You’re probably aware of our targets on broadband. To get every European with basic broadband coverage by 2013; and, by 2020, fast coverage (30 Megabits+) for all, with 50% of households having subscriptions at 100 Megabits or more. Those targets are central to Europe’s digital agenda – and essential to ensuring new products and services can come online.
Now a new study shows the situation of broadband in Europe. It shows Europe is pretty close to reaching our first goal, with over 95.7% of households getting “standard” broadband coverage. And progressing on our other targets, too, including for fast broadband: as half of EU homes – 105 million – already have this “next generation access” broadband available to them. (Bear in mind the study is based on the situation in 2011, so numbers will have moved on since then).
But these figures mask significant variations. Differences between member states: in some countries, NGA is available to everyone, in others to no-one. And differences between regions: with less than one in eight rural households, just 12%, benefiting from next generation coverage. (You can check out what the coverage is like in your part of Europe here).
But we need new ways to reach that other 50%. And to go beyond next generation access to the ultrafast, 100 Megabit access that will really underpin tomorrow’s digital services.
In some cases, like suburban areas, the business case for private sector investment is still too weak. That’s where public support can help: building confidence, improving credit conditions and unlocking significant private funding through innovative instruments like project bonds.
That’s why we’ve proposed a digital Connecting Europe Facility, which could mean 45 million more households – over one in five EU homes – connected to fast broadband. If you think that’s a good idea, why not show your support for this initiative to “Connect Europe” – over one thousand important stakeholders have already done so.
And if you’re wondering about the benefits of that kind of high speed access – here’s’ a quick reminder: