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The UK records some of the highest take-up rates for various Internet services in Europe, according to data published today by the European Commission. The statistics are part of a Scoreboard which shows the performance of the EU and Member States in delivering the agreed targets of the Digital Agenda for Europe after the first year of its existence
With 67 percent of the population ordering online goods and services for private use, the UK exceeds the EU average by 27 percentage points. It also shows high online availability of public services for both citizens and enterprises; respectively at 97percent and 100 percent. Usage by citizens is also relatively high, at 48 percent of the population. However, the use of eGovernment by businesses, at 67 percent, remains low when compared with other Member States
At European level, the general assessment in the Scoreboard is that the overall progress over the first year of the Digital Agenda has been good, especially on the use of Internet (65 percent 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.

    On the 13 key performance targets (see MEMO/10/200):

    • Good progress on regular Internet use, online shopping, eGovernment and low energy lighting
    • Mixed progress in broadband availability and take up
    • Insufficient progress in cross-border eCommerce, online presence of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), roaming prices and public research.

    The implications of the scoreboard will be discussed in Brussels on June 16-17 at the Digital Agenda Assembly.

    The Scoreboard shows good progress in:

    • Regular Internet use. This has risen rapidly to 65 percent of the EU population (target 75 percent by 2015). Disadvantaged groups like the less well-educated and the elderly are also using the Internet more, up from 42 percent to 48 percent. This brings within reach of the 2015 goal of 60 percent. Non-users have fallen from 30 percent to 26 percent of the population.
    • Online shopping. 40 percent of EU citizens now shop online, including 57 percent of all Internet users. More than half of the population in 8 EU countries buys online.
    • eGovernment: 41percent of citizens use eGovernment services, half of whom have return completed forms online. The eGovernment Action Plan (IP/10/1718) should help realise the 2015 target of use of eGovernment services by 50 percent of citizens and 80 percent of businesses.
    • Promotion of low energy lighting: Solid State Lighting increased its market share to 6.2 percent in 2010 (up from 1.7 percent in 2009), making good progress in reducing the energy use of lighting by 20 percent by 2020.

    Mixed progress in:

    • Broadband availability and take up: Basic broadband is increasingly available even in remote areas. However, deployment and uptake of very high-speed broadband is currently concentrated in only a few (mostly urban) areas. The Commission is working with Member States to implement the strategy to give every European access to basic broadband by 2013 and fast and ultra fast broadband by 2020 (IP/10/1142).

    Insufficient progress in:

    • Cross-border eCommerce: barely growing, from 8.1-8.8 percent in 2010. The Digital Agenda target is 20 percent of citizens shopping online across borders by 2015. The Commission intends to address this and other barriers to the development of the Digital Single Market in a forthcoming Communication on the eCommerce Directive
    • Online presence of Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): 26 percent of SMEs purchase online, a rising share, but only 13 percent of SMEs sell online, (up 2 points on last year)
    • Roaming prices: fell by 1.5 Euro cents (1.3 p) in 2010, but are still more than three times as expensive as domestic calls. The Digital Agenda's aim is for the difference between national and roamed calls within the EU to approach zero by 2015.
    • Public investment in ICT R&D: expenditure by public authorities did not exceed the Euro 5.7 billion (about GBP 5 bn) baseline of the previous year. A 6 percent annual growth will be needed to reach the target of doubling to Euro 11 billion ( about GBP 9.6 bn)  by 2020.

     

    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    Please note: all amounts expressed in sterling are for information purposes only.

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    Last update: 01/06/2011  |Top