EU Sets Broadband Goal Of 30 Percent By 2010

Hopes to boost economic growth

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[ Technology]

In order to stimulate economic growth top regulators of the European Commission said they want to increase broadband coverage in the European Union from 20 percent to 30 percent by 2010.

Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding said eight of the EU’s 27 member states have surpassed the United States in broadband penetration, with Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Sweden leading the way with penetration rates over 30 percent at the end of 2007.

European CommissionEuropean Commission
(Photo Credit: Europa.eu)

"These EU countries, together with the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, all had broadband penetration rates higher than the US (22.1%) in July 2007," Reding said in the EU progress report on the telecom market.

Reding believes increasing the use of broadband would make the retail sector more competitive, providing people with more choice while reducing prices.

The European telecommunications market is worth $474 billion (300 billion euro) accounting for 2 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product and grew 1.9 percent last year. Last year was also the fifth consecutive year of increased investment in the sector, exceeding 50 billion euros, similar to the U.S. and more than China and Japan put together.

About 19 million broadband lines were added in the EU in 2007, the equivalent of more than 50,000 households everyday. The broadband sector generated estimated revenues of 62 billion euros and Europe’s overall penetration reached 20 percent.

"The European regulatory model is designed to increase competition in the telecoms market and this certainly is starting to pay off," said Reding. "However, the job is not yet done. Competition is limited for access to the fixed network which is still provided to 86.5% of customers over the incumbent’s infrastructure."


EU Sets Broadband Goal Of 30 Percent By 2010
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  • http://www.adk.ltd.uk Guest – ADK Ltd

    This report is very interesting but here in the UK some of us in the know how know that data on those connected to broadband is not all it seems.

    Firstly, most data is taken from the amount of telephone exchanges that are activated for broadband, but here in our rural county in the South West of England; where industries include farming, food & drink, engineering, tourism, and creative industries; many cannot get broadband or are so far from the telephone exchange that broadband runs at 1mbps at best. Yet the EU wants to help these areas (most being low employment or deprived in some shape or form) but are blinded by data that does not tell the whole story.

    Of course, having worked for an organisation that tried to overcome these issues by bringing in wireless broadband providers to the area I know that many are not interested unless these areas have high population density – and that’s one thing we can’t provide – high profits to private enterprises that provide such a service.

    We also know that having ICT is not the path to economic prosperity but the effective use of ICT is. Therefore, I believe the EU should adopt or fund local profiles of bad or no provision of broadband connectivity (what we call not-spots) and to back it up with a program of effectiveness via training or adopting online services.

    As a qualified business advisor and ICT specialist I also believe that this data can be easily obtained. Just go to one of the many supermarket chains that deliver to certain postcodes/zip codes and see if they will deliver to your area. If they won’t go there then most likely the broadband providers won’t.

    In the UK we are suppose to reply on BT’s 21CN, which is to bring fibre-to-the-cabinet (cabinet – small exchanges in the streets which then lead to the local telephone exchange and then national network), but this cost billions and again high population density areas go first.

    In summary the reality is that it all depends on where you live, what value it holds for the private sector, and whether those that live in these areas can use it effectively so as to make a difference to their lives and the economic prosperity of the region.

    Setting goals that satisfy political objectives or data that points to action needed is not enough to make the objectives of the EU obtainable. This is about people and landscape as much is it about broadband infrastructure. As US president Ronald Regan once said “We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success — only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free”.


  • http://www.bingo.com Bingo

     I think the EU commission is setting attainable goals that will help to drive productivity and growth in the Euro zone.  Having a fast Internet connection helps businesses and individuals alike as tasks are completed faster and prices are cheaper.

    I did think that the US was above a 27% broadband penetration though.  Does anyone have further statistics on that point?

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