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EU to boost access to high-speed networks - 20/09/2010

Internet-related terms spelled out in block letters: Web 2.0, social media, blogging, networking, etc. © iStockphoto.com/mrakocy

Measures to boost the roll-out and take up of fast- and ultra-fast broadband in the EU were adopted today.

In today's information-driven society, high-speed internet access is a must-have for creating jobs and prosperity. In its Digital Agenda for Europe, the EU made a commitment to ensure that every European citizen could access basic broadband by 2013, and fast- and ultra-fast broadband by 2020.

“These measures will help to ensure that Europeans get the first-class internet they expect and deserve, so that they can access the content and services they want,” says digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes. The package of measures includes:

  • a recommendation on access to next-generation networks, so that telecoms operators would know what EU laws will apply
  • a proposal to ensure that spectrum is available by 2013 for wireless broadband
  • a policy paper outlining how best to encourage public and private investment in high and ultra-high speed networks.

High-speed broadband connections make it easier to work from home and while on the move. They also help businesses lower their costs and become more competitive, and make new interactive online services possible in education and health. Europe has the highest average levels of broadband take-up worldwide. However, only 1% of Europeans have a high-speed fibre internet connection directly to their homes, compared to 12% of Japanese and 15% of South Koreans.

Europe 2020 Strategy

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