Joining the dots in European broadband

The EC has mapped broadband coverage across the continent. Unsurprisingly Scandinavia and the Benelux does well, but so does much of the UK.

Inside the Enterprise: Broadband coverage matters to enterprise, and government.

From online sales to customer self-service, access to fast and cost-effective internet connections is a critical part of today's business fabric. For governments, online is a far more efficient way to provide myriad of public services. For employees, broadband is vital to support flexible working.

Not everyone, though, has access to broadband, and not all broadband is equal. This is borne out by a new European Commission study, carried out by analysts Point Topic. The objective is to map broadband coverage across the "EU 27" countries. The results make for interesting, if not entirely surprising, reading.

Researchers found that fixed-line DSL now reaches 92.9 per cent of the total population, and 76.3 per cent in rural areas: still a sizeable gap. Mobile broadband, or HSPA, does slightly better, reaching 96.3 per cent in total, and 82.1 per cent in rural areas. But just one in 10 people living in rural areas in the EU, have access to 4G, LTE services.

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The study, though, was carried out to support the EU's objectives of all European citizens having access to "basic" broadband by the end of this year, and to next-generation broadband by 2020.

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