the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations.” There are others, but they all revolve around the same idea. The Minister of Sustainable Development of Castilla-La Mancha, José Luis Escudero, offers us them, and in this « Seeking a balance between the different dimensions of our lives: social, ensuring a better quality of life for citizens; the economic one, which allows for greater prosperity in our region by creating wealth and jobs; and the environment, so that all of the above is conducive to the protection and preservation of the natural environment.
And one of the best vehicles to navigate this path with balance is the technology, innovation and convenience offered by the region’s vast potential for connectivity and digitisation. That is why La Tribuna brought together Regional Consultant and General Director of Telefónica’s Central Region, Beatriz Herranz, to discuss these issues in an informational meeting in a forum called ‘A connected region, a permanent region’. And the fact is that for the telecommunications company, sustainability means “creating, with our technological leadership, a better world by connecting people’s lives,” Heranz said, knowing that the term encompasses a broader concept that “Justice talks about social inclusion”. Training, taking care of our elders, improving the efficiency of cities, companies and focusing on rural areas.
“If we want to digitize Castilla-La Mancha we have to start by connecting it,” the counselor warned in the forum, and this is something in which public and private collaboration “we have been practicing for a long time” that To enhance connectivity. A “sum of forces” is yielding results based on data offered by Escudero, as “for the fifth year in a row we are the autonomous community most developed in fiber optic deployment, with 489% growth.” Also with a 138% increase in broadband and mobile coverage, higher than the national average. “But we are ambitious,” he said, and although he insists that 95% of the population already has access to fiber, next year they want to deploy another 600 locations, “80% of them with excessive or rapid access to fiber.” The areas are related to the population, reaching the last corner ». It also focused on the connectivity of industrial estates, reaching 238 when there were only 4 in 2015. Today, through the call for financial assistance, companies need to take this digitization. Another 111 tenders are to be awarded to bring in the 8 million euros fiber to industrial estate located in rural areas.
Digital Coalition for Sustainable Socioeconomic Development – Photo: Javier Pozzoprivate initiative. The achievements achieved through this collaboration with the private sector represent one of the leading companies in the sector, such as Telefónica, which has invested more than EUR 343 million in the community over the past 5 years, accounting for 1.4 of the regional GDP. % Is. And with a strategy of collaboration with local companies, that has generated 24.2 million in value to 29 local suppliers. The task is not easy, making connections to places that are sometimes remote in an area like ours, admits Herranz, but “the commitment with Castilla-La Mancha is firm”, he confirms, and demonstrates that they aim to bring connectivity to 150 new cities in this symbiosis with sustainability, so that by 2025 they achieve full coverage with total reduction in emissions through the gradual replacement of copper networks with fibre. intend to do so, 85% more efficient, he explained.
Why this effort? “Casilla-La Mancha has many advantages with its strategic location, export potential, 4,000 million euros in exports, and because it is a community where technology can impact many sectors with infinite possibilities,” replies the head of Telefónica , that holds specific use cases for the application of this technology and digitization, such as the improvement of energy efficiency and business processes, the censorization of cities to improve the use of water, energy, traffic … tourism with augmented reality experience to enhance and enrich. Geographical location and information area. Health with telecare or remote surgical intervention. Distance learning, as we saw during the pandemic, and with projects like ‘connected classrooms’ that have allowed fiber to bring fiber to schools and municipalities in disadvantaged areas, improve education and provide new opportunities for our neighbors . “The population of older people will multiply by 4 in the coming years, and many services will have to be taken away,” said Heranz, who also wanted to focus on digital segmentation and training.
Jose Luis Escudero shared these examples and added the ability to detect and predict wildfires to the model which allows for “greater capability and agility in response”. Or the economic stability provided by teleworking, bringing opportunities to rural areas and avoiding desertion. “We are going to move forward,” he said, “with a master plan for an intelligent rural area” to harness the virtues of technology to improve services in the rural world.
Digital Coalition for Sustainable Socioeconomic Development – Photo: Javier Pozzo“The future is supported by the pillars of the present, and what we’ve done is anchor our present for a better future,” said Escudero, who saw a “promising future” in the field, thanks to technology and effort. are being done. Training of new profiles in our universities to suit these digitization needs.
Petitions. There are fruits, and the commitment to maintaining this collaboration is steadfast. That’s why they ask Telefónica to delve into the agility of the procedures, although Heranz acknowledged that the area “has been the first community to help us with permits”, something they prioritized in the publication of that law. Thanks to the consultant for The projects have allowed to speed up the processes. In addition, he sought “liquidity in information and communication” so that projects are not delayed and can be finished for the benefit of the population.
The counselor also said, in order to continue to improve and strengthen the relationship, that the operating companies continue to invest, and “make an extra effort in the rural world.” “They believe in the talent coming out of the region and from universities,” he said, to which he offered an administration that guaranteed “stability, trust and certainty.”
Digital Coalition for Sustainable Socioeconomic Development – Photo: Javier PozzoIf the first definition of sustainability was already valid, then with these two other offerings from Administration and Telefónica, we meet a transverse vision of sustainability adapted to the needs of a new time, in which it is necessary to provide solutions and services , but also face challenges, which require the participation of all agents. Only in this way can we aspire to a fairer and more inclusive society in the social sphere, with opportunities equal to that of the rural sector in the city; more prosperous in wealth and employment with new profiles and talents; And more respectful with the environment, so that those who come later enjoy the same heritage.