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. 

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Categories: Fixed
Countries: Europe
::: add a comment

Add comment

We welcome comments that add value to the discussion. We attempt to block comments that use offensive language or appear to be spam, and our editors frequently review the comments to ensure they are appropriate. If you see a comment that you believe is inappropriate to the discussion, you can bring it to our attention by using the report abuse links. As the comments are written and submitted by visitors of the Telecompaper website, they in no way represent the opinion of Telecompaper.


Polish residential fixed broadband penetration reaches 60% in mid-2018

Published 12 Jun 2019 09:12 CET | Poland
Sixty percent of households in Poland were using fixed broadband services in mid-2018, according to the DESI study from the ...

Spain claims biggest FTTH network in Europe with over 77% of homes passed

Published 18 Apr 2019 12:39 CET | Spain
Spain's Ministry of Economy has published its latest annual report on broadband coverage in the country. This shows that access ...

Only one in five European students attend schools with 100 Mbps-plus broadband

Published 15 Mar 2019 15:48 CET | Europe
Fewer than one in five European students currently attend schools that have access to high-speed internet above 100 Mbps, ...

European fibre subscribers up 16% in year to September, number to more than double by 2025

Published 14 Mar 2019 10:49 CET | Europe
The number of FTTH/FTTB subscribers in Europe rose by 15.7 percent in the year to September 2018 to over 59.6 million, according ...

Europe making limited progress on copper network shutdown - study

Published 13 Mar 2019 17:07 CET | Europe
The FTTH Council Europe has released a study by WIK on the progress switching from copper to fibre fixed networks in Europe. The ...

EU moves ahead with connectivity goals as telecom regulatory reform set to take effect

Published 13 Nov 2018 11:35 CET | Europe
The European Parliament will vote on 14 November on the final approval of the European Electronic Communications Code. This is ...

EU reaches over quarter of homes with FTTP access

Published 26 Jun 2018 13:51 CET | Europe
Over a quarter (26.8%) of EU homes could access FTTP broadband services at the end of June 2017, up 3.2 percent points from a ...

Spain surges into EC digital index top 10

Published 21 May 2018 10:01 CET | Spain
Spain has surged into the top 10 of the EC's Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) for 2018, posting significant improvements ...

Nordic countries, Netherlands lead EU digital economy index in 2018

Published 21 May 2018 09:33 CET | Europe
The Nordic countries and the Netherlands continue to lead digital readiness in the EU, according to the latest Digital Economy ...

Italy still lagging behind in EC digital index, improves fibre coverage

Published 18 May 2018 14:21 CET | Italy
Italy continues to lag far behind the vast majority of European countries in most of the indicators used to calculate the EC's ...

EU Digital scorecard shows rural broadband still lacking

Published 18 Jun 2015 13:23 CET | Europe
The European Union has met or will soon meet most of its existing Digital Agenda targets, but still has work to do on expanding ...