Five member states subscribe to all of Commission’s aims
By Manon Malhère | Wednesday 04 April 2012
Twenty-two member states have made national plans in the field of high-speed broadband in answer to the European Commission’s objectives on the matter, according to a 30 March Commission work document on the implementation of these plans
In the seven remaining member states, these plans are currently being drawn up. Even though some progress has been made, these plans vary widely from one state to another and, more to the point, only five member states have so far subscribed to all the objectives set by the Commission. These member states are Hungary, Cyprus, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal.
In 2010, the Commission adopted its Digital Agenda, in which it proposes to reach the following objectives for high-speed and very high-speed broadband: by 2013, all Europeans should have basic high-speed broadband access across the entire European territory; by 2020, all Europeans should have very high-speed internet connections with a minimum speed of 30 megabits per second (Mbps), and 50% of homes should have access to connections of over 100 Mbps.
The Commission had proposed that member states draw up national plans on the matter and make them operational by 2012.
In terms of basic high-speed broadband, eight member states (Denmark, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, the Netherlands and the UK) have already fulfilled the objective, and 17 others have set quantified objectives or are about to do so. The 2013 objective should be reached. National approaches vary much more when it comes to the development of very high-speed internet connections. There are those states that consider the challenge to be of secondary importance, those that envisage this development as a gradual progression and, lastly, those that are advanced in the matter and aim to exceed the objectives set by the Commission.
Generally speaking, the states’ approaches vary because they depend on factors that are intrinsic to the states themselves – such as local geography, deployment costs, competition on the national market of high-speed broadband and the national legal framework.
It is noteworthy that many states are loathe to integrate into their plans measures aimed at boosting demand (subscriptions and digital services) for high-speed broadband. This is particularly true when it comes to the inclusion of objectives in terms of subscription to very high-speed broadband. Yet the inclusion of such measures (more broadly supporting the demand for communication and information technology) would be beneficial to plans.
The report also assesses the private and public investment activities in the field of high-speed broadband, as well as the national approaches to facilitate these investments.
(1) The document is available at
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