According to the scoreboard, Malta is above the EU average in broadband take-up, both in terms of households and businesses. Fixed broadband coverage stands at 99%. 70% of households are connected to the Internet, 98% of which have a broadband connection, the highest number in the EU. Broadband take-up by businesses is the fourth highest in the EU. Wireless Internet markets are also emerging.
Rates of regular and frequent internet use have been growing strongly in Malta over the past few years and are now not far off the EU average of 65% and 53%. Nevertheless, 36% of the population has never used the Internet. Take-up of Internet services is close to the EU average, except for uploading self-created content and selling online, which are less-developed.
Shopping online by individuals in Malta is popular, (38%) and buying from other EU countries is popular, as could be expected in a small country (34.6% of population as opposed to the European average of 8.8%).
Malta performs at the top in terms of the provision of online public services with 100% of public services for both citizens and businesses available online. In terms of take-up, however, it performs less well. While an above-average proportion of businesses use online public services (77%, compared to an EU average of 75%), use by citizens is relatively low (at 37%).
In 2010, the Maltese Telecoms Regulator (Malta Communications Authority- MCA) undertook the re-assignment of the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands. To ensure universal access to a broadband connection throughout the country, the MCA consulted on a draft decision aimed at including a broadband connection capable of a minimum data rate of 4 Mbps in the scope of universal service. The switchover from analogue to digital broadcasting took place on 1 February 2011 and will be followed by full analogue switch-off on 1 June 2011.
Overall progress over the first year of the Digital Agenda across the EU Member States has been good, especially on the use of Internet (65% of EU population). But progress in some areas is disappointing, in particular roll-out of new super-fast Broadband networks, which is one of the key Digital Agenda goals, even if there is some progress in upgrading existing cable and copper networks.
Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission for the Digital Agenda said: "A year after the launch of the Digital Agenda I note progress. However, Member States, industry, civil society and the Commission need to do more if we want to maximise the Agenda's potential for retaining Europe's competitiveness, stimulating innovation, and creating jobs and prosperity. I call on everybody to consider the massive long term benefit of acting decisively now, especially in high speed broadband."
The Digital Agenda committed the EU to carry out 101 specific actions (78 for the Commission, of which 31 are legal proposals, and 23 for Member States) which will together boost investment in, and use of, digital technologies. Overall, 11 DAE actions have been completed, 6 actions due in 2010 are delayed and the remaining actions are largely on track.