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Broadband

Only one in five EU households subscribe to 100 Mbps broadband

Wednesday 12 June 2019 | 11:50 CET | News

Only one in five EU households subscribe to broadband of at least 100 Mbps, well short of the EU's goal of 50 percent with 'ultrafast' broadband by 2020. The figures are part of the latest Digital Economy and Society Index published by the European Commission and show the EU needs to do more to accelerate its digital transformation, the Commission said. 

Penetration of 100 Mbps services increased by around 5 percent points in the year to June 2018. The figures show around 60 percent of households were covered by networks offering at least 100 Mbps by the same date. However, only Sweden and Portugal had achieved the target set back in 2010 of over 50 percent take-up of the services. The EU has since upgraded its targets to 100 percent access to 100 Mbps broadband by 2025.  

Lowering the minimum speed to 30 Mbps shows 41 percent of EU households used fast broadband as of mid-2018. In the Netherlands, Malta and Belgium more than two-thirds of homes already subscribed to fast broadband, while in Greece, Cyprus and Croatia take-up remained below 20 percent.

Access to the faster broadband improved in the past year to 83 percent of households, mainly due to the expansion of VDSL networks. By mid-2018, VDSL had the largest 'next-generation' coverage (>30 Mbps) at 57 percent of EU homes, followed by cable (44%) and FTTP (30%). While cable coverage only marginally increased last year, VDSL and FTTP went up by 3 percentage points. 

In 11 EU states, the fast broadband was available to at least 90 percent of homes, led by Malta, the Netherlands and Belgium with near 100 percent coverage. On the other hand, in France, Lithuania, Greece and Poland, less than two-thirds of homes could access speeds of at least 30 Mbps. 

Nordics, Netherlands in lead

Connectivity is just one of five elements included in the annual DESI. As in previous years, the Nordic countries and the Netherlands had the highest scores for the connectivity component and also led the overall DESI scores. The other elements of the index are human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology and digital public services. 

The Commission uses the report to benchmark progress with its policies on the Digital Single Market and took the latest edition as an opportunity to look back on its five-year mandate started in 2014. It succeeded in passing 28 of the 30 pieces of legislation proposed under the DSM policy, including the new telecom regulatory code and data protection regulation. 

However, the Commission said that more needs to be done to boost the digital competitiveness of the EU. The fact that the largest EU countries are not digital frontrunners indicates that the speed of digital transformation must accelerate, in order for the EU to stay competitive at world level, the Commission said in a statement.

It noted that some countries had achieved considerable progress in a short period of time thanks to targeted investments and robust digital policies. This is notably the case with Spain's investment in broadband networks, which took it to over 75 percent of homes covered with FTTP, and Ireland's top position in the integration of digital technology thanks to support for businesses. 



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Categories: Fixed
Countries: Europe
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