Many EU countries could miss broadband targets by a significant margin, says Analysys Mason
28 June 2019
Many EU countries are likely to miss their broadband policy targets, according to a new report by Analysys Mason.
The value of ubiquitous high-speed broadband connectivity has been demonstrated in numerous socio-economic studies, and policy makers agree that there is a need for co-ordinated long-term investment to realise this potential. The Digital Agenda for Europe (DAE) is the organising structure for EU Member States, and includes ambitious targets for broadband coverage for 2020 and 2025 supported by various policy and regulatory measures. Despite these efforts, many EU countries are far from achieving the 2020 target of universal 30Mbit/s coverage, and the 2025 targets will be even harder to meet. Failure to hit these targets is likely to mean that the socio-economic gains and digital inclusivity benefits that are associated with ubiquitous high-speed broadband coverage may not be fully realised. The emerging ‘digital divide’ needs to be addressed, but the shortage of funds for major infrastructure projects is a significant problem.
Balancing the need for cost-efficient, widespread, high-speed connectivity in a context of limited public funds most likely requires a combination of technological solutions. Fibre networks offer very high-speed connectivity, but the high cost of deployment means that they are most cost-effective in dense areas. For wide-area coverage, the capabilities of wireless technologies mean that high-speed connectivity can be provided at a lower cost in certain circumstances, particularly where there are ‘clusters’ of demand in rural areas. Fixed wireless access (FWA) networks can play a role in complementing and extending the reach of fibre networks. This, and other factors, are considered in the report, which can be found here.
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