Europe Sets Broadband Strategy - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Europe Sets Broadband Strategy

The European Commission says moving to a single broadband market would overcome a host of challenges and improve its citizens' access to high-speed Internet.

European Commission officials have proposed to increase broadband access across the entire multination community, vowing to protect Net neutrality in spite of a host of challenges presented by cross-border national boundaries.

In its Digital Agenda report released this week, the EC bemoaned the European community's broadband lag behind South Korea, Japan, and the United States, and proposed moving to a single broadband market. The current approach with each country generally providing its own broadband is rife with problems, according to the Digital Agenda report.

The report noted that fully one-third of Europe's citizens have never used the Internet -- "Internet virgins," the report calls them.

"We must put the interests of Europe's citizens and businesses at the forefront of the digital revolution and so maximize the potential of information and communications technologies (ICTs) to advance job creation, sustainability, and social inclusion," said Neelie Kroes, European Union commissioner for digital affairs, in a statement.

Only 1% of Europeans have access to ultra-high-speed Internet. Cross-border challenges include how to establish a single payments service for all countries. The report observed that 60% of European shoppers who attempt to purchase something from another EU state are thwarted, usually because of technical difficulties or their credit cards aren't recognized in other EU countries.

Noting also the low research & development Internet budgets of most countries, the Digital Agenda report urged individual countries to double their R&D budgets. Kroes said 40% less is invested in broadband by European countries than in the United States.

The report called for all Europeans to have basic broadband by 2013 and for Europeans to have 30-Mbps broadband by 2020.

The commission compared some pan-European services with U.S. services and found the European services wanting. "Today there are four times as many music downloads in the U.S. as in the EU because of the lack of legal offers and fragmented markets," according to the Digital Agenda report.

"There is a digital single market in Europe," said Kroes, "but it is an illegal one -- that of music downloads."

While the commission's proposals were ambitious and laid out specific goals, it didn't spell out how the implementations would be financed.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2021 Outlook: Tackling Cloud Transformation Choices
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  1/4/2021
Enterprise IT Leaders Face Two Paths to AI
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/23/2020
10 IT Trends to Watch for in 2021
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  12/22/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
Flash Poll