The EU has made good progress on its basic broadband goals in the Digital Agenda, but needs to do more to ensure wider access to faster broadband speeds, the European Commission said. The latest score card for the Digital Agenda shows the EU has met 51 of 101 goals ahead of the deadline of 2015, including near universal access to basic broadband.
Over half (54%) of EU residents can access broadband at speeds of over 30Mbps, and over a third (36%) use mobile internet over a phone or portable computer. The latter was helped by a tripling in LTE coverage in the past year to 26 percent of the population. However, only 2 percent of EU households have broadband at over 100 Mbps, versus a target of 50 percent by 2020.
Half of EU residents also have little or no computer skills, with no improvement over the past year, the score card shows, and over one in five (22%) have never used the internet. Businesses also face a shortage of qualified ICT staff, with 40 percent reporting recruitment difficulties in this area.
Other ares of progress include more people buying online, with 45 percent of EU residents using e-commerce, and more businesses and individuals using e-government, at respectively 87 percent and 44 percent (both up 3 percent points).
Digital Agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes said the results of the score card will be used to help develop the new reform package for the telecom sector, expected to be presented later this year.
Source: Telecom Paper.