EU Links New Broadband Target to Economic Prosperity

The EU’s move toward continuity in Internet access is an advantage of working as a large bloc, said Zeus Kerravala, enterprise group vice president for the Yankee Group. “They can work together to make sure some members who don’t have the access that other members have can get the same technology working across the EU.”In Europe, broadband Internet access is seen as a ticket to economic freedom and prosperity. That’s one of the key ideas behind the European Commission’s announcement Wednesday of its intention to increase broadband penetration from the current 20 percent to 30 percent across the bloc by 2010. The EC unveiled this goal in its 13th Progress Report on the Single Telecoms Market.Four of the EU’s 27 members — Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands — currently exceed that 30 percent benchmark.However, only eight EU countries — the aforementioned four plus the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and France — ranked ahead of the U.S. in broadband use as of last July, said Viviane Reding, the EU’s commissioner for information society and media.

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