Europe risks missing broadband targets

Europe is still far from reaching broadband access targets set out in its Digital Agenda, despite connection speeds almost doubling in the year to July.
Research by the European Commission found that 29% of citizens had access speeds of 10Mbps or more by July 2010, up from 15% in July 2009, but noted the region faces a long road to achieving targets of basic broadband connections for all by 2013 and high speed access by 2020.
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said agreement on an EC radio spectrum proposal for mobile broadband is urgently needed to help meet the targets.
“Fast broadband is digital oxygen, essential for Europe’s prosperity,” Kroes noted, adding. “Take up and available speeds are improving, but we need to do more.”
Broadband subscriptions grew from 23.9 per 100 citizens to 25.6 by July 2010, while mobile broadband connections grew 45% year-on-year.
Nine million new fixed lines were connected in the year to July, taking total connections to 128 million – over half the 220 million homes in the European Union.
The Netherlands and Denmark have the most connections, with 80% penetration, while nine other member states have higher take-up than the US, the research shows.
While DSL remains the most common access technology it is losing market share to Docsis 3.0 cable and fiber connections, the EC said.
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